- Andrew Blase
When it comes to adopting new technologies the challenge often isn't the technology itself but the people who will be using it. As a software engineer, you might be excited about the benefits of a new technology, but getting your team or organization on board is a different story.
Let's talk about a subject no software engineer wants to discuss: sales. Yes, you read that right. If you're looking to get your company to adopt a new technology, you'll need to wear your sales hat. But don't worry, it's not as daunting as it sounds. In this blog, we'll explore how to navigate human emotions and reactions to successfully champion new technology within your organization.
The Importance of Sales in Tech Adoption
You might wonder why a software engineer or tech lead needs to know about sales. The answer is simple: persuasion. Sales is not just about selling products or services; it's about selling ideas, solutions, and changes. Here's why understanding sales is vital for tech adoption:
Sales skills help you build relationships with stakeholders, from team members to upper management. By understanding their needs and pain points, you can tailor your pitch to address their specific concerns.
A key aspect of sales is overcoming objections, which you'll undoubtedly encounter when proposing new technology. Sales techniques can provide you with the tools to counter these objections effectively.
Sales strategies often involve creating a sense of urgency, which can be incredibly effective when you're trying to get a new technology adopted. By highlighting the immediate benefits and the costs of not adopting, you can make your case more compelling.
At the core of any sales pitch is the value proposition. You need to clearly articulate the benefits of adopting the new technology and how it solves existing problems better than current solutions.
Closing the Deal
Finally, sales skills can help you 'close the deal'. Whether it's getting approval from senior management or buy-in from your team, understanding how to close is crucial for successful tech adoption.
By incorporating sales techniques into your approach, you can navigate the complexities of human behavior and organizational dynamics to get your technology adopted.
The Four Types of Reactions to New Technology
There are four types of reactions that people have to new technologies:
These are the early adopters. They love new tech and are willing to listen. Convincing them is as simple as showing them articles about what the new technology can do.
These people criticize new tech, claiming it's never better than what they're already using.
These individuals fear change and want things to stay the same.
These people have no interest and are hard to engage.
Handling reactions depends on the type of person you are interacting with.
Simply share articles and resources about the capabilities of the new technology. It's pretty much as simple as directing their attention to the new tech.
These individuals are hard to intereact with, but they're also unlikely to be successful in tech, so you won't encounter them often.
Fear and Attack
These are the majority of people who are not early adopters. The key to convincing them lies in addressing their pain points.
Selling to the Pain Points
Humans are wired to avoid pain and seek pleasure. In fact humans tend to fear pain. To convince someone to adopt a new technology that is in fear of the technology, you need to identify a real pain point that the technology can solve. This matches their fear of the tech, as that is the level they are willing to communicate at.
How to Identify Pain Points
According to a HubSpot article, here are some steps to discover those pain points:
- Engage with stakeholders or other engineers: Ask around for things that are taking lots of time and are difficult to deal with.
- Ask other teams: They're a valuable source of information on persistent pain points.
- Analyze customer feedback: Look at customer support tickets and online reviews.
Example of a Pain Point vs a Problem
If you have shoes where the shoelace keeps coming untied and you just tuck the laces into the shoe, you probably won't care too much if someone says they can fix the problem for $10. However, if you are a runner and your shoes keep flying off, you will likely happily pay $10 to have your shoes fixed.
Proof of Concept: A Small Project
One of the best ways to demonstrate the value of new technology is by implementing a small project, such as a data management tool, as a proof of concept. This will allow you to show how the new technology can effectively handle a pain point in your company, what the new tech is and how to interact with it.
Adopting new technology is not just a matter of understanding its technical benefits but also of addressing the human elements involved. By identifying and solving real pain points, you can make a compelling case for change.
By understanding these aspects, you can craft a strategy that appeals to different personalities and needs, making the adoption of new technology much smoother.