Returning to Work?  A Lot has Changed.   

IT Spending Is Predicted to Be Down for the First Time in Many Years.   More Bad News…  So Is Revenue…  

Customer Expectations Have Shifted 

The first day of spring in many parts of the world is just now happening.  It seems like if we play our cards right – a year-plus long business winter could be passing as well.  Change of seasons almost always brings changes, and this long winter certainly saw never seen changes that will impact the way we work and what customers expect for a very long time. 

Is your firm returning to work?   For all kinds of reasons – business related and even mental health related – businesses are working to help their teams return to work.  While that might not mean everyone sitting in an office all the time like before – Returning to work safely in whatever format is obviously critical.  Many companies like Microsoft have put together entire solution suites to help companies Return to Work Safely.  That said – Arriving back at work – many of us are finding things have changed. 

Even though we haven’t been going to work.  We and our customers have been for the most part homebound for several months.  While some (ok most of it) has been maddening – some of it we have gotten used to.  Employees and customers have been home talking to Alexa and using contextual apps on their phones – to get nearly everything delivered by companies that know them and their needs – digitally. 

In fact, experts say the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and customer expectation exponentially.  Microsoft executive Charles Lamana recently stated in a blog “we have worked with customers during the COVID-19 crisis, where we have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in just two months” 

Our customers who have been at home getting their needs delivered to them by communicating with apps that seem to know them – have short patience with old school ordering processes.  They don’t want to explain their business to salespeople or repeat themselves about what they need on a customer service call. 

Customers accelerating needs for experiences, insights and outcomes from companies who already are resource crunched – have created overwhelmed employees.  And the monolithic systems in place aren’t helping. 

Help!  Our Technology Isn’t Helping! 

Our employees returning to work are finding their systems and the way they interact at work are quite different than what they have gotten used to at home.  Alexa is now replaced by a reply all email asking for information about a client.  Their personalized experience on their mobile phone is now a never-ending (almost cartoon like) form that while at one time was thought to give them a “360-degree view” now seems horribly lacking in context for what they need to do now and frankly, overwhelming.  

Revenue Focused Technology Solutions Like CRM are Widespread but often viewed as a constraint. CRM is a 50 Billion Dollar Market and growing but with only a 50% satisfaction rate.   

Pretty Important – Revenue (maybe a lot) Has Left the Building 

I was talking to a client the other day who was re-opening their office.  They were obviously deeply concerned about their team members safety.  Right afterward the discussion turned to their concern for How they could recover revenue. 

This particular firm’s revenue was at 2016 levels.  In fact earlier this year a study by PWC said about 80 percent of CFOs and other finance leaders expect COVID-19 to decrease revenue and/or profits this year* 

Interestingly – firms in different industries’ revenue have been affected differently and will recover differently.  A recent study by Goldman Sachs suggests that companies on the IT, consumer staples, healthcare and government spectrum are affected less and may bounce back more quickly while travel, hospitality, and automotive will be much more drastically affected and will have a slower road back. 

What will Revenue Recovery Take? 

If the changes in customer expectations started ‘at the edge’ then it seems logical that the solution certainly doesn’t lie in monolithic solutions.  We need to start with “Edge Innovation”  

The term edge innovation is associated with sensors measuring machines for optimization and efficiency.  In our case we can drive edge innovation – where customer and employee expectations meet our delivery – through the entire journey.  We can do this with the Microsoft Power platform – featuring low code Power Apps. 

The demand for digital apps and services to meet the new digital expectation of clients is expected to spike.  Traditional monolithic systems just aren’t nimble enough.  Lamana said in his blog “Over the next three years, more than 500 million digital apps and services will be developed and deployed*. Traditional code-first development will be unable to scale to support this growing demand on its own. Instead, code-first tools will need to be combined with low-code development tools like Power Apps.

We have all heard it – Low Code Platforms like Power Platform can help your users with a better more connected, contextual experience and your IT team to go faster, plus extend the life of your line of business solutions.   The idea of enabling the citizen app and developer with no cliff development is extremely compelling as well. We need to bring the Business and IT together to align people and tech around the goal of  recovering  revenue now.  Where do we start? 

The Revenue Recovery Code involves Low Code – And a Method 

The good news is we are seeing patterns and even hits at a roadmap for success.  A recent article by McKinsey and company says there are three basic steps to drive recovery. 

First McKinsey says to Identify and prioritize.  They focused on a core set of commercial activities with items that have the items that time to impact can be balanced with the level of EBIT Impact. The items are in the chart below. 


McKinsey also pushes us to act with urgency.  Slow moving political behemoths will have to make changes to either “act like startups” or may have a tougher time recovering revenue and adapting to the next normal than other firms. 

McKinsey  also recommends small squads focused on revenue areas 

So startups are nimble.  What else do startups look like?  They recognize that software is eating services and look like more like software companies.  They don’t slow down for monolithic systems.  While they are keen for systems to connect – they don’t have to be monolithic.  In fact, they are often better when they are not and innovation is driven from where interactions happen or as Microsoft Calls it Edge Innovation. 

If this makes sense – you have a roadmap on how to get started in this blog.  Some folks like a workout plan like P90X or CrossFit.  If you think you could use a plan, coaching and help – the congruentX team with its CRM and Power Platform expertise – has partnered up with a firm focused on revenue optimization called Magnetic Experiences to launch an offering that can absolutely help.  The offering is a 30 Day Return to Revenue Challenge

30 Day Return to Revenue Challenge with the Power Platform and Artificial Intelligence 

Amplify Revenue Recovery with Citizen Developers using the Power Platform and AI with Technology You Already Own 

Bring Business, IT and Makers together to quickly and measurably solve for key revenue related challenges with Edge Innovation

Structured 30 Day challenge featuring Design Thinking, High Engagement, Hands on Maker Experience with Power Platform Low Code Power Apps, Rapid Sprints and a planned path to measurable outcomes. Additionally – CongruentX brings a series of Revenue Accelerator apps to the table focused on areas like prospecting, sales meeting preparation,   Focused Revenue Recovery Initiatives with 10x or more RO.

  • Week One | Onboard – Initial 5 Day sprint focused on identifying and solving for one key revenue generation related challenge​ 
  • Weeks Two -Three | Adopt & Optimize – Assisted build sprint, Think aloud testing and deploy for user adoption. Daily coaching calls 
  • Week Four | Achieve – Deploy and support your team as they engage with clients more successfully. 


In conclusion, it’s been a long winter.  In many cases as we return to some sense of normal we will find that things have changed.  We may have less IT resources,  revenue may be off, and customer expectations may have dramatically changed.   We are also seeing that monolithic Rev Ops solutions like CRM may not be helping.   

The good news is by modeling best practices for revenue recovery and focusing on Edge Innovation – we can return to revenue.  So the question is – where are places you can identify that could improve in your customer journey – where technology is getting in the way? 

Free Revenue Recovery Assesment