We live in a tech savvy society in which people recognise and embrace the many benefits of mobile apps and devices and yet, the sales industry remains an exception. We look at reasons for tech resistance in the sales industry and how our sales technology is changing perceptions.
Technology is everywhere and embraced by everyone
A good story is one in which we see our own story. It has relatable characters through which we feel seen and understood. Brand strategist, Peter Kozodoy, says this about the new HBO series Westworld, praising it for its ‘spectacular dissection of humanity’. It’s a story about us as humans.
One of the human tendencies highlighted in Westworld is our willingness to ‘give ourselves over to robots’. Kozodoy here refers to the ease with which we engage with technology, drawing a parallel between the robots on the show and our tech devices on which we become so willingly dependent.
The fact is, digital technology is everywhere and embraced by everyone. There is no lack of willingness to adopt a new mobile app to help you schedule your day, find your way around a foreign city, remember which grocery items you’re running out of or, very importantly, draw up a budget and stick to it.
Whenever we recognise the value an app or tool provides, we’re more than willing to embrace it without question, and we do. Except when it comes to the sales industry.
But why the significant tech resistance in the sales industry?
Over a third (38%) of field sales reps believe technology is ‘more of a hinderance than a help’, according to new research we conducted in the UK. This perspective creates huge resistance to any new technology in the sales environment.
Why is this the case when mobile sales apps provide similar benefits to other apps that help people schedule their days, effectively navigate their way around unknown areas and significantly reduce their workloads?
Our survey revealed that sales organisations are placing a high reliance on ‘low-tech’ such as Excel spreadsheets (48%) and email and instant messaging (41%) for day-to-day updates. These organisations further expect their employees to manage data by using disjointed mixes of tools that aren’t designed for use in the sales field.
‘Technology’ becomes synonymous with ‘tools that interfere with selling’.
We’re changing the perception of sales technology
We’ve found that tech solutions focussing on sales rep needs changes resistance into acceptance, fostering a willingness to use technology. The reason sales people have resisted tech, is because the tech they are being asked to use isn’t designed for them so it really does get in their way.
‘Massive advances in technology provide us with all the components needed to make it easier for salespeople to gather and have access to high quality data – but this isn’t happening – because experience has taught reps and their manager that tech just makes it more difficult, not easier. But this isn’t true. The right technology can make all the difference,’ says Skynamo’s Alliances Director, Brian Howe.
Lionel’s Vet Supplies is an example of a company that’s seen the positive impact of sales technology on their business and whose reps recognise Skynamo’s mobile app as a great help to their selling efforts.
‘The only time the company receives negative feedback from its reps about Skynamo is when they want more training to be able to use it better. They never receive complaints about the app or software, says Jannic Zietsman, Regional Sales Manager at Lionel’s Vet Supplies.
‘Our reps are eager to ask for more training when they struggle with using Skynamo’s mobile technology. We’ve found that the better they understand Skynamo, the easier it makes things for them and the more the company benefits from the information they gather.’
The benefits of embracing the right sales technology is evident in the 25% annual growth Lionel’s Vet registered in sales last year, along with the increase of nearly 200% in customer visits they ascribe to the help of Skynamo’s mobile sales app.