How to be a maverick

How to be a maverick
Clint helped found SugarCRM in 2004. Today, he leads corporate development strategy and the alliances teams. Clint was one of the original architects and developers of the Sugar application and has focused on building out the product, company, partners and community in a variety of executive roles. Prior to co-founding SugarCRM, Clint held senior roles in the development, professional services and product management organizations at Epiphany, Octane Software and Hewlett Packard. He has 15 years’ experience in the enterprise software industry and over 10 years designing and building award-winning CRM software solutions.

Competition is increasing, the pace of change within business is getting faster and digital technology is disrupting traditional work practices.

The pressure to keep pace with digital transformation is a concern for many firms, according to the SalesTech report by CITE research and SugarCRM – 63% of companies are worried about the cost and effort needed to keep systems up to date and 34% view their organisations resisting change as a major hurdle to deploying new technology.

It takes a certain type of leader – the Maverick – who sees these challenges as opportunities.

Making bold decisions that will set their organisation up for success in our ever-changing digital world, ground-breaking businesses realise that change is not a destination, it’s a journey and open thinking is critical.

In order to remain at the forefront, businesses need to embrace digital and transform from the inside out. Given that a study by Accenture shows that 80% of companies believe that technology will allow for a more fluid workforce, the ‘golden ticket’ for any firm should be to adopt and maintain technology within the workplace.

Given how vital technology is, what can marketers do to ensure they are mavericks and not wallflowers?

Always looks towards tomorrow

Technology has always progressed at a dizzying rate. In the 1960s Gordon Moore coined the term Moore’s law, which predicted that the overall processing power of a computer would double every two years.

Successful businesses realise this, they build agility into the organisation so that they can change with the times.

don’t underestimate the added value of the human workforce

Companies that instil a culture of innovation across the organisation at all levels, will reap the rewards. This involves making sure that employees are successfully onboarded and given the right tools to work in tandem with technology.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems provide employees with generous amounts of information, so they can work more productively and ultimately understand the customer more. Given that 52% of customers have stopped using a business due to poor customer service, they need to invest in providing slick service.

Mavericks are already one step ahead of the curve, they understand that a unique relationship must be fostered with their customers.

These game-changers drive customer-centricity in new ways, breaking down the silos and pulling customer data together from across the organisation and beyond. Mavericks integrate technology freely and easily within the business, and don’t underestimate the added value of the human workforce.

Bring in change at the right pace

Every organisation is different, and so the pace or change is different across the board. Leading businesses work with, not against their business’ capabilities. They understand that unnecessary updates can cause office lock-downs, and derail from work ethic – or worse sabotage pre-planned change.

While some cloud technology providers force upgrades at the same time, I feel strongly that teams should have control over when new features are added. This helps set a non-imposing environment in the business and also allows employees to work confidently alongside technology – so they have time to understand it.

With research from Progress claiming that 62% of respondents see improved alignment of IT as a benchmark for successful digital transformation, it’s important to bring the users on the journey with you.

Keep on questioning

Mavericks realise that we are still unearthing the answers. As technological innovation gathers pace, it brings with it new sets of challenges and responsibilities. The businesses that thrive will digitally transform in a way that works with their own individual needs.

IT infrastructure needs to support data movement

The game-changers realise that IT infrastructure needs to support data movement and that your workforce needs to understand how to use technology. In addition, they know that technology is integral to the customer journey and that it helps to keep customers close.

Yes, integrating technology is a complex task – there will be failures and there is no quick-fix, one size fits all approach. What’s perfect today will be imperfect tomorrow so it’s important to move fast, experiment and expand on what works and quickly fix what doesn’t.

When business mavericks drive change, and adopt an agile approach they will cut through the clutter – and stand the test of time.

You can read the full whitepaper here.

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