We're already overloaded with technology. Just think about it- how many unused applications do you have on your cellphone?
With all of this technology at our fingertips, it's easy to get carried away. But why do companies continue to invest in new technology over the professional development of their employees?
Learn what Matt Miller has to say about that in this clip from the What Sales Can Learn From A Teacher session.
Carole Mahoney: In terms of when you're looking at technology, how do you think leaders, sales leaders, can keep technology overload to a minimum? Because I have seen that there is a trend when you talk about the choice between investing in technology and investing in the development of people, most of them are going to go for the technology. Why do you think that they're doing that, given that we're also overloaded with technology anyway?
Matt Miller: Yeah, I think everybody has these shiny, beautiful, aspirational views of what technology can do. I see it in the classroom in the exact same way only it manifests itself a little differently. You see teachers, and they get all of this technology in their classroom. You know, maybe there are one device for one student, or maybe there's a cart of iPads that they can use or whatever. And the teachers get out their lesson plan books and they look at all those activities that they've done before and they think, "Oh, I'm just going to take a little bit of this technology fairy dust and I'm just going to sprinkle it on these old lessons that I've always done. And I think something magical is going to happen." And what happens is you get the same old junk only now it's digital. So now it's digital junk instead of transformation.
Carole Mahoney: Oh, yes.
Matt Miller: So I think when you say if you've got the choice between developing people and adding technology, for goodness sake, develop people because these devices that we carry around in our pockets are so versatile that they can do ... I mean, even without complicated software or apps or anything, they can take us to higher levels without having to sink a ton, a ton, a ton of money into things. I mean, I'm still shocked at in the classroom, but also in the business that I run, how some of the simple tools that have been around forever, like you've got Office 365, for me it's Google apps anymore. I'm big on docs and slides and sheets in Google. And there are so many versatile ways you can use those.
I used to look at how can I use HubSpot to help keep track of my speaking presentations and when they are and where they are in the sales process. I had all the little buckets that I can move them over to and everything. And it was on a different place than what I was used to. And I thought, my goodness, I think a spreadsheet could do this. I started using a little bit of conditional formatting and data validation and I came up with this cool spreadsheet that did just as well, if not better. And you tell somebody, the secret weapon in my technology arsenal is Google sheets and people are going to roll their eyes at you, you know?
Carole Mahoney: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Matt Miller: It's not sexy, but it's not really about using the sexy technology, it's about finding what works. And how often is it in life and in business and in everything, that the simpler the solution, the simpler the effective solution and we need an effective solution, the simpler the better that that works so much better than a complex, flashy, sexy option.
Carole Mahoney: Yeah, and then that was going to be my next question. Is what are some of the things that leaders need to look at, and I think you answered it, is looking at what are the problems that you're trying to solve for and it doesn't have to be this great big, huge solution to solve for this one simple thing. Sometimes it's as easy as a spreadsheet.
I'm also a huge Google spreadsheet fan myself and my husband comes downstairs and he looks, he's like, I don't even know what that is.
Matt Miller: Yeah, that's a good spreadsheet by the way, if you can't even recognize that it's a spreadsheet.
Carole Mahoney: Yeah, exactly.
Matt Miller: You know, to kind of piggyback on that, if I could? One thing that I love about those too, is that a lot of those tried and true apps, you know like Docs and Slides and Sheets, they've been around for a long time. They've been developed on for a while. They've gotten lots of customer feedback and they've added lots of features based on that feedback.
So if you try to bring in flashy brand new technology, it might be buggy. The user interface might not be so good, but sometimes those tried and true things are really, really useful. And you know, to finish up this thought- There's one other place that I think that we need to look at more and more and more and that is using our voice.
You know, voice recognition is so good these days. In fact, my Android phone just had a new kind of like voice typing roll-out and now it transcribes even faster and it'll do it offline. And you know how they say that you can speak X number of times faster than you can write. And if we continue to type with our thumbs, for me, my fat thumbs that are always hitting the wrong keys, that's a real easy way to improve your productivity. I think the big barrier though that I've found is that people have to get over hearing themselves talk.
Even with other people in the room. If you can get over yourself and try this, that's one little thing that I think can save you a time of time.
Carole Mahoney: Yeah, I think so. And in context too of learning, you're right. You don't always need the big flashy technology to do that. Sometimes it's simple apps that you already have on your phone and just also that being present with the students. In this case, the salespeople, if you're a manager and you're teaching, coaching them, meeting them where they are, these are such an important lesson in not just teaching and in sales, but really in life.
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