Bruno Guicardi, President of CI&T shares a few thoughts on digitization and it’s impact on the evolving B2B sales person’s role in this SalesTechStar chat:
Hi Bruno, welcome to this SalesTechStar chat! Tell us about the story behind CI&T and the company’s journey so far?
CI&T was founded in Brazil in 1995 and is a digital native specialist partnering in end-to-end digital transformation. We have since grown to be a global company with a presence in 8 countries and 5,500 employees. Working with Fortune 500 companies across multiple industries, our core mission is to help our clients digitally transform their businesses across people, processes and technology for higher impact.
While digital transformation is typically focused on technology, we know that lasting transformation comes from the organization and people. We primarily focus on helping companies reconfigure in order to lay the foundation for successful digitization, allowing the organization to adapt faster to ever changing consumer behavior.
What are some of the core challenges you see certain industries face when it comes to their digital transformation initiatives?
Most commonly, the biggest challenge we see are companies that are so focused on creating the perfect formula for a successful product that it overshadows the actual development of the product itself.
Our research tells us that for most companies, the time frame from having an idea to launching a digital product in the market is on average two and a half years. The primary reasons for this long lead time are risk aversion, and difficulty in creating alignment across many different functions. In this fast-paced world, by the time the digital product is launched, the market has moved on and you are left with wasted resources, an outdated product and minimal business impact.
We help companies transform their technology to be more efficient and agile, yet despite all the software options available it is crucial to change the way a company operates as well. With business moving as rapidly as it is, technology partnered with multidisciplinary and agile teams is crucial to ensure as many ideas as possible are brought to market faster and either scaled up to create more value or discontinued.
For companies looking to optimize their digital transformation objectives in 2022 and beyond, what top tips would you share?
Companies need to realize that they can implement the latest and greatest technology into their systems, but true digital transformation will fall flat unless they transform their entire organization.
When it comes to optimizing your digital transformation initiatives, the top three factors to consider are the latest technology (cloud, AI, Blockchain, etc.), different organizational models (product-based, value-stream based, etc), and a different social contract between senior management and frontline employees that we call “power to the edge”.
In a digital and tech world of constant change, what top predictions do you have for 2022 and beyond?
At CI&T, we like to say that nothing accelerates change more than success. During the pandemic, companies who were normally hesitant to digitize, were forced to adapt quickly. We saw clients have tremendous success digitizing processes, which paid off in spades. With these tangible results, there is a higher level of confidence to invest and explore in digital transformation initiatives. Companies now also have more of an appetite to invest in emerging technologies like live shopping, blockchain-based ecosystems, etc.
Another trend we will see in 2022 is more interest in open API to create better systems. There is an untapped opportunity for better communication and integration by democratizing systems which can lead to higher efficiency and broader accessibility.
This is already being done around the world. For example, the Brazilian government created PIX, a peer-to-peer real time payment method with an open API that all financial and payment institutions can easily integrate and offer to users. In just six months, about 75 million Brazilians have used Pix whether to pay or receive, representing 45% of the adult population. The possibilities are nearly endless when a system is open with one set of standards.
This same concept can be applied in the U.S. to help remediate the broken healthcare system, which currently lacks efficiency and communication across all parties involved.
What work has CI&T done with clients to enhance their sales channels?
As with other industries, the pandemic highlighted aging practices and a clear need for transformation within sales channels. Covid in-person restrictions brought businesses to a near standstill across most industries, but traditional sales channels in healthcare and consumer packaged goods were heavily affected given the nature of their sales process. Salespeople could no longer visit clients in-person at clinics or restaurants meaning digital self-service solutions were needed. Digitization of the sales process, while once an important part of a client’s journey, has taken more of a central role coming out of the pandemic. AI Algorithms are very successful in providing relevant suggestions for products to purchase, the information is all there from purchase history to seasonality and supply. The digital sales channel can easily provide the necessary information to a client quickly, efficiently and conveniently.
With this digitization, we are seeing an evolution within the role of salespeople as well. Their efforts are no longer focused on selling products and services rather on fostering demand from a marketing and consulting standpoint. As this digitization continues, there will be less need for procedural work, and salespeople will either be able to support a higher number of clients or begin working in a different capacity for the organization.
Bruno is a co-founder of CI&T and president of the North America and Europe operations. With over 30 years of experience, he has been a global pioneer in applying agile and lean methodologies to the digital space. He has a proven track record of delivering revenue growth and customer engagement to CI&T clients competing globally in an environment of fast-paced change and continuous innovation. He has a strong digital products and professional services background and is responsible for the senior leadership of many award-winning large-scale programs and business transformation initiatives. Bruno has a degree in computer engineering from University of Campinas (UNICAMP).
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