Technology doesn't solve everything. Not by itself. Everyone thinks buying the right technology will eliminate the problems they're having with content management, building customer relationships, a variety of processes...the list goes on. The problem is that interactions and context need to be front and center. Interactions are driven by people. Context is driven by people.
If you post content on your website and no one reads it, what difference does it make? Or, if they read it and are interested in learning more, then what?
Technology is an enabler. It empowers you to share knowledge, manage information and create context that drives interaction. If you use it properly, consistently and with passion for outcomes you have a shot at extraordinary results.
The CRM Mastery E-Journal posted an article by Gerry McGovern, "Technology - Does It Make Managers Lazy?" You can read the whole thing, but here's the key takeaway for me:
"Content management will become one of the key management skills of the 21st century. That's because we live in a content-driven world.
Technology can support strategy. It can support managers as they do their jobs. But technology is not a strategy, and it is certainly not management."
Content is hugely important. It's what you say about your company, your products and services, your customers. It's an expression of your company's expertise. Content is also an invitation for interaction. If it doesn't engage, have impact or drive conversations, it's not doing it's job. Technology isn't going to do that for you. Managing content is tricky. Over time there will be a lot of it. Knowing how to work with content and managing what you get in return from it relies, to a great extent, on context.
The key is in progressive context. If a website visitor reads one article, is that enough? Not in a B2B complex sale situation. If your content doesn't progressively move your prospect further into the world of the need your offerings answer, it's not doing it's job. And that takes skillful management. By people enabled by processes.
How do you know your content is working? Is it engaging? Really? How many times has each article been read on your website? By who? In what order did they read your content? Are your website visitors transitioning up the interest ladder toward a sales conversation? How do you know?
This is where technology helps. By being able to track what a "lead" at your site does and show you what they're interested in learning more about. Armed with this knowledge, you can build personalized relationships, provide more information along the lines of what that specific person is interested in and help them solve their problem within their context. B2B complex sales are not a one-size fits all sale.
Technology is grand and we all know, necessary. But don't forget your people. And please - make sure your processes enable them to drive conversations that matter.