Key to Scaling Series: #1 KISS Your Technology
This is the first post in Calipso’s Key to Scaling Series where we explore important concepts we adhere to when advising our Business Development clients. Today we look at technology and discuss why you need to Keep It Simple <ahem> Stupid.
The most important success factor in a modern business development unit is how it uses technology. At Calipso, our guiding principle for technology is Keep It Simple Stupid or KISS. Here is how we interpret that acronym and why it’s essential that our client’s implement their technology with KISS in mind.
Keep – The world is a complex place. However, contrary to this popular sentiment, we do have many of the key parts already figured out. Most of us know how to walk, talk and stay within socially acceptable limits of cleanliness and respect. We can make phone calls, take notes, understand general ideas, explain concepts and send emails. For best results, technology has to help businesses leverage what most business development professionals already know and are doing well. So we can keep the foundation of what we already know and use tech to do it faster, cheaper, cleaner and with maximum effect. That’s the first 25% of what we need out of our technology.
It – This word refers to our core belief that one single technology platform is better than having two or more. In our view, having one technology platform for sales, one for marketing and another for customer service creates an ideal environment where your employees in each domain can easily navigate through a single platform whether casting a wide net (marketing), reaching an agreement with a prospective client (sales) and retaining an account for as long as possible. In those cases, products like Salesforce and Hubspot take the “It” concept to the extreme by being one single platform for all three areas of Business Development. This could be a viable solution depending on the business, the employees involved and the requirements of the industry.
Simple – Simple stands for exactly what it means. As mentioned above, people tend to arrive on the first day on the job with the same general expectations of what it is like to use a computer, a phone and talk to clients. The closer the company’s system is to a worker’s general expectations, the simpler it will be for people to adapt and engage with the technology.
Stupid – When the KISS acronym was created, people were far less concerned about insult words like this. Some 21st-century business consultants have replaced it with words like “short” because they sound nicer. However, we understand why Stupid was used here. It means that technology should be usable by someone with the lowest common denominator of technical knowledge. This is key. Having a system that can be used intuitively by most business development employees means that it will be easier to hire as you grow your business and add new offices. It also means that training time and human errors would be minimized. While nobody wants to hire a fool, keeping “stupid” in the KISS acronym reminds us that while many are smart in some areas, we need our technology to work for the digitally less savvy people too.