Monday, August 15, 2011

Fun With Numbers

IDC published an updated report a few months back about the explosive nature of data growth within corporations. They had previously predicted a 44x (yes - forty-four times) increase in data in the next ten years. That projection has now been revised to a 50x increase by 2020. Amazing numbers!

The trouble is, the human mind has a big issue in dealing with large numbers or multipliers. There is no real diference between a 40x growth and a 60x growth - except that one is bigger than the other. The point is that they are both BIG, almost unimaginably big!

At least three of my clients are quoting that number in many of their presentations - but here is a better way to help humanize 50x. Imagine you are up in front of the customer using a white board. It's a standard whiteboard of 42 by 96 inches (3.5 by 8 feet ; or approx 1 by 2.5 m). Multiply the size of the board by 50 - the board turns into something the size of a full football field - and it doesn't matter if it is American or "real" football!!

NOW you get an idea of just how big the growth is. Try some other comparisons, put them into human terms, and see what happens!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Getting An "F"

The next edition of the Mastering Technical Sales Edge will be out on Tuesday August 9th. It's a week late so I give myself an "F" for Time Management. Which is ironic as that is one of the topics which gets raised in almost every seminar and workshop I run.

Now I know why I am running late - and that is a mixture of extending a business trip to take in some additional vacation, a last minute customer project and too many sunny days. BUT .. Do you know why you never seem to have enough time in the week and hours in the day? The first question I always ask is "How do you spend your 40-50 hours per week? What do you actually do?". Rarely can anyone account for all their time in the week, even if their company has a time tracking system. The reason I ask the question is that it is tough to impact time management and efficiency if you don't know where that time is going.

You don't even have to divide it into too many buckets. Just split it a few ways. Measure it as customer/non-customer-facing time. Measure it as reactive/proactive time. Measure it as "A" vs "B" and "C" customers - and finally measure the time with a grade. For every chunk of time you spend on something give yourself a grade in terms of timeliness, quality and even quantity. You will surprised at the results - we often gravitate to those areas we find the easiest. So if a large part of your day is spent on activities where you give yourself an "A" - you are probably (a) not stretching yourself out of your core competencies and (b) you are ignoring other activities you may not be so great at.

Measure, Monitor and then Change - but only if you want to.