Business agility has gained increased prominence as a way for companies to navigate the current economic turmoil.
I recently read a fascinating McKinsey article explaining how an agile business is a resilient business. It got me thinking about how data plays a vital role in enabling agile resilience. But what do I mean by business agility? In a nutshell, it refers to the ability to rapidly respond to change without losing momentum or vision. Adaptability, flexibility and balance are all essential qualities for long-term business agility.
The McKinsey article explains how agility is a crucial characteristic of resilient organisations and identifies some common practices that will help businesses build agility beyond the pandemic.
In this article, I will look at a few of those practices in more detail and explain how resilient businesses can use Red Flag Alert’s data to become more agile.
Five Characteristics to Build Agility
The common characteristics were developed using interviews with executives at organisations that had shown resilience during the pandemic.
Each organisation had practices that made them resilient. When the Covid-19 crisis hit, they were able to adapt, innovate with data playing a vital role in unprecedented times.
The five characteristics are:
1. Establish a common purpose and clear communications
2. Set up structures to allow rapid decision-making
3. Create networks of local teams with clear, accountable roles
4. Develop a culture that empowers people
5. Provide people with the technology they need
Data plays a role in all five of these characteristics; however, Red Flag Alert’s capabilities are most pertinent to numbers two, four and five.
Set Up Structures to Allow Rapid Decision-Making
The McKinsey article explains that agile companies put structures in place for rapid and continuous decision-making cycles.
These businesses are then able to quickly find solutions when a problem arises.
Data is vital here, as it enables businesses to make rapid decisions about their customer base and protect themselves from risk.
With over 100,000 updates each day and data on every UK business, Red Flag Alert allows you to monitor your clients’ financial health and set up alerts to notify you as soon as their circumstances change. If one of your clients falls into financial difficulty, you’ll be one of the first to know.
This intelligence will enable you to take action immediately to protect your business – for example, by discussing shorter payment terms with the client or by reducing their credit allowance.
Red Flag Alert can also make your decision-making process faster because it allows you to analyse the financial health of new clients. You can then speed up your onboarding process by pre-approving new clients, while ensuring potential customers meet your credit terms at the prospecting stage means you only ever need to approach financially healthy companies.
Red Flag Alert can help you break into new sectors by enabling you to segment prospects and reach out to new clients. In an economic climate that has caused many businesses to rethink their entire business model, this kind of agility is key for increased resilience.
Develop a Culture That Empowers People
Agile companies empower their frontline employees to thrive, underpinning their business with an entrepreneurial culture.
Data is a cornerstone of this culture, allowing employees to make informed decisions and take greater responsibility for the company’s success.
Red Flag Alert helps by providing sales teams with insight into the specific challenges a prospect faces, enabling them to create tailored sales pitches that ultimately improve their sales.
For example, if a salesperson knows a prospect is facing financial difficulty, they could focus on selling loans or insurance products. Conversely, a company that is expanding is likely to be interested in marketing services or investments.
Red Flag Alert also empowers sales teams by providing them with high-quality data that is always accurate and up to date. This allows them to spend more time selling and less time updating records or following dead leads.
By giving them the information they need, employees become more efficient and motivated –improving performance across the board.
Provide People with the Technology They Need
The final point in the article describes how agile businesses use technology to improve their working processes.
Red Flag Alert automatically updates CRMs so that sales teams no longer need to spend time manually inputting data, which frees up more time to prospect new clients or work on targeted sales pitches.
Agile businesses seamlessly integrate technology into their systems. Red Flag Alert can help you do this using integrations with leading CRMs like Zoho, HubSpot, Sage, SAP and more, enhancing your team’s workflow and productivity. We also provide automatic integration with LinkedIn, helping you to quickly connect with key decision-makers.