Improving Sales Using Salesforce and Social
By Paul Field – CEO @ Improved Apps
As you wander around Dreamforce you will no doubt occasionally be diverted by Facebook and Linked-in. In fact it is also highly likely that you will want to share with your colleagues some of the ideas that come to you as you attend the different sessions and visit some of the stands. In effect you are already using social technologies to promote different ways of thinking or approaching the issues that confront your enterprises. But why stop there? What if your collective ideas could be used to create and set strategy or to better drive the behaviour of colleagues?
I was recently reading an article by McKinsey about “The Evolution of Social Technologies”; it highlighted the increasing trend for organisations to employ social as a means to create, define and refine strategies. The result being that social is now enabling the “democratisation of strategy”.
This is something that is way beyond the suggestion boxes that used to collect dust and the occasional productive idea, and even further that the improvement groups created to support quality initiatives such as TQM, Kaizen and 6-Sigma. It is not about simply giving everybody a vote but about seeking out the ideas, suggestions, skills, knowledge, intellect and perception of employees; there is no word that sums up all of these things so I will call it ‘applied experience’.
Lego use ‘crowdsourcing’ to drive its product and services innovation. Daimler have created an open strategy initiative community to drive new business approaches. More and more businesses are taking the creation and definition of strategy out of the hands of the elite who were previously responsible for this.
This approach is just as relevant at the process and domain level as it is at the corporate or organisational level. It can be functional, issue/process-based or domain-centric.
Taking the example of sales for an organisation that utilises Salesforce: Their sales processes will exist in the application, the data relating to customers, prospects, contacts and leads is contained in the application and the opportunities that are pursued along with their outcomes are also contained within Salesforce. These are the bare facts.
Imagine now a world where those bare facts could be supported by all of the applied experience that exists within the business. Rather than simply feed data back into Salesforce…
How would it be if Salesforce were able to guide users as to what to do, based on where they are in the sales cycle, who the competition is and what has worked for other people confronting that situation?
What if sales people could highlight areas where they need more help to be successful?
What impact would it have if employees were able to feed their applied experience back into redefining and constantly improving the sales processes and the outcomes of engagements?
All of this is already possible with Improved Help: We provide the framework and tools – within Salesforce – to allow enterprises to make their collected, applied experience available to everybody using Salesforce. We encourage sales to comment on what works and what doesn’t and to make suggestions for improvement and requests for more intelligence. We examine real outcomes and use them to drive behaviour in line with the strategies that work and are being redeveloped in what could almost be realtime!
If you think you could be getting more out of your salesforce and more out of your Salesforce you really should take a look at our solutions:
Paul Field – CEO @ Improved Apps