The Altify benchmark study sends a clear message that trust and customer retention are the top business priority for 2018
Altify’s Business Performance Benchmark shows customer retention a strategic priority, external recommendations more valued than CEOs
SAN JOSE, USA and DUBLIN, IRELAND – (Date) - Altify, the global leader in digital sales transformation technology, today released its second annual Business Performance Benchmark Study, a barometer of business leaders and the issues they face today. Its findings echo discussions at last week’s Davos World Economic Forum, which detailed a ‘dramatic collapse’ in public trust of social media, U.S. and global institutions.
Customer retention, the most obvious sign of trust for a business, is the No. 1 2018 strategic imperative for 87 percent of those surveyed, whereas other factors such as revenue growth, at 82 percent and profit, at 71 percent, saw their importance to businesses reduced in the past year.
Anthony Reynolds, CEO of Altify: “The Altify benchmark study sends a clear message that trust and customer retention are the top business priority for 2018. The question is how to put in place business processes and sales campaigns that engender trust. Today’s sales leaders and executives need to be armed with facts, deep knowledge of the customer and bring real value and insight to build lasting trust. In a world of digital disruption, Altify helps sales leaders and their teams identify and answer the questions at the heart of customer needs. The survey shows there are no shortcuts to customer retention.”
Altify’s primary research delved into the impact of trust on business performance. It found that even in today’s world of remote e-commerce and mobile purchasing, trust has become the major hurdle to overcome for businesses buying goods and services from each other. The independent research, across 422 global business people and executives, revealed the following additional key findings:
1. The overall business outlook remains positive
Survey respondents are bullish on the overall business environment, with 87 percent reporting a positive outlook on business in 2018. With the S&P500 up more than 21 percent in 2017, and the Dow Jones recently crossing 25,000 for the first time in 2018, the strong market performance is reflected in the high confidence in business conditions.
2. Company brand and top managers less trustworthy this year
Corporate buyers are twice as likely to trust advice from a peer or a competitor than the CEO of the company they are buying from. When making a purchase decision, 53 percent of respondents trust peers in other companies and only 27 percent trust the selling company’s CEO. Company reputations are less trusted in the wake of CEO resignations and selling scandals at Uber, Equifax and Samsung. Company reputation was trusted by just 47 percent of respondents, down from 54 percent in 2017.
3. Trust in government is in steep decline
Lack of confidence and trust is a major concern with half of all respondents indicating they trust the government less this year as compared to one year ago, up from 42 percent last year. Women at 65 percent, and millennials/Gen Y (35 years old and younger), at 69 percent show the greatest decline in trust of government institutions.
4. Social Media regarded as Fake News
Just as in their personal life, when it comes to making buying decisions, trust in social media content amongst corporate buyers is on the decline year-on-year, from 15 percent to 13 percent.
5. Sales leaders fear disruption from robots more than ISIS, Brexit or China
For some, like Elon Musk, it seems artificial intelligence (AI) is the biggest risk facing humans. Businesses too are less worried by global terrorism (6 percent), instability in China (9 percent), political change in the US (11 percent), or Brexit and the EU (19 percent). The most disruptive forces expected are Digital Transformation (55 percent) and advancements in AI (32 percent), growing from 26 percent from 2017.
6. Company diversity impacts buying decisions
Global business focus on diversity, inclusion and equal pay for women is impacting customer’s purchasing decisions. More than one-third of respondents (35 percent) indicated that a company’s track record on diversity impacts buying behaviour. 71 percent of respondents indicated that a company’s diversity policy has an impact on business performance.
7. The first line sales leader is the critical ingredient to growth
Growing revenue is the second most important corporate priority in 2018, but success in driving increased sales rests not in the executive suite, but on the front line. Respondents report a 75 percent increase in revenue when they have effective front-line sales management.
For more insights and to receive a copy of the Altify 2018 Business Performance Benchmark Study, please visit https://www.altify.com/benchmarkstudy2018/
Altify is the digital sales transformation software company, helping sales teams win the opportunities that matter, grow revenue in their key accounts and improve sales execution with guided selling. Built natively on the Salesforce platform, Altify helps salespeople, sales leaders and executives achieve sustained revenue growth and sales success. Altify customers include: Autodesk, Bell Canada, Brocade, BT, GE, Honeywell, HP Enterprise, Johnson Controls, UnitedHealthcare, Optum, Salesforce and Software AG. Find out more at alitfy.com.
Ed Stevenson, Charles Parant, Sam Ashcroft
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