Presented during the 2023 SAP Sapphire and ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando, as part of ASUG's pre-conference seminar "From Start to Finish: Innovate Your Customer Experience," the following thought leadership by Deirdre Peters, Global eCommerce, and Phaneendra Mane, Global Architect - Digital Commerce, both of Boston Scientific, reflects on lessons learned from the medical equipment manufacturing company's eCommerce journey. 

Discussing the key difference that a "high-performing" team can make in the success or failure of any digital commerce program, their co-authored perspective offers valuable insights into the importance of team-building for the modern enterprise. ASUG is honored to publish their thought leadership in full for our members:

If you ask any seasoned leader about their recipe for success in a Digital Commerce program, you will invariably hear key ingredients like setting clear goals, focusing on a user-centric design, using a robust technology platform, data-driven decision-making, showing contextual content, offering multi-channel integration, agile project approach and, of course, a high-performing team.

All else being equal, it is usually the “team” that makes the difference in the success or failure of a Digital Commerce program. Per Simon Sinek’s famous quote, “A team is not a group of people that work together. A team is a group of people that trust each other.”

Building a team that perfectly embodies the skillsets and culture you want in your team is not an easy task. Some would argue that building such a team in Digital Commerce is even harder. While nobody has the perfect answer, we think building a team can be broken down into some simple concepts that will increase the likelihood of a successful outcome: a great product that customers use and love.

Look at what roles are needed first – The role of a Product Owner is crucial, as is a Merchandiser and Data Analyst. But think in terms of competencies and not just functions. In the early going one team member can, and often will, wear multiple hats.

Offer clarity on roles and responsibilities - Start by defining each team member’s role, identify the skills and experience required for each role, and make sure there is a clear understanding of the expectations for each team member.

Hire for culture fit before anything else - Look for candidates who have the right skills and experience for the role, but also look for people who fit in with the culture of the organization. Look for candidates who are passionate about Digital Commerce, customer-centric, collaborative, and adaptable. Look for candidates who are comfortable with white space. There’s a lot of white space in Digital Commerce and your team often needs to act with incomplete information.

Look for the influencers – No, not that kind of influencer. Look for candidates who enjoy influencing the organization. This requires people who are passionate about the subject but also willing to teach others and bring the organization along with them. Influencing takes patience, kindness, and knowing your audience.

Develop a culture of learning - In the fast-paced world of Digital Commerce, it's essential to have a culture of learning. Encourage your team members to stay up to date on the latest trends/technologies, and provide opportunities to attend conferences, workshops, and training. Additionally, make sure team members have guidance on how to apply those learnings in the real world. Finally, remember that it’s ok if not every idea pans out. Try things, fail fast, learn, and succeed.

Foster collaboration - Collaboration is essential for success in Digital Commerce. Encourage your team members to work together, share ideas, and collaborate on various project activities. Reward teamwork and provide an inclusive environment for all team members so everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts.

Empower your team - Empower your team members to make decisions and take ownership of their work. Provide them with the tools and resources they need to succeed, and give them the autonomy to execute on their ideas.

Measure success - Set clear goals and metrics for the team and measure their success against those goals. This means regularly tracking and analyzing key metrics such as customer acquisition, conversion rates, and customer retention, and using this information to continually optimize their approach. Celebrate successes (no matter how small) by recognizing team members often and using failures as opportunities to learn and improve.

Always be thinking of what’s next – Build your team with identified paths for growth. Always be thinking of a team member’s next steps and how they can get there. Share your feedback often so they know exactly what is expected of them in their current and next roles.

Never forget about the adoption of your product – Many great products fail to succeed due to the “build it and they will come” type of thinking. Nobody knows how great your product is unless you tell them and make it in terms they can relate to. The good ole’ “What’s in it for me?” is so crucial. Consider putting a team member solely in charge of product adoption. You may just exceed your wildest expectations.

We hope some of these ideas can aid you with your team-building approach.

Reach out and let us know what you think!

Deirdre Peters –

Phane Mane –

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