In our previous Q&A with Satch Patel, we discussed the growing need for organizations throughout the UK and EMEA—Europe, Middle East and Africa—to unlock new monetization models, strengthen their go to market strategy and improve operational excellence through a comprehensive lead-to-revenue strategy.
Here to talk through this process is Robyn Anderson, EVP of Advisory for Navint’s newly expanded operations in EMEA. Robyn is an industry expert with a long record of experience in the so-called “world of revenue.” In this Q&A, she discusses how she’ll be helping organizations make sense of the rapidly evolving landscape, manage the seemingly endless red tape and execute a comprehensive and effective lead-to-revenue strategy.
What do you think sets Navint apart and positions them well to enter the European market?
What appealed to me when I joined Navint in 2017, and what still does, is their position as a leader within the lead-to-revenue market. No one at the time was thinking about that end-to-end process and very few do even today. You have a lot of companies focusing on order-to-cash, or lead-to-sale, or other segments of the lifecycle. They approach the problem tactically. Navint thinks more strategically, viewing lead-to-revenue optimization as a major driver of business agility, growth and profitability.
The other distinction that I would make is that Navint works as a true partner. Unlike some competitors, we don’t “do a project for them.” We work alongside our clients approaching all aspects of the agenda as a team, working shoulder to shoulder, helping them navigate through these really complex problems.
As for our expansion, our clients in Europe, Middle East and Africa require a specialized knowledge base and skill set. The standards that apply in the U.S., for example, may not apply in Europe. Even within Europe, there are some significant differences from country to country. Every country has its own regulations that outline how revenue needs to be reported and accounted for. Businesses are dealing with much wider complexities with regard to statutory reporting and meeting different obligations from a tax perspective. It’s a very nuanced market and not many organizations can address what is a very important and potentially urgent need. Navint has the expertise to help reduce that complexity for our clients in the region.
How do you think the lead-to-revenue landscape has changed over time?
A lot has changed. The way customers interact with companies is different; your competitors are different; every business needs to have a mature digital presence. Things just aren’t straightforward the way they used to be. It’s not a buy, order, deliver, account model. Recurring revenue, subscriptions and as a service models have changed all that.
The way that businesses package and sell is having a direct impact on how CFOs and Finance account for different forms of revenue recognition. They have to manage new rules and regulations, as well as accounting standards based on when a service is provided versus when it is delivered. That is a hugely complex issue to manage in general and at scale.
Another pain point is around ERP modernization. Traditional ERP technologies were designed to support traditional business activities. New monetization models, coupled with changing customer preferences, have introduced a fair amount of friction. That could be in the form of billing disputes, process inefficiencies or just getting the information that people need to do their jobs. The old-school ERP doesn’t meet those demands. And when you really dive into those issues, you see that the challenges are coming from the operational side, meaning the tools and systems across the front, middle and back offices—the ones that feed into the ERP—need to be revisited as well. The business today needs to be connected in terms of people, processes and technologies. And that’s really what we help our clients do.
Beyond efficiency why is lead-to-revenue optimization an important investment for companies to make now?
Lead-to-revenue optimization is an absolute necessity in today’s market. Companies that have gone through a lead-to-revenue or Finance transformation are well-positioned to go-to-market quickly, which helps them address rapidly changing needs and opportunities. We saw how important that capability was most recently with COVID-19. Companies that were connected across the lifecycle were able to respond more quickly and with less disruption than those who have not yet made this a priority. And that doesn’t necessarily mean starting up a new product line. Innovation in the market could be how their goods are packaged. The customer will see something different even without new product development.
In your experience, what aspects of the lead-to-revenue agenda are sometimes overlooked?
Well, first, I think that end-to-end approach is critically important. Beyond that, it’s important for the business to be aligned. One person in the organization can own the project and lead it, but the entire leadership team needs to be aligned in terms of priorities, timing and goals in order to deliver a true lead-to-revenue transformation.
The other aspect that’s often underestimated when converting to a new system is data. Process improvements or process redesign is enabled by data feeds or reporting. So if your data isn’t clean, if it isn’t properly structured, if it’s old, if there aren’t proper controls in place, then it won’t inform the business with any real relevance or accuracy. It’s like the saying, “Junk in, junk out.” So that’s a big area of focus for Navint. We approach the data aspect of the transformation agenda with a lot of care. Making sure that the data is clean, relevant, properly structured at the outset will save time throughout the engagement and, ultimately, help ensure that the program is a success.
What makes Navint really well-positioned to serve this market is our broad business and transformation capabilities, including change management expertise, as well as our ability to work with clients to craft a strong data strategy. I think I speak for the rest of the team when I say that we are incredibly excited to help our UK and EMEA clients take the next step in their transformation journey.
To learn more about our newly launched EMEA operations and how Navint can help your business with their CLM, CPQ, Billing and ERP challenges, contact us.