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Why Commercial Transformation is Imperative in 2021

Bruno Slosse< Bruno Slosse February 23, 2021

Over the past few weeks, we’ve launched our all-new Vendavo website, and a new marketing tag line to go with it: Unlock Growth + Profitability. That’s a promise that, based on the feedback we’ve received from customers, partners, and analysts alike, has a great deal of resonance for companies pursuing Commercial Excellence in 2021. How to make the promise a reality? Through Commercial Transformation.

Bear with me as I explain the relationship. Commercial Excellence is, as defined by business consultants, both a destination and a path, involving strategic and operational best practices enabling an enterprise to achieve customer preference, maximized margins, optimized outcomes, and more. This demands the transformation of technologies, processes, and even the capabilities of the people using them: A Commercial Transformation, in other words, that enables and supports Commercial Excellence.

That said? It’s our view that Commercial Transformation is an absolute imperative for B2B businesses in 2021. That’s reinforced by the less-than-sanguine predictions you can see from some quarters about the prospects for even very large companies that aren’t keeping pace with technology implementation:

‘A fifth of tech-lagging Fortune 500 companies, that struggle to keep up with the changing framework and economic scope will not fare as well or will be completely left behind in 2021.’

It’s Not Viable to Leave Profits on the Table

The disruptions and pressures caused by COVID-19 forced businesses to the stark realization that digital transformation was no longer an option – it’s a foundational requirement. One bellwether? Corporate legal departments, once seen as the bastion of traditionalism and inefficiency within organizations, are now hungering after technologies that can make them more responsive and productive.

For that one-fifth of the Fortune 500 referenced above, lagging in pricing technology means they’ve been leaving “profits on the table” for years. Leveraging Commercial Transformation in 2020 could have helped them capture profits that could have gone toward greater resiliency, stockholder disbursements, investments in key infrastructure and operational agility, a more robust supply chain, or any number of other items. In our own experience, automating and optimizing commercial processes results in a 10-30% boost in profits per year.

For a firm that struggled with 2020, there’s no guarantee they’ll prosper in 2021 simply because of a general recovery. Particularly if they’ve neglected to update the outmoded pricing and selling processes that made the events of 2020 even more of a struggle. Any enterprise that decided to stand pat is now in danger of being lapped by more modernized competitors. Those are the firms that have embraced state-of-the-art price optimization, dynamic pricing, cloud-based CPQ, AI-driven deal price guidance, and the other tools of Commercial Transformation.

As margins are threatened by fluctuating markets and unpredictable disruptions, including the disruption caused by the potential scramble among many to recapture customers and market share as economies rebound? It’s mission-critical for B2B businesses to optimize profitability and bring predictability to outcomes.

Commercial Transformation is Commercial Survival

To strain the poker analogy about as far as it can go? Commercial Transformation allows a business to hold pocket aces against your competition and, to a degree, against the vicissitudes of the market.

If the year behind us has taught one lesson, it’s that unpredictability is to be expected. The rebound many see looming down the road will present its own set of challenges, and those businesses who have gone about intelligently transforming themselves to be more agile, more responsive, and more analytical will be the ones to walk off with the lion’s share of the rewards.