Many moons ago I came across a construction supplier trying to help their salesteam get better.
Their external trainers developed an optimum sales conversation tree.
Reams of paper. Which never got read.
I then enabled these to be tapped online. Clicked through in an instant. Whether in the office or client car park.
The salespeople still neglected to fine-tune their know-how. Or prepare, change, improve in any way.
Despite an impressive suite of new products, the sellers all reported back that ‘customers want cheaper’. As it ever was…
Is the current fad for the ‘micro app’ this – and many other – sales pothole’s saviour?
Here’s one definition, albeit from the potentially unreliable sellingpower;
A micro app is a small, task-specific application with highly targeted functionality. The goal of a micro app is to deliver a simple workflow that enables employees to accomplish single-purpose activities more quickly than with many mobile, Web, or desktop apps, which are often difficult to use and loaded with far too many features nobody uses.
The author of this thinkpiece (admittedly froms “a modern employee portal for today’s digital workplace”) soon nips on an off-piste slant. Suggesting a micro app is rather the single wormhole through which you bring together all the info on a single customer from the myriad disparate systems your company runs. Akin to a dashboard treatment so beloved of this century’s first decade.
Or automate single alerts for essential, even bottleneck actions. The kind that have had batch command routines run to display since before we all got a keyboard in front of us.
Or push notifications to our pockets in the field. Cry wolf, Peter.
Single-task apps seem to suffer the same fate as single product retailers of the 90s. Speciality, ‘niche’ shops sprang up the world over. Stellar growth was followed by an equally dramatic fall. No rail station was without the likes of a Tie Rack or Sock Shop back then. No, they are nowhere.
The digital fate today is more brutal. Trying to embed such an app so that it becomes second nature to regularly use is a pit of despair that too many a Sales Ops exec will recognise dwelling in screaming isolation only to well.
I once sat in a big building tech team sales meeting where the boss, a good chap called Karl attempting to provide a winning piece of salesypedia, recounted an observation from his dentist. That any behaviour must be repeated 21 times before it becomes adopted as everyday natural. His audience stared at their screens, unmoved.
All the salesforces I’ve worked with for many years now provide several systems that Sales are expected to log into. The last thing they want is what one paper product’s boss once described to me as “Laptop Larrys”. So how does this latest selling admin trend avoid being another under-utilised, ignored initiative?
I’m tempted to say that if I knew the answer to this, I’d be working on it in my office as princesses attend to my every need and unicorns frolic throughout the corridors.
Yet there does seem the glint of a rainbow shining.
One solitary highest-impact topic. Instant answer. Minimum (if any) remote data entry.
Crack that, and little else might matter.
s – as a presentational aside, here’s how this company’s homepage shows what they believe to be their trio of key trigger figures;