TALKING SALES 22: “Too much business technology?”

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Interview by John Smibert

Peter StrohkorbIn this video Peter Strohkorb talks about a key outcome from his research into sales+marketing collaboration.

He found that the more technology that a company implemented the poorer their financial  performance compared with companies implementing less technology.

Peter suggest two possible reasons for this and recommends ways in which companies can avoid such a poor outcome from recently implemented technology.

Peter Strohkorb is an expert in sales and marketing collaboration. He is an author and speaker.

 

See more of the ‘TALKING SALES’ series here

Interview Transcript

John: Peter, the last time we talked about issues with technology in relation to collaboration between sales and marketing. Could you elaborate on some of those issues?

Peter: Sure. In our research report we dedicated a particular segment of the report into the matter of technology, and how does technology influence sales and marketing collaboration. To our big surprise we found that organisations that had CRM, sales force automation, marketing automation and collaboration tools all at once were by far NOT doing as well…

John: NOT doing as well.

Peter: NOT doing as well as those that only had one or two of those.

John: That’s a big concern, a lot of investment in that sort of technology in the companies I’ve been working with.

Peter: Yes, that’s right. Now, in the research we didn’t go into why that is the case, we’ve got two hypotheses around that.

John: Okay.

Peter: One is that either because of the number of tools that were all implemented presumably in very short succession, because they haven’t been that old – you know, the technology hasn’t been around for that long.

John: Yeah, true.

Peter: That they became inwardly-focused and the sales force became distracted, and they stopped selling or reduced their selling effort to some degree. Or, perhaps the kinder version of that but the same theme: perhaps they’re going through a bit of a learning curve, and then when they come out next year or the year after then they’ll be doing better. But the fact remains that organisations that have one for everything are not doing financially as well as those that keep it fairly focused.

John: Okay. So, from a recommendation point of view: what would you recommend that organisations need to think about with this issue?

Peter: Yeah. It’s very simple, I think there is such a thing as too much technology all at once. The recommendation would be to be careful about what you implement and do that well, and then implement the next thing. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Even though the vendors might say it’ll deliver nirvana, but as we know: more often that not it does not.

John: And as you mentioned last time: bringing the people end into it is absolutely vital, isn’t it?

Peter: Yes. We say if you start with the people, help them to understand why they should use the technology, how the technology helps them, and help make them part of that process – then when the technology gets turned on they won’t resist it – as opposed to something that’s being imposed on them from some outside vendor.

John: In our last discussion that made a lot of sense to me.

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See more of the ‘TALKING SALES’ series here

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John leads three related organisations, Custell, Strategic Selling Group and Sales Masterminds APAC. These help B2B selling organisations, who recognise the need to transform their sales capability, to respond to the tsunami of change that is starting to wash over us all. He works with people who recognise that to survive they must more strategically support their customer in their buying journey - and understand that they must become specialists in the customer's domain in order to be of value to them. He also helps sales teams build differentiated personal brands and leverage the digital and social worlds to engage to create trust and value.

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