DOING what I do (sales coach, trainer, confidence-booster, mindset shifter, motivator and process changer), I've spent a fair bit of time working out what motivates me. I like to think I have a pretty good idea how to get the best out of Richard Lane.
I am not a big fan of computer-generated voices. I get irritated when told what to do by “someone” who does not actually exist. For example, I’d rather queue and have my shopping scanned by a real (living, breathing) person in the supermarket than by a computer that keeps reminding me, somewhat condescendingly, to place my item in the bag when I already have, before thanking me for shopping with them and wishing me a great day.
I now have an engaging relationship with automated technology. Let me explain…
I use RunKeeper on my iPhone to log running activities and track progress. Recently the following happened: After five minutes my music faded and RunKeeper’s automated “coach” informed me of my progress. I ran for the next few minutes in a dark mood. I hadn’t asked to be interrupted (RunKeeper must have upgraded at some point because this hadn’t happened before). I didn’t want to be tracked on a minute-by-minute basis. What did this voice know about what I was trying to achieve? She was just a computer, a bit of software... but oh, what a terrible average speed!
After 10 minutes I was updated again. This time the stats were better. It was still an interruption but I felt myself running with more intent. By the 35th minute I was running with anticipation. I’d achieved improvement over improvement and was starting to like my new virtual running partner who was coaching me at regular intervals. At the end of my run I understood I had taken part in my first virtual sports coaching session. We would be seeing each other again.
So, can technology help you to improve the way you sell? Take CRM for instance. Does your system offer insight and value into the opportunities you are working or does it feel like a drain on your productivity?
As a certified partner of The TAS Group we work with our clients to help them take advantage of the benefits technology can offer sales people. Their Dealmaker sales performance automation software removes the subjectivity from forecasting and increases insight into what needs to be done to move opportunities forward in the sales process.
:: Richard Lane is partner and co-founder of Newcastle consultancy and training specialists durhamlane