This is a tool…

A spanner is the British-English word for a wrench, and in Irish when used colloquially means idiot – as in ‘Don’t leave the tap running, you spanner!’

In the British-English sense, a spanner is a specific size of implement that does the job of tightening or holding a bolt. The right size of spanner does exactly the job you require. It’s a tool and belongs in your tool-bag. It’s an essential part of your tool-kit.

If you work for a high tech company and you provide solutions to help companies address their key strategic goals, don’t use the word ‘tool’ to describe your technology – ever. I’ve heard sales people refer to what they sell as a tool when in some cases it’s an entire platform. Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t stoop to use the word ‘tool’.

– it conveys tactical, not strategic.  Tactics are short term and not mission critical.

– it conveys small, not significant.  You want your customers make large, important gains, not get bogged down managing lots of small gains.

– it conveys reactive, not proactive.  A tool fixes a problem, it doesn’t capitalise on a business opportunity.

– it conveys nice to have, not must have.  If you have no ‘must have’, you have no sales opportunity.

– it conveys IT, not business.  Technology solutions solve business problems, not technical problems, at least as far as you should be concerned.

Much better to say platform, resource, technology or even system.  Never call it a tool, please.