Google’s Pokémon Challenge and What That Means For Businesses and Sales Teams Alike

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Do you love Pokémon and want to work at Google? Well, if you follow their challange, you could become Google’s Pokémon Master and earn yourself a spot in the final round of hiring at Google, starting September 1st 2014. Simply open your Google Maps app on your Android or iOS Smart Phone to begin exploring the world and catching Pokémon. Sounds awesome right? Well, while I sit here and wish it were true, I too was fooled by Google’s latest April fools prank.

It wasn’t until I frantically searched through the comments on the Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge YouTube video, that reality sunk in. Yes, I had been an avid Pokémon fan growing up, but more impressive to me is the technology behind this concept. Google Maps for mobile is the world’s most popular app for smartphones and part of that success is due to how much information and big data Google has managed to package together.

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3 Tips on How To Maximize Technology and Improve Sales Productivity

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Inefficiency

It’s July already? Time sure flies when you’re being productive! And it’s hard to believe that even with 24 hours in a day and 8 hours in a workday, I still struggle to find enough time to do everything there is to do. There are only so many to-do lists I can make, and after (disappointingly) learning that multitasking is a myth, I’ve had to rely on tools and technology to help manage my time better.

In my last post, I shared with you my top 5 favourite apps that help keep me organized, focused, and most importantly, productive. Being organized at home is just as important as being organized at work and there are many innovative sales productivity tools (some that you may have not even considered) that can help you better organize and efficiently manage your sales force.

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Voicemail – the Bane of the Sales Person

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Phone Sales

This has to be one of the most popular sales topics. Google “getting past voicemail” and you can spend the rest of the day reading every kind of trick and method. Check any of the 22,000+ sales groups on LinkedIn and there are sure to be multiple threads on the subject. In short, why am I bothering to reinvent the wheel or beat a dead horse or whatever idiom you choose. Did I need to fill an empty slot in my schedule?

No, it’s because the topic interests me. In my career, I have made tens of thousands of cold and warm calls and directed operations that made many times more. Voicemail has evolved from its original intent – a convenient way to keep in touch with anyone whether you’re available or not at the moment – to a universal, impersonal gatekeeper that almost everyone hides behind any more.

Some of the observations I’ve made over the years might offend; for instance, women get calls back from voicemail much more frequently than men. Solution – hire an all-female inside sales team.

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The 2 x 2 Matrix

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2 x 2

In sales automation done right, I make extensive use of one of my favorite business analytical tools, the 2×2 matrix. It’s a given that if a complex idea can be framed into two counter or opposing issues, the four quadrant result of a well-planned 2×2 matrix can throw a huge amount of understanding on a problem.

One of the most well known examples is Stephen Covey’s wonderful grid for managing personal resources. Covey says that tasks should be viewed from the two aspects of importance versus urgency. Some stuff that requires urgent attention may not in fact be important, and vice versa.

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I Still Love Paper

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Old Man Taking Notes Although I’m an evangelist for salespeople using computers, it doesn’t alter the fact that however much I try, I can’t wean myself off paper.

In my book, Sales Automation Done Right, I am downright discriminatory against paper. I’m not backing away from that, because there I’m talking about paper-based processes. Paper isn’t conducive to dynamic workflow; it can’t move itself, so it needs people to pick it up and move it from one desk to another. It accumulates in heaps, and we tend to get intimidated and procrastinate when we have to stare down a leaning tower of paper.

It is much better to make a process electronic and move it using electrons down a wire or through the air. Paper-based information has to be stored in big metal boxes, and it seems to take a lifetime to make some practical use of it. It’s a much better idea to store everything on an xx-terabyte hard drive and use some friendly software to extract the stuff you need.

Before the office computer, paper was always at the heart of the system or process. I remember one system that was used to keep records of all the products we sold. Each product got one or more of those little index card things on which someone could record its history. The only way to share the information was to call the person in charge of the cards and have them read you the stuff you wanted—they were the only ones who knew how to find it. It worked well, but worked much better when we made a complete electronic analogue of it that anyone could access, any place, any time. I’m sure customers benefited from that.

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Introduction to the Sales & Technology Category

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I’ve worked with salespeople for a long time in a lot of roles, from being one of them to managing them, to having them as one department among many in my company. There’s no doubt in my mind that salespeople love technology.

My experience in sales goes back further than I care to remember, but the salesperson’s affinity for tech has always been there, even in the days before computers became a commodity. It has to do with the personality. Salespeople are achievers, they are fixated on setting targets and measuring themselves against goals. They are curious, always needing to understand the latest concepts. They are creative, always striving to find the best way to get stuff done.

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