Bhupendra Choudhary is highly experienced in managing sales challenges by facilitating field sales software solutions to the clients.
Most sales leaders perceive technology adoption as a revolutionary step. Without contradicting that for any moment, as new tech innovations undoubtedly can bring transformational changes in the sales process, it is necessary to throw light on the possibilities of those changes being interim or redundant. And that might create a high cost at a lesser profit situation, which no sales leader wants to be in.
Here the problem is not technology itself, but the parameters on which it has been measured to determine the value it will add to the sales process. Often those parameters are influenced by our unconscious biases that new technology is better than the existing options.
For instance, field sales CRM software is a common sales technology. According to a report, the CRM software market is expected to reach more than $80 billion in revenue by 2025. Today, from free to one that costs millions of dollars, sales CRM solutions are available with a variety of features and innumerable benefits such as real-time data insight, location tracking capabilities, and anytime, anywhere mobile access.
And yet according to CSO insight, only 43% of CRM buyers use less than half of the features of their CRM. A similar report by Really Simple System reveals that 83% of senior executives have reported getting their staff off to CRM as their major challenge.
When sales CRM technology has clearly proven their might in improving revenue and productivity, why do some companies face such tech adoption challenges? The problem could be in how sales leaders align their requirements vs. control their technology biases. Here take a look at the few biases and how sales leaders can reboot their strategy for sales technology adoption.
1. Prefer Only Proven Technology
Every technology enters the market with promising benefits. But those benefits might not be as useful to your business as to someone else. It is simple yet difficult to comprehend that the business model, demography, and work culture of an organization play a great role in technology adoption. Most times these factors are undermined when sales leaders get conjured up with the thoughts of technological innovations that seem phenomenal.
With proven technology, we mean specific to your business. For say, if you are a small business, personalization through manual processes might be a better option for you than automation. Chances are your pool customers are not interested in hearing those automated voices instead more interested in hearing directly from you. Since most of the small business owners have customers in limited territories, direct communication is a great way to forge strong relationships.
Often the new technology seems “cool” and miraculous that sales leaders just give up on the temptation. Most of us have implicit bias that new technology means advanced from the existing method, but being advanced does not mean helpful.
2. Validate the Credibility from the End Users
Although the development of technology is specific to engineers and scientists, usage does not and therefore before investing in any technology, consider the opinions of non-experts. It is this segment of users whose opinions are not considered valuable enough and so their concerns related to usability are not given weightage to influence the opinions of experts.
Even most investors give weightage to the recommendations of technology leaders and luminaries, at times to a level where they completely ignore the actual value of the product.
See, a CTO cannot determine what kind of technology should be useful and usable for salespersons. No matter how advanced the technology is, but if your salespeople are intimidated by it, you won’t be able to utilize the technology to its fullest potential.
As while purchasing a field sales CRM, there are several factors that are taken into account such as price and deployments, the decisions related to most of which are taken by the management team of the organization. During such a decision-making process, opinions of non-experts are simply dismissed unimportant.
3. Evaluating the actual performance of technology
You must have been familiar with the features vs. benefits debate. Often decision-makers get overwhelmed by the exotic features of the field sales CRM solutions instead of focusing on the actual requirements. This later on creates performance shortfalls.
The risk of such biases is massive from the cost perspective as well because usually, software with too many features is usually expensive. To avoid this risk, evaluate every feature of the CRM software on the parameters of must have and should have.
Besides, when it comes to the reliability of the software, it is recommended to go beyond the number of testimonials and client list. The best method is to consider the practical relevance of the software specific to your business and create a framework:
- Set a process to select the sales technology
- Include both technology experts and non-experts members in the team to manage the process
- Create a list of requirements from users and business perspective
- Identify the revenue-critical factors based on which evaluate the vendors
- Measure and optimize the tool as per the revenue impact and business needs
You can add and improve the framework to make it suitable for your business. However, the objective of the frame is very clear: to create a robust filter between what should be included and what should go down the drain.
The Next Step Forward
New sales technology adoption will never be a challenge if you are very clear with your requirements and remove all the biases that unconsciously influence your decision making process. In order to do that make sure not to go ahead in the buying process until the technology has proven itself on the parameters of your business requirements.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Bhupendra Choudhary