The Promise of Technology is Intangible

Technology-enabled solutions are intangible sales. People don’t buy the machine; they buy what it enables. Average sales people tend to perceive technology as a tangible, so they focus on the functionality. Exceptional sales people understand that customers only care about the results the technology enables, which is intangible. This difference in perception about the nature of technology is the fundamental factor in determining a sales person’s success.

Technology is the actualization of abstract theories. The more theories that are actualized, the more powerful the technology is. For example, there is a computer chip in my car that makes me a better driver. The computer chip senses the car beginning to skid on a patch of ice much faster than I can. It automatically sends messages to the anti-lock brake system so the car responds to the changing road conditions before I am even aware there may be a problem. This simple application is the actualization of theories that span the disciplines of physics, mechanical engineering, human perception, and computer software. It would take a long time to explain how it all worked. As a car buyer, however, I only care about the fact that it makes me a safer driver.

The more sophisticated the technology is, the greater the abstraction. Selling abstractions is more than just relating benefits. It is about linking the functionality of the technology to the desired end result, which is the intangible promise of the technology. I can only appreciate the value of the car’s computer controlled anti-locking device when I understand how it improves my driving. If the sales person just explains anti-locking brakes, I don’t perceive the benefit. If she tells me that I will be a better driver, but doesn’t explain how, then I won’t believe her. She must help me understand the relationship between the how the technology is applied and the results that are important to me before I will value the technology.

Selling the value of your technology.

The translation of abstract theory into useful applications that deliver strategic benefits is the essence of selling value. Value is created when the customer believes the technology solution will help them accomplish their objectives. To develop the customer’s conviction you must integrate their learning process with their decision-making process.

The sales person must provide the customer with the right information at the right time. Furthermore, it must be done in a way that increases the customer’s perception of need, urgency to buy and appreciation of the value contribution of the solution.

The information puzzle gets even more complex as we incorporate the relentless rate of change associated with any technology solution. As the technology evolves and its applications expand, it becomes practically impossible to stay current and informed about the solution. The body of information that the sales person draws upon to sell a technology solution is constantly evolving. Products mutate. New technologies replace old ones. Competitors’ products change. Markets accelerate. Each change has multiple implications for how customers buy and the best ways to sell the solution.

Keeping current about all the factors that influence a technology sale is not easy. It is hard enough to keep track of the ever-changing information. The fact that you must synthesize it into strategically sequenced, customer learning experiences that build credibility and value exponentially increases its complexity. No wonder the sales superstars make so much money!

Janice Lawrence has advised leading edge technology companies for the past two decades on how to sell innovative technology. Follow her Sell Results Blog [] and supercharge your technology sales success.

The Importance of Technology

Technology refers to the collection of tools that make it easier to use, create, manage and exchange information.

In the earlier times, the use of tools by human beings was for the process of discovery and evolution. Tools remained the same for a long time in the earlier part of the history of mankind but it was also the complex human behaviors and tools of this era that modern language began as believed by many archeologists.

Technology refers the knowledge and utilization of tools, techniques and systems in order to serve a bigger purpose like solving problems or making life easier and better. Its significance on humans is tremendous because technology helps them adapt to the environment. The development of high technology including computer technology’s Internet and the telephone has helped conquer communication barriers and bridge the gap between people all over the world. While there are advantages to constant evolution of technology, their evolution has also seen the increase of its destructive power as apparent in the creation of weapons of all kinds.

In a broader sense, technology affects societies in the development of advanced economies, making life more convenient to more people that have access to such technology. But while it continues to offer better means to man’s day to day living, it also has unwanted results such as pollution, depletion of natural resources to the great disadvantage of the planet. Its influence on society can also be seen in how people use technology and its ethical significance in the society. Debates on the advantages and disadvantages of technology constantly arise questioning the impact of technology on the improvement or worsening of human condition. Some movements have even risen to criticize its harmful effects on the environment and its ways of alienating people. Still, there are others that view technology as beneficial to progress and the human condition. In fact, technology has evolved to serve not just human beings but also other members of the animal species as well.

Technology is often seen as a consequence of science and engineering. Through the years, new technologies and methods have been developed through research and development. The advancements of both science and technology have resulted to incremental development and disruptive technology. An example of incremental development is the gradual replacement of compact discs with DVD. While disruptive developments are automobiles replacing horse carriages. The evolution of technologies marks the significant development of other technologies in different fields, like nano technology, biotechnology, robotics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence and information technology.

The rise of technologies is a result of present day innovations in the varied fields of technology. Some of these technologies combine power to achieve the same goals. This is referred to as converging technologies. Convergence is the process of combining separate technologies and merging resources to be more interactive and user friendly. An example of this would be high technology with telephony features as well as data productivity and video combined features. Today technical innovations representing progressive developments are emerging to make use of technology’s competitive advantage. Through convergence of technologies, different fields combine together to produce similar goals.

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