“A FOOL WITH A TOOL IS STILL A FOOL.”    -Grady Booch (Software Developer)

The title is somewhat self-explanatory and as we all look in the mirror, there is a pretty good chance that we have all invested in some form of tool or technology in our lives to solve a problem. There is also a very good chance that it did not change the outcome. Examples include acquiring CRM to help sales results or an app for your iPhone to help you lose weight or most Infomercial products. Business leaders, when faced with a daunting problem, have been known to invest in tools or quick fixes rather than do root causal work to understand the real issue or to invest in process improvement. Why?

Well, we do like our toys. 75% of businesses in North America have acquired some kind of CRM tool. Over 50% would state that they acquired the tool to improve how they sell. A very high percentage are not using the tool properly or for its intended purpose, and a Gartner study indicated over 50% do not use the tool at all! Despite what Marc Benioff (the outspoken CEO of Salesforce.com) says, CRM or sales force automation tools will not be responsible for increases in sales results. A database tool like CRM allows you to look in the rear view mirror after you have recorded what happened; but it will add limited value without the structure that you need to  bring to the party. If you have defined processes, software tools will support and enable, but you need to start with process.

The reality is tools are easy answers and it is more fun to buy tangible assets. Root cause and process work is hard and requires certain skills. There is also the perception that it takes more time and money. We are all looking for more immediate gratification in both our business and personal lives and thus buying quick fixes is logical. Unfortunately, they seldom yield the desired results.

We are in the business of developing and delivering software, training and professional services. We create software tools that add value as stand alone solutions, but there is a value multiplier when coupled with effective process and the other required elements. Regardless of how good the underlying software may be and how it may be the best thing since cold beer at resolving the underlying business problem, there needs to be a linkage to existing (or new) process to extract the potential value.

A Fool with a Tool focuses on the opportunity to use productivity tools as viewed through the world of Sales, Sales Tools and Sales Strategy. Sales Strategy can be defined in both the Macro and Micro sense. Macro being the Sales Strategy of a company and micro being the Sales Strategy for an individual deal or pursuit.

Tools are good things. They can support productivity gains, improve workflow, consistency, and the ability to get access to timely/accurate information to list a few benefits. We believe in tools, but for the right reasons and we have all been fools at some point in our lives.

To download the rest of the eBook, go to www.inksoftware.com



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