24 Jan Aligning Technology Advances And Business Strategy
Is there tension in your office? Did you just roll out a new release or a new product that isn’t selling? Do you wonder why? In some technology companies today there exists a disconnect between the programmers and the sales staff. That disconnect both makes sense and can cause problems if it isn’t treated properly.
You don’t want your sales staff continually interjecting their ideas as to what the product is missing. If that becomes the focus of the sales staff, sales come to a screeching halt. Sales needs to learn to sell what it is they have. On the other side of the coin, you can’t let your programmers run wild either. They may create a new piece of technology that is truly innovative, but doesn’t solve a market need and therefore doesn’t sell. How do you navigate between these two parties in order to keep your company profitable? It takes cooperation.
First, from the sales perspective, they are out there on the streets. They are the ones interacting with the client. They know what prospects want. However, they need to focus on the benefits that the solution offers today instead of always breathing down the programmers back to add a new bell or whistle.
How do you incorporate the market knowledge of your sales team? Simple, you get their feedback. The sales person should document what the lender wanted that wasn’t in the product that caused the deal to fall apart. They should also document what lenders liked about the product when the deals close. From there, upper management needs to take over so that the sales team can continue to sell.
Someone has to go through that documentation and decide what will be in the next update or if a totally new tool needs to be developed. Technology has to be rooted in business strategy. Technology has to serve a business need or it won’t go anywhere.
Also, upper management has to listen to the programmers. Programmers often have good ideas, as well. There are new technology advances happening all the time that the programmer is aware of because it is their area of expertise. In many cases the sales side and upper management are not aware of the latest technology updates. So, programmers need to be supported and they need to know that their feedback is wanted and needed in order to make the company successful.
From there, upper management needs to act like the referee. They see the business side of things and they also see the new technology advances that they might be able to leverage. If the CEO is smart and has a clear line of communication open between both sales and programming, that CEO will be better equipped to make the right choices that will improve the product from a technology perspective and make it something that meets the needs of today’s market.