The engine behind most of today’s most successful businesses is a powerful sales team. The ability to be effective on the front lines of business to business sales brings more benefits than just an increased bottom line. A team that is highly collaborative and trained can master the art of relationship management.
Salesforce.com is a technology that has taken the “social network” idea, and applied it to improve communication and collaboration between sales team members. When you have successes out in the field, it is very advantageous to share those stories with other members of the team. That way, others can try out new selling strategies in their respective territories, creating a more effective team. Salesforce.com acts similarly to Facebook in that you create a network where you can share ideas, comment, work on projects, etc…the list goes on. Check it out yourself, here is a link to the Saleforce.com, you can see all the different services they offer. It is a seamless social network that can can be useful for any type of business.
A testament to the power of collaborative tools for sales teams is the use of the iPad during my sales internship at Nestle Purina Pet Care. I sold to 27 pet specialty stores (Petsmart, Petco, Pet Supplies Plus). One aspect of the job was moving inventory from the back room into incremental displays on the floor. These displays often were creative, where that salesperson would utilize different shelving and cardboard stand up displays to promote products. As a salesperson, you must illustrate the benefit of the display, essentially selling the value to the store manager. In the past, paper and pen were the utensils used to document thousands of sales numbers, and you could only tell the tale of a successful sale through email. Now, with the implementation of the iPad, the sales team can input data through the app DoForms, and seamlessly share pictures of successful displays through the camera on the iPad. When another team member would share an picture of a cool display, I would then try it in my stores. This is a quintessential example of how a technology can improve a saleforce, and Salesforce.com furthers the effectiveness and efficiency of more and more businesses for the future.