Market Winners Survey - Local insights Belgium

Business transformation - What makes a winning company?


We asked over 500 C-level and senior executives across EMEA, including 33 in Belgium, to define and describe their approach to becoming winners of tomorrow. The survey focused particularly on their digital and customer transformation journeys. 

Between July and November 2020, a period covering both COVID-19 lockdowns, PwC set out to discover how organisations were ‘winning’ in the marketplace. Our definition for a winning organisation was two-fold: first, they were seeing growth in a disrupted market and second, they were meeting the objectives they defined at the beginning of the transformation.

Peter Vermeire contact photo

"Winners in the marketplace put the customer firmly at the centre of their digital transformation. They approach sales, supply chain and finance as an interdependent ecosystem, delivering the services their clients want."

Peter Vermeire

A driving change environment 

Too many organisations focus on efficiencies and other outcomes instead of having a clearly articulated set of customer related success criteria. Transformation activities undertaken or proposed in a post-COVID environment need to focus on a re-definition of the relationship between customers and businesses, particularly for organisations offering a physical product or service. 

Digital transformation is top of the agenda for these organisations. Companies are leveraging technology and utilising digital capabilities to own, personalise and enhance their relationship with clients, but organisations need to strike the right balance between digital and human centred approaches. Those who are ‘winning’ in the market, and have experienced revenue growth in the last 6 months, are undertaking a number of activities to transform their business. 

These include changing their approach to product, service mix and marketing and implementing various technologies. These organisations are putting their foot to the floor to transform and grow through disruption.

Bart Brusselmans contact photo

"Large scale customer transformations are rarely driven by strategic decisions. Disruption is more often driven by unhappy customers."

Bart Brusselmans

Future outlook

Challenges facing organisations across industries and markets in implementing their business transformation.

The extent of transformation across departments

Almost a third of organisations have completed front office transformation on marketing, with product and service offering, operations and CRM the primary focus areas for those with future transformation plans Gouvernment and Healthcare Industries and Financial Services organisations are most likely to be undertaking or planning transformation within operations (73% and 66% respectively), with those in Telecom, Media and Technology most focused on changing their product/service offering (66%).

Those in the Gouvernment and Healthcare Industries sector have greatest appetite to transform customer relationship management with 73% having transformation planned or underway. Smaller organisations are also most likely to have CRM transformation planned or underway (61%).


The winners of tomorrow 

Companies most likely to be ‘winners’ in the new normal are those that place the customer at the centre of their transformation, and enable a digital or virtual experience through technology. They go beyond brand repositioning to enhance and deliver a better customer journey, and thus improving the internal processes that are impacted.

They prioritise agile ways of working, growing revenues and increasing efficiencies. They look to grow through greater customer loyalty, better productivity and a more engaged workforce. 

Critically, more than 7 in 10 of those ‘winning’ in the market have already started implementing business transformation across multiple front and back office functions. As a result, they are significantly more likely to have experienced revenue growth over the past six to nine months, and have generally achieved a multitude of business benefits beyond revenue growth and cost savings. These include better customer experience and improved decision-making through analytics.

The key insight that emerged was that businesses need to move beyond transformation of siloed parts of the business, and focus on enterprise-wide transformation that produces valuable benefits for the business and its customers. To win in the market, businesses must connect the dots between sales, supply chain and finance. They must integrate the key capabilities needed to produce the services their customers want. The only way to do this is through investing in digital and customer transformation. It’s not only necessary to remain competitive, it also delivers growth opportunities to the business, even in times of crisis.

Nathalie Parent contact photo

"Winners are breaking down silos and putting customers at the centre. They drive this transformation through technology, and they have seen the impact in revenue growth over the last 9 months"

Nathalie Parent

Contact us

Peter Vermeire

Peter Vermeire

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 493 51 87 28

Nathalie Parent

Nathalie Parent

Director, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 473 30 27 96

Bart Brusselmans

Bart Brusselmans

Director, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 485 88 13 56

Connect with PwC Belgium