In the past year, some of the most innovative technologies the world has seen have been adopted at an exponential rate. Nearly half of American adults own a smartphone. Soon, mobile phones will account for more Internet access than computers. From a business perspective, almost 40% of small businesses expect to adopt at least one cloud-based service within the next three years.
Now that everything, including business information, can be handled online via mobile or the cloud, it’s about time that we get rid of obsolete technology. Here is a list of a few business practices and technologies that must retire their numbers and take a final lap:
The reason cold-calling emerged as an effective sales technique was that phoning people was the only way to reach them (except for snail mail). Somewhere along the way, it got out of hand, and cold-calling became the (annoying) industry standard. Now, as many other forms of communication rise, warming up a lead with an email or on a social channel might be the next trend toward a better conversion rate.
Sorry for your loss, fax companies, but these machines are utterly useless now that we can email just about anything and everything. They’re boat anchors.
It’s not that these phones aren’t any good, it’s the fact that you need to pay more for them. It’s only sensible to utilize your unlimited mobile calling plan. As for your international clients, Skype has made those extra fees difficult to justify.
Word documents as attachments
Since the introduction of Google Docs, I haven’t seen very many .docx attachments in my emails. And that’s a good thing, because who really needs all of that extra data taking up room? Aside from extra formatting freedom, Google Docs can almost entirely replace Microsoft Office as your go-to document creator, file cabinet, and spreadsheet host. The best part is that it can be accessed online and from anywhere. And if your computer crashes, you don’t lose your precious work!
Hard Copies of Reports
In some situations, printing out a report can be seen as superior to the online document (e.g., for meetings). Most of the time, however, everything can be shared online. Aside from being accessed from anywhere, the online document becomes infinitely more versatile.
Handing Out Business Cards
This business custom is surely headed for the graveyard. Most are forgotten, lost, or used as impromptu bookmarks. If a connection is actually worth contacting, send them a quick text message right away and save their information so you can open up communication. Also, with most smartphones, you can send complete contact information.
For personal and business contacts, we refer you to your mobile phone, Skype, and your online contact management system — ahem…such as Nimble and AffinityLive! Nimble will import contacts in full splendor — little data entry needed — so you can see their particulars on all the channels, as well as the interactions you have had with them. AffinityLive coordinates with your Google or Exchange/Office365 address book to make sure everyone’s contacts are always up-to-date.
As a long-time supporter of The Kill Voice Mail Movement (yes, I just made that up), this has got to stop. Like faxes and print-out reports, your messages have a higher chance of being read when you text or email them.
Filing Cabinets and Manila Folders and Card Catalogs, Oh My!
Two words: Digital Data.
Apart from being the slowest form of messaging (it takes approximately 5 hours to travel 500 miles), carrier pigeons can’t carry very much — and they are high maintenance what with seed and poop patrol and all. Ditch the pigeon and go cloud.