Speech Recognition Technology Can Do More Than You Might Know
If you’re looking for ways to reduce the time you spend handling emails, updating contact records, creating proposals and quotes, writing articles — generally anything that requires typing or data entry, speech to text or speech recognition technology might be just the thing. It’s already built into most computers, smartphones, and other devices. And, It takes a little time and effort to learn how to use it, but trust me, it’s worth it. Once you’ve mastered this, you’ll find that this technology can increase your productivity by as much as 25%.
What is Speech Recognition Technology?
Speech recognition technology is a combination of hardware and software technology that takes input, in the form of spoken words and commands, and converts those words into text and/or actions understood by computers, smartphones, smart speakers, smart automobiles, and many other devices.
What Can You Do With It?
If you own any of these devices and issue voice commands or dictate texts or emails, you’re already familiar with a few of the things you can do with it. But, there is much more. From a sales perspective, speech recognition technology can help increase your output while spending less time doing it. Here are some of the ways I use it:
- Respond to emails and text messages
- Update and use my Zoho CRM system to:
- Enter and update contact information
- Update contact notes
- Schedule tasks and meetings
- Create proposals and quotes
- Write articles
- Enter spreadsheet data
- Just about anything that requires typed/data entry
What Are Some Challenges and Drawbacks?
I’ve been a user and ardent advocate of this technology since the mid-2000s, and since I began using it, the technology has continued to improve and become more usable. Even though significant advances have been made, and as awesome as this technology is, there are a few challenges you’ll need to overcome if you want to maximize the use of this time-saving tool.
First, you have to remember to use it. Most of us are so used to typing, that we simply forget that we can use our voice. Developing the habit of using this technology is something you’ll have to work at.
Second, you cannot always use it as it requires you to speak. There are times when that is not feasible or desirable. You may be in a place where there is a lot of background noise. You may be at a cafe or coffee house or in the library where it would be annoying and disrespectful to others. You may be in a public place and the information you need to convey is sensitive or confidential.
Third, it requires learning and practice to become skilled at it. You must learn the various commands — especially those associated with moving within a document or spreadsheet and correcting or replacing text.
Last, and probably the most difficult part of using this technology is it requires a different way of thinking — especially if you are using speech recognition technology to respond to emails and/or write proposals and articles. You think and write one way when you use pen and paper. You think another way when you use the keyboard. And, differently still when you are using speech recognition or dictation. When I ask people who are now avid and skilled users of this technology, this is always mentioned as one of the things they had to learn how to do. And, while it was a little difficult at first, nearly all say it was worth the effort.
Now, with all that being said, the people I know who have worked at this and have developed the skills (including myself) will all tell you that is definitely worth the effort. The payback is excellent.
The Speech Recognition Application I Use
As I am an advocate of speech recognition technology and have been using it for a while, people often ask me what I use. There are many different speech recognition applications on the market — including those that are built into Microsoft Windows© and Apple IOS© and Apple macOS©. Most work well. However, I use (and have been using for nearly 10 years now) an application called Dragon© from Nuance — the current version is Nuance Dragon© Professional Individual V.15. It’s fast, accurate, and super flexible. The Nuance folks have been in the speech recognition business for more than 2 decades. They really know the technology. And, the Dragon application has been on the list of the best speech recognition applications for at least 10 years. For the record, I am not compensated in any way for my endorsement. I have just found this product to work exceedingly well.
Take the Time to Learn and Use Speech Recognition
So, if you’re looking for a way to get more done with less time and effort, I strongly suggest that you invest the time to learn and use speech recognition technology in your day to day sales efforts. Seriously, you won’t regret it. And, if you want or need help learning how to use this or other sales tools and technology, I might be able to help. Check out my coaching and training services for more information.
Author: Michael Bitter
Michael Bitter is a sales technology/sales process consultant, coach, and mentor with 30+ years of experience building — and teaching others how to build and use — technology-enabled sales operating systems.
His clients are small business owners, solopreneurs, sales managers, and independent sales professionals, who want or need to maximize productivity, get organized and focused, and close more new and repeat business. He does this by teaching and helping his clients build effective sales operating systems that use and leverage sales technology such as CRM, marketing automation, electronic signature, and cloud-based document management.