Sales and Marketing Advice
Innovative technology should help your business, not burden it
First in a series on technology and business.
It's a trap -- and I hope you haven’t fallen for it. It happens to companies in all industries and of any size. It comes in two flavors, many times working hand-in-hand to lull businesses into a false sense of confidence.
What derails the best plans and intentions? Technology.
Before I go further, let me be clear -- I am not an anti-tech, back-to-the-dark-ages-of-1999 fanatic. In fact, I’m a high-tech kind of kid, having spent much of my time in wireless and mobile communications, cloud services, healthcare, software, and beyond.
If anything, I’m the biggest booster of technology-based companies as well as the use of tech in business you’ll ever see. These are the two side of the tech coin — the business of technology.
Great technology can do amazing things. You can build and grow a wonderful company around an innovative offering. You can also use technology to help you run your business more efficiently. And you can potentially do both.
Here’s the problem -- great technology isn’t enough.
I come across forward-thinking companies all the time that have created some whiz-bang technology that they truly believe will transform the way their customer’s work or play.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a strong enough match between the value proposition and the market’s need for these businesses. Or, they simply can’t seem to find their voice and clearly communicate the problem their product solves in a way that resonates with their target audience.
Then there are the businesses where their amazing tech-based product and messaging isn’t the issue. Heck, they may not even have a transformational product or service, just something that’s better and different than the competition, which they sell with passion. This sitation can occur in a law firm, boat manufacturer, bank, or hardware store.
For sure, the use of technology for monitoring, tracking, analyzing, and reporting is important. Managing customer relationships, finance, sales, and social media are just a few of the dozens of online and offline applications that come to mind.
But, too often company leaders get excessively obsessed with all of ways to manage customer relationships, finance, sales activity, and social media. That’s when it happens -- these incredible tools end up getting in the way and become a burden. That insidious sucking sound they hear is time rapidly slipping away as technology becomes a means to an end.
The activities and productivity of the team suffer and goals become harder to meet.
The business of technology is important to you and the economy. No matter where your company plays in this value chain, it’s critically important to know how to get noticed, be heard, and grow revenue with your technology or someone else’s designed to improve the way you do business.
Over the next few months I will interview high-tech companies that are on the move to discover why they’re growing, how their culture has made an impact on them and their customers, and what’s ahead.
I’ll also tap into the technology ecosystem from two points of view.
- There’s a rich tech support infrastructure here in Florida and the U.S. The people that work behind the scenes at business incubators, accelerators, and development centers are more than unsung heroes. They know what business practices work and what doesn’t in the tech scene. Plus, they know what companies are the shining stars when it comes to truly useful business productivity applications, and I’ll talk to some of these businesses too.
- Finally, there are the non-tech organizations that rely on technology to effectively run their business. You’ll get insight into what applications they use and perhaps more importantly, how they keep these from distracting them from their mission.
Drop me a line -- I’d like to hear from you about your successes and frustrations connected to tech. Let’s start a conversation!
Ron Stein is President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com) and the author of the Rapid Impact Marketing & Selling Playbook. As a speaker, coach, and consultant he works with small business owners helping them to accelerate the path between their vision and the actions needed to reach, win, and keep customers. Ron is the creator of the FastPath to More Customers Now! 7-step marketing system based on more than twenty years as a successful business owner, corporate CEO, business development executive, and salesman. He is also a mentor at two nationally recognized business accelerators. Ron offers one-on-one and small group mentoring, conducts seminars, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com.