What if Rattata could suggest prospecting opportunities?
Or what if Charmander gets enraged if you are falling short of your sales quota?
If you have no idea of what I am writing about, I consider you ‘lucky’. For I have fallen for the “Pokémon Go” craze.
Poké Ball, Poké Stops, Gyms, Eggs, Poké Money, and all the countless pocket monsters are already driving me nuts. Influencers and my fellow colleagues in companies – big and small – have wasted no time in writing about the implications of “Pokémon Go” on businesses.
I find some of the write-ups opportunistic. Nevertheless, it has encouraged me to think why inside sales technology should learn from the “Pokémon Go” mania.
Tech Issues – “Pokémon Go”, a solution?
A Towers Watson study published by Forbes in 2013 found only 25% long-term success with change management initiatives (for Businesses). So, 3 out of 4 change management business initiatives (including technology interventions) do not meet their objectives.
Introduction of technology in an existing business process is never smooth. Change management issues risk such implementations.
‘Push’ is a significant reason for this risk. Technology interventions are usually seen as a top-down management initiative, with limited voluntary acceptance.
What can change ‘Push’ to ‘Pull’?
The power of the peer.
Don’t peer groups exert pressure and significant influence on their circle of friends and colleagues? I bet you will not disagree.
In the “Pokemon Go” case, the crowd has now replaced the peer. Such has been the viral adoption of this augmented reality (AR) game. Everyone is talking and writing about it – TV, newspapers, magazines and even the elders.
In our case, inside sales reps make a tight-knit closed peer group. Thus, their positive experience and excitement is a significant factor in the adoption of new technology.
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Do you know, every second, 150 million emails are sent the world over? That is power usage. Of course, email has been around for close to three decades.
Adoption is manageable, given a new initiative and all the excitement surrounding it. It is the continued subsequent usage, which becomes a challenge. Users tend to fall back to old habits and methods, thus risking the technology intervention.
How do we move the adopters forward to become power users?
By providing these three,
- The Right Incentives,
- Motivations, and
And that too continuously, in context.
Pokémon Go converted all its users (almost) into power users, using a timely combination of the above.
SDRs, by virtue of their roles, would benefit from the above triad. Being in a revenue role, right incentives matter to them. But, over a period, incentives become hygiene. The opportunity for motivations in an inside sales rep’s diverse role are tremendous.
The market is ever changing, businesses are transforming business models all the time and business innovations are becoming commonplace. If inside sales technology could link these opportunities to an SDR’s personal motivations, in the way Pokémon Go did to our inherent desire to explore. All of this followed by intuitive prompts, could boost usage.
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Similar to the pokemons that keep springing up in new environments or the ubiquitous ‘Like’ button. (Isn’t it easier to click ‘Like’ than commenting ‘Like’?)
Lastly, in the context of inside sales, power usage isn’t just about usage, the way it is for Apps like the Pokémon Go. It has a larger strategic objective of creating and maintaining a sound process that generates predictable results.
Newness (element of Surprise)
UI and UX make up for the front-end of technology. Over a period, they become boring. Try looking at your email.
In Pokémon Go, you never know what you may find at the next turn. And that surprise is the fun part. Keeping an element of surprise will keep the user excited.
Fortunately, surprise is inherent to a sales rep’s job. If only inside sales technology could also build for surprise, too.
To (or Not to) catch a Monster
Don’t forget the User
Not all inside sales reps are millennials or the generation next to them. Industry veterans and senior executives are also active contributors to their profession. Therefore, the inside sales technology should be flexible to take care of all personality types.
Give Pokémon to those who want it, and spare the rest; without compromising outcomes.
The inside sales profession does vary across sectors. Not all technology features may add value. Additional features not only add cost, but also confusion. It is indispensable for sales technology teams to be punctilious as they go about bringing their product to the user.
Pokémon Go has been responsible for driving accidents, distracted pedestrians and dangerous trespassing; thus compromising public safety. It is unfortunate. While there is merit in leveraging augmented reality to drive results, it would be foolish to do so, at risk to precious human life.
Alright. It is a moonshot, at this moment. Pokémon Go, itself, could peter off, earlier than anticipated. (The game mechanics experts have written copious prose on this)
Nevertheless, it has presented valuable lessons, in making technology real, personal and action-oriented. Business, watch out! Here comes Poké Ball.