If you find yourself feeling a little out of touch with what’s new and exciting in technology, chances are your sales people are in the same boat. Having a sales team that is out of touch can be disastrous.
Technology evolves so quickly that staying current on the latest is tough. In the midst of the digital age, new technology concepts hit us each day. There’s private, hybrid and public clouds, the Internet of Things, the overarching Internet of Everything (IoE) and add that to Software Defined Networking, among other things. And, let’s not forget the laundry list of acronyms and marketing spin that comes and goes before any of us truly understand what it all means.
Yet, in IT sales, it is our job to stay on top of the latest and greatest and provide our customers with the best option to meet their needs. To help, here are 5 simple suggestions on how to stay current without being overwhelmed by data:
- Books, Magazines, Articles
An easy one. Leverage your time on planes and while traveling and grasp those moments to focus by taking a book or trade magazine along or picking one up at the airport.
- Social Media
For me, social media, such as LinkedIn, can become a critical asset to staying current professionally. The format is great at providing easily digestible articles that tend to be brief and to the point. The diversity of your connections allows you to get your hands on diverse content as each connection posts what is relevant to them and their business.
Try joining a few “Groups” to receive thoughts and opinions on a variety of topics.
- Investor / Stock Apps
Use investor and stock apps to get an idea of forecasts, new products, burgeoning markets and emerging technologies. Go here too for opinions on the same. There is a wealth of formal information and opinion available just by using most finance or other stock tracking apps and websites.
- Attend a Trade Event
You know those table top events that we’ve all avoided going to…
There is actually a ton of information available there- most of it from people that are dying to have one meaningful conversation with an interested party.
You can still pick up the free pen…but try asking some questions, too.
- Ask Your Suppliers to Brief You
Everyone has a stable of vendors and suppliers that provide them with the products they sell.
And, all of those vendors and suppliers would be happy to come in and tell you all about their products, roadmaps, and industry trends. Why not leverage that for you and your team?
Most importantly- Make and take the time to stay informed.
Great American writer, Mark Twain said, “I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.” In our fast paced world and ever-changing industry, the consequences of missing out can be dire. While Mr. Twain lived in a much slower paced time than we do now, his words demonstrate the importance of staying current and seizing opportunity.
Don’t let opportunity pass you by; stay current with the above mentioned quick and easy tips.