Monthly Archives: September 2018

My love-hate relationship: 3 rules to make technology work FOR you

I have a love-hate relationship with technology.

If you know me, I often have the latest gadgets/tech for my personal life – and, at the very least, I try to not fall behind.

If you also know me, I never get in line first. I want to see how it works using other people’s money. Why buy the first version with all of the kinks?

At work, we have the exact same tension.

We absolutely cannot fall behind in how we use technology. And we absolutely cannot waste our people/time/energy/resources on tech that makes work harder and less effective.

This week, I’d like to share the best advice I have ever received on the use of technology – and consequently always share with our clients. When we follow them, we love tech. And when we don’t…

Rule #1 – Technology is just an enabler

Technology, by itself, is meaningless. It ONLY has value when you are already doing the work manually. If you don’t track your diet – even if it’s done in your head – what good is a diet tracker? If you don’t measure the effectiveness of your marketing materials, what good is a tool that enables marketing analytics?

I’m not saying that tracking your diet or analyzing your marketing effectiveness are bad things. I’m just saying that buying the technology without already being committed to the work it enables is a waste.

How many apps have you downloaded because people said “it’s amazing/game-changing/awesome/etc.” and it started collecting digital dust the moment you finished the set-up?

The same principle is true at work – and especially sales enablement.

Rule #2 – Technology always costs double

The true cost of anything is what you have to pay beyond the initial price, right?

Technology – especially when it involves some sort of user interaction – ALWAYS requires some sort of implementation budget. Most often, we see a 1:1 ratio. For every dollar spent on the tech, another dollar should be spent on the implementation. And implementation may not be actual dollars (because people, time, energy, and other resources aren’t always converted to a dollar amount), but the bottom-line cost is equivalent.

How often have you seen a new system (or even just a new version) get launched and everyone goes back to doing the work with the old system/version? Or worse – they just create their own manual process as a workaround? All because the new tech “doesn’t work” for them.

What I’m saying is that we are all going to spend double the cost that we originally paid. Embrace that. And if you want to throw real dollars into the mix for training, troubleshooting, support, etc., you can make the experience go much smoother than simply hoping it all works.

Rule #3 – Technology implementation is anchored to your disruption tolerance

Implementing new technology involves learning. And learning – in its purest form – is a disruption.

I have long said that learning isn’t learning unless behavior changes. I never ask my kids what they learned in school because until I see their behavior changing, they haven’t learned anything yet. In other words, they weren’t motivated enough by the subject to disrupt/change their behavior.

Learning how to use technology follows the same principle. When we bring technology into the workplace, we have to expect – and plan for – some disruption. Obviously, minor technology changes bring minor disruptions. And major technology changes bring major disruptions.

Which brings us to disruption tolerance – your team’s tolerance for disruption.

What I’m saying is that when we plan to introduce technology – even if it’s the perfect enabler with the perfect budget – and the team cannot handle any more disruptions (of any kind), the technology WILL get rejected.

Every time.

If you are the one responsible for launching/implementing the technology, lift your head and look at the bigger picture of disruption tolerance. You may have to address that before you do anything else.

I mua. Onward and upward.

By Tim Ohai

PS If you or someone you know needs to get better performance from the sales team, let’s set up a conversation to talk about it. Get on my calendar here.

5 ways to accelerate your ramp to revenue

This week’s blog is actually not a blog. It’s a webinar that I had the genuine privilege of being a part of.

The topic was how to make your sales onboarding deliver greater impact – for your customers AND your sales team.

The key folks involved were some of the great people I get to work with:

  • Roderick Jefferson
  • Tamera Schmidt
  • Ed Ross

Every one of us is a veteran in the sales enablement space with a valuable perspective that I’m confident you will enjoy listening to. Check out 5 Ways to Accelerate Your Ramp to Revenue via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxLdG9IPZHI.

I mua. Onward and upward.

By Tim Ohai

Knowing what to do – and NOT doing it

This week, I have been thinking about why we don’t do what we KNOW we should do. It’s inspired by so many examples – from business to personal to social…

As my friend, Dave Brock, illuminated perfectly today in his own blog, “there is a chasm between what we know to be right and our abilities to execute it.”

Knowing and doing. It’s the greatest tension in all of us.

So, why don’t we “do” better? Why is it that smart/talented/experienced people execute poorly?

We want to blame things like politics, laziness, etc. Frankly, those are the outcomes of the issues at hand. They are not the root causes.

I know there are the usual suspects.

Lack of clarity: the expectations for what success looks like are not clear. Many of us don’t have solidly defined goals with clear metrics and detailed, thoughtful requirements. Instead, we define a “hope” to be achieved (or worse, just a metric).

Lack of empowerment: we aren’t equipped (or equipping) with what is needed to achieve success. For example, did you see Vendor Neutral’s latest research that showed that CRMs are the #1 issue where technology hinders sales? Sales leaders are actually hindering their sales by “helping.”

If I want to generate politics, laziness, etc. IMMEDIATELY, I can take away clarity and empowerment. They are that powerful. (Conversely, clarity and empowerment clean up politics, laziness, etc., just as quickly.)

But why are the lack of clarity and the lack of empowerment running so rampantly today? I mean, we already KNOW that they are important/vital.

My current line of thought involves:

  • Is stress overtaking smarts, talents, and experience and blocking clarity/empowerment? People are stressed, and stress causes poor decision-making and shutting down. Have we reached a point where stress is literally running the show?
  • Do people recognize when to shift from influencing the situation to adapting to it? And vice versa? Stress is inevitable. How we deal with it, therefore, is critical. If we can’t influence the situation, we must adapt to it. Do people even know the difference between these healthy choices – and can clarity/empowerment be affected by them?
  • Are people being given the freedom to adapt and influence – or are they being expected to “control” 100% of the time? Being expected to “control” will only increase the stress – and force more bad effects. (Side note: control is a myth. Just sayin’…)

When it comes to helping our clients, team mates, family, and friends, I suggest using these questions to identify how we can do something to improve the situation and enable better, healthier action.

When it comes to personal application, I’m running through all of these questions to see what blocks me from doing my best in every part of my life that I see sub-optimal performance. I literally replace “people” and insert me.

  • Is stress overtaking my smarts, talents, and experience and blocking clarity/empowerment?
  • Do I recognize when to shift from influencing the situation to adapting to it? And vice versa? And can clarity/empowerment be affected by them?
  • Am I giving myself the freedom to adapt and influence – or am I expecting myself to “control” 100% of the time?

What are these questions telling you?

I mua. Onward and upward.

By Tim Ohai

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