Today, I want to address a pressing issue that’s been eating at me for far too long. It’s time to debunk the excuse of salespeople who claim they aren’t “tech-savvy” and turn up the heat on those who rely on this feeble justification for their lack of progress. Being “tech-savvy” is a choice. Staying relevant in the sales profession is a choice. And nowadays, if you’re choosing to not embrace technology, you’re choosing to see your relevance fade away.
Look, I get it. Change can be daunting, and technology is advancing at breakneck speed. Some of you are still fighting CRM (welcome to 25 years ago), and now we’re talking about AI. But let’s be brutally honest here: being “tech-savvy” is not some condition you’re born with or an elusive talent only the chosen few possess. It’s a CHOICE. Yes, you heard me right. Being tech-savvy is a mindset you embrace, a journey you embark on, and a battle you fight every single day. Your customers are embracing technology and information. If you’re not, you’re putting your own expiration date on your career.
Now, let me address the managers out there who accept this excuse from their sales teams. It’s time to shake things up and demand better. Your role as a leader is to inspire and push your team to greatness, and get the most from their talents. When you accept artificial limitations, you are selling your salespeople, yourself, and your customers, short. It’s time to hold your salespeople accountable and challenge them to rise above their self-imposed limitations.
So, how can you break free from this technophobic trap? Let’s dive into some actionable steps that will help you shatter the glass ceiling of excuses and propel your sales success into the future (which, by the way, is happening NOW):
- Embrace a Growth Mindset: Stop seeing technology as an obstacle and start viewing it as an opportunity. Every new tool or platform is a chance to enhance your sales skills and reach new heights. Embrace the mindset of continuous learning, experimentation, and adaptation.
- Seek Out Learning Opportunities: Attend webinars, workshops, and conferences to stay abreast of the latest sales technologies and strategies. Dive into online courses, podcasts, and industry blogs that provide insights and practical tips. Make learning a habit, not an occasional afterthought.
- Leverage Your Inner Circle: Surround yourself with tech-savvy individuals who can mentor and guide you. Build relationships with colleagues, attend networking events, and join sales communities where you can tap into the collective knowledge and experience of like-minded professionals.
- Get Hands-On: Don’t just observe from the sidelines; immerse yourself in the digital realm. Experiment with new tools, apps, and software. Learn how to navigate social media platforms, harness data analytics, and leverage CRM systems. Embrace the power of automation, AI, and other emerging technologies that can assist your sales efforts. You might even enjoy it!
- Take Ownership: Own your personal growth and development. Don’t rely solely on your company’s training initiatives or your manager’s guidance. Take the reins and invest your time and resources in honing your technological skills. Remember, the onus is on YOU to stay relevant in this fast-paced world.
So, what tech tools are being used by the well-prepared salesperson these days? I’m not going to attempt a comprehensive list, but here are a few basic categories:
- CRM. The most basic tool in the tech stack. CRM is great because even if you forget, it doesn’t. Today’s CRM apps are much easier and user-friendly than the old ones (trust me – I had to use Goldmine in the 90s). They have mobile apps and will do much of the work for you.
- Social Media. Your customers are (depending on your business) on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and maybe even Threads. Are you? Good salespeople go where their customers go. What are the preferred platforms of your customers, and are you interacting with them there?
- Communication tools. More and more customers these days want to communicate by video – and if you sell nationwide, like I do, video is a definite upgrade from a phone call. Being a salesperson today means understanding Zoom, Teams, maybe even Google Meet. Can you jump on a video call at quick notice? If you can’t, your competitors probably can.
- Sales intelligence tools. One truth of business is that change begets change. Sales intelligence tools let you know when change happens with your customers and prospects, so you can get in the middle of the change and perhaps use it to your advantage. Google News Alerts are essential, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator (catchy name) is a big help, too. While you’re at it, do you have a Google News Alert for your own company? Do you know what your company’s Google Reviews are, and when a new one is posted? Your competitors might – your prospects probably do.
- AI. How long does it take you to create a persuasive email, blog post, or article? ChatGPT can do it in just a few minutes, if you know how to prompt it. That gives you time for other, more important tasks.
Look, sales is about learning, and you’ve learned a lot. You’ve learned your products, your services, your company’s value proposition, your customers, and other key issues. Yes, the tech stack I posted above seems like a lot – but it’s really not. Most of it is automated and will actually be a time-saver. In fact, if you get good at the tech, the result will be more time for the thing about sales we all love. Face time with your customers. And that’s the big win here. You can do this.
In conclusion, the excuse of not being “tech-savvy” is a cop-out, a self-imposed limitation that hinders your progress and undermines your potential. Let me be clear. Anyone of average intelligence can learn these tools, no matter their age or experience level, if they choose to do so. The choice is yours—will you evolve with the sales profession or succumb to mediocrity?
If you’re a manager, it’s time to light a fire under your team’s collective behinds and eradicate this excuse once and for all. Challenge, support, and empower your salespeople to be the best versions of themselves. Technology is an intrinsic part of the future. In fact, it’s an intrinsic part of the present. Get on board.
Make the choice to stay relevant.