My sister and her husband go all out on Thanksgiving. Our families pack up and head to her house from as far away as Iowa for 3 days of feasting on meals truly fit for a king. They have the smoker, the deep-fryer, the sous vide (yeah, that’s a thing), the steamer, and – well, pretty much every machine you’d expect gourmet cooks to have in their kitchen.
While they use all the tools at Thanksgiving they most certainly didn’t go out and acquire everything at once. If they had, can you imagine the stress? No one can, nor should they, cook a holiday meal for 30 using a warehouse full of new tools for the first time.
She and her husband, Larry have added tools to their toolbox over time. And they invest in a new tool only after they’ve mastered the ones they already have. They also look for tools that can do more than one thing rather than single-purpose machines whenever possible.
The same approach should be taken when building your sales stack. There are differences for sure between cooking tools and sales tools but there are many take-aways in common:
Don’t be concerned that the tools have more features than you need.
It’s okay if the tools you buy have more features than what you need for the specific job you bought them to do. You don’t have to use every feature to get a return on your investment. What matters, is that you get them out of your cupboard, use them regularly, and get great results.
Do be concerned if the unneeded features over-complicate usage to the point where you won’t use the features you value.
If you get caught up in future-proofing your investment with features that aren’t needed now, it puts your current roll-out at risk. No one can afford tools that sit idle because they’re too hard to use and don’t provide a rewarding experience.
Don’t rush to buy the technology everyone’s talking about.
Just because it’s hot in the market, doesn’t mean that it works as easily or as well as promised. Just as importantly, being the latest and greatest doesn’t mean it’s a fit for your environment. Don’t be tempted to buy the latest gnocchi maker if your family prefers macaroni and cheese out of the box.
Do be sure to test, practice, and train
Shiny new tools bring excitement and offer the possibility for great rewards. Just don’t expect to use them out of the “box.” Explain to people what its for, and why you bought it. Tell them how you’ll use it and train them to use it. Make sure they walk away knowing how it will benefit them personally.
My sister and her husband knew how to serve an excellent meal even before they bought their first piece of fancy equipment by paying attention to the basics. The next year, they added a smoked turkey to the menu. And it was a success. And each year since, they’ve added something new (a sous vide turkey really is to die for).
If you want people to give thanks for the technology you deploy, start simple and master each new tool. Then expand from there.