Leaders: Three Questions You Should Ask About Technology Before You Commit to It.
When it comes to the technology we can use to make our day easier, we live in an era of astonishing, intimidating variety. Sometimes it seems there are just way too many options! It’s easy to become infatuated with a new, cutting-edge application… but we should think twice before we make a permanent commitment to a new piece of technology. Before we invest precious resources like time, finances, and our team’s attention on implementing a particular software application, we should consider the following questions closely.
QUESTION ONE: WHAT IS THE MAJOR PROBLEM WE ARE TRYING TO SOLVE? Sometimes, as leaders, we come across a new piece of technology and we get excited about its potential … but we don’t step back and ask ourselves what, exactly, we are trying to achieve by implementing it throughout the organization. Is the issue we are trying to solve an issue across the board – or is it an issue that only affects a few people? If we don’t plan things out carefully, we will end up repeating the cycle with the next cool piece of technology we come across, bombarding our people with too many tools, and actually lowering their productivity. That’s the exact opposite of the outcome we are trying to produce.
We need to begin with the end in mind. Is the application supposed to save time? Is it supposed to generate more accurate information than we’re getting right now? Is it supposed to help our people communicate more effectively? Those are three very different goals. Consider picking one … and then looking critically at how well this particular application accomplishes that goal. If it does all three, so much the better – but we should begin the process by identifying the one thing that we most need this piece of technology to do.
QUESTION TWO: WILL OUR PEOPLE ACTUALLY USE THIS?
Don’t automatically assume the answer is going to be “yes.” There are many, many factors to consider here – the working culture of the organization, the willingness of a given team to adapt to a new way of doing things, and the skill of the management team introducing the change, being just a few. Another big issue is whether your sales leaders are behind this. If they’re not, consider the initiative DOA (dead on arrival)!
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that something you find intuitive will be intuitive to everyone else in your organization. Test a rollout first on a small scale, and see what kind of feedback you get. If it’s the kind of feedback that suggests you really do have the right tool for your organization, proceed to …
QUESTION THREE: WHO ARE THE CHAMPIONS?
In order for your teams to adapt successfully to a new piece of technology, one that changes the rhythm of their current working day, they will need role models. They will need to hear from people who have successfully made the shift you want them to make … and who are ready, willing, and able to talk about why it made sense for them to make that shift. Identify these internal “champions” and create a platform where they can share what they’ve learned to do, and why they’re excited about using the new tool. Make sure their message gets repeated over time and in multiple media, so that the rest of the organization can see that this isn’t just a “flavor of the month” situation, but something that will be sticking around for a while.
If you ask yourself these three simple questions, and then pursue the answers with commitment, you can avoid the all-too-common trap of investing heavily in a “great new app” that hardly anyone ends up using.
Looking for a note taking app to help your sales team during training, prospecting, or pre-call planning? Evernote is a great tool to leverage within your organization. Check out the Sandler Pre-Call Planner template that we’ve included right within the Evernote app.