The term „Industry 4.0“ is commonly used for a concept of systems and technologies in organizations that provide a value chain. The organization envisioned by Industry 4.0 has a modular structure, it creates a virtual copy of the „real“ world by using Internet technologies and online processes, and its decision-making process is decentralized.
Until now, Industry 4.0 is used mostly as a vision for Manufacturing, for example in the context of a Smart Factory, or in the initiative known as the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition initiative.
For the Sales Organization, Industry 4.0 means
- the virtualization of traditional structures and processes
- within Marketing, Sales and Customer Service teams
- using Internet and Social Media technologies
With customer satisfaction and customer loyalty being a vital objective for every enterprise that sells products or services, the vision Industry 4.0 for the Sales Organization offers every opportunity for building a truly aligned and integrated powerhouse within a corporate environment that bridges all customer-facing organizations, from the strategy level to the structure and all the way to processes and tools as well as communication and training for the users.
Industry 4.0 for the Sales Organization implies a modular approach. In this context, the modules are:
- a Social Media Marketing strategy, as an integral part of the overall Marketing strategy and aligned with the Sales strategy
- a Social Selling strategy, as an integral part of the Sales strategy, targeted to the customer audience (B2C, B2B, B2G etc.) and aligned with the Marketing strategy
- a Social CRM that integrates the Customer Service team and serves as a platform to deliver a seamless customer experience with a consistent voice to the customer throughout the entire process chain.
In addition to the external benefits for customers, the Sales Organization gains internal benefits from this approach too: full alignment throughout the teams and processes, a lean and nimble structure that learns and develops based on market and customer insight, a potentially very high return on investment due to the low cost and ease-of-use of Social Media and Social CRM, and last but not least processes and tools for business planning and performance measurement.