The Social Sales Team
A good sales team should rarely meet each other. It should, instead, be out meeting customers. It should be working out what your customers want and be maximizing the return for your organization. The problem comes because sales teams have voracious appetites for ideas, comments, case studies, pricing, presentation, market intelligence and so forth. They are generally very poor at following a process and providing forms to fill out and records to keep gets in the way of the sales process. In addition to this, much of what a sales team relies on is experience amongst the members of the team.
The knowledge accidents that occur when they bump into each other in the corridor or at lunch are extremely valuable and efficient to exchange information and catch important snippets. So how do you keep their appetites satisfied, but maximize their time in front of customers?
Make them Mobile
Give them the technology they need to keep in touch easily with the places they need to go to help them in their job. This might be an iPad with a 3G card, or a Mi-Fi device or similar which lets them connect to the office and access your systems.
Collaboration Hubs for Clients
In your social intranet, create communities focused on each of your major customers. Use Wikis, Forums, Activities, Ideation Blogs and all the other tools you need to share everything you have about that customer which would help your sellers. Consider organizing the material around opportunities (perhaps pulled from your CRM system) using tags. That way you can easily find everything about a particular opportunity whilst keeping the structure fluid so that it’s easy to re-use information. For more information on this, please see
Give them some Power Tools
Provide them a social network to interface with other sellers. Teach them how to use the outside social tools . Did you know the most productive sellers in IBM leverage social in their sales process?
One of the best techniques the Sales Team can deploy is to use an informal blog. This lets them express their thoughts, experiences and opinions about the work they’re doing with the customer account without the need for the structure of more formal meeting minutes. It’s in the blog that the seeds of the knowledge accident tree are sown. It’s where short narratives about what’s going on can be captured and stored for the benefit of the rest of the team.
Remember that by putting mobile technology, which is connected to your system in the hands of your sellers, they will be more inclined to participate. If it’s made easy, and they are rewarded for doing so, they will do it.