It seems like every day there is a new technology feature released to meet a real-life business need. But while we techies are excited about innovation, businesses are not always as enthusiastic about the prospect of new technology adoption. Have you ever shown a company features that would solve their most pressing business challenges, only to hear a list of all the reasons why they are not ready to make a change?
I know that feeling all too well. Working with cutting-edge technologies is exciting, but comes with an added challenge: having to convince clients to embrace change. Disruptions to their work, a difficult transition and a lengthy learning curve are only a few of their worries. Throughout the years, I’ve come to understand the client perspective and have helped many businesses visualize how technology can streamline their operations.
Below are a few tips I have learned along the way to help clients get over their fear of technology adoption.
This should go without saying, but having a strong understanding of your product and what it does for your clients is the first step in encouraging businesses to make a change. To take the leap, most companies want to see a user-friendly, intuitive interface that is easy to learn. They need to know that replacing current systems will not result in costly downtime while employees become accustomed to new workflows. If they see you, as the expert, struggling to use or explain features, they will never have the confidence to take on a transition. Take the time to become intimately acquainted with your product, so prospects can see you using it effortlessly.
In sales, listening is an underestimated, yet critical skill, and has a significant impact on technology adoption. Being attentive to your clients provides key insights that can be used to tailor your solutions to their needs. By listening, you can find out which features would be of most value to them. Insights allow you to recommend optimal ways of utilizing the product and help clients visualize how technology makes them more productive. Take the time to get to know your clients and you will see their comfort level shifting rapidly.
Showing off the most advanced features of your product to prospective buyers may sound like a good idea. As techies, we get excited about innovation and hope that cutting-edge functionalities will help us outrank our competition. But not all business leaders respond positively to this approach. Where IT professionals see forward-thinking productivity solutions, many business leaders may see a difficult transition and a long learning curve. Hearing a long list of complicated features will not do anything to ease their discomfort.
So always pay attention to the objectives and worries of your audience and tailor your approach to their needs. When talking to business leaders, take the time to explain how features work, even if that only leaves you time to showcase a few. Demonstrating that the technology is approachable will help them visualize the transition and see that the effort is worth the gains.
Raise your hand if you have ever used the words ‘softphone client’ or ‘hosted PBX’ in a meeting with a business owner. Working out of our little tech-bubble, it’s easy to overestimate how familiar business leaders are with terminology. Less tech-savvy prospects may not be sure what some industry terms mean.
When talking to business leaders unsure of technology adoption, your word choices matter more than you may think. Using advanced technical terminology can make an already complex topic sound downright intimidating. Replace your jargon with more approachable language and show your clients that implementing cloud communications is easier than they think.
Some business leaders cringe at the prospect of a complete overhaul of their communications and work style. So you don’t have to overwhelm them with a massive change, unless they are ready for it. If needed, provide clients with the option of a gradual transition and give them time to get accustomed to new technology before moving to the next step. For example, you can start by changing their phone system and desk phones. Once employees are comfortable with the new setup, introduce the desktop softphone application to make their work easier. You can recommend a mobile application when the staff has mastered the desktop softphone.
When clients are intimidated by technology, a quick demo is not enough to convince them to take the plunge. Provide business leaders with a clear plan for a smooth transition, and offer reliable technical support to help them through this shift. When clients trust that you have a proven process, they are much more likely to take on this new challenge.
If you have been meeting with IT directors and tech-savvy COOs who are excited about transforming their operations with technology, remember that part of their staff may feel quite differently about change. Don’t forget to provide training opportunities, tutorial videos and user guides on all levels to support employees through the process. And ensure that your technical team is always available should they have any questions.
Cloud technologies are transforming how businesses operate, making them more efficient and productive than ever. But not everyone in an organization is comfortable with technology or receptive to change at the same rate. Take the time to get to know the business leaders, understand their staff’s worries, and offer them the solutions they need for a smooth transition.