SalesHood - Sales Enablement Platform

Are You Crowdsourcing Your Sales Teams?

  • by Elay Cohen
  • February 17, 2013

Are You Crowdsourcing Your Sales Teams?

Listening to your sales people is the secret to delivering sales programs that are compelling and timely.
Crowd sourcing ideas and best practices enables you and your teams to solve real problems and meet the needs of your stakeholders. It’s the heart and soul of a winning sales program.

While we like to think we are all the most creative, innovative people in the world, the real creativity comes from collecting new ideas from your sales teams.
Done right, crowdsourcing your sales teams provides a scalable way to collect new ideas that your sales teams will love and thank you for, over and over.

Many organizations
across a wide range of industries are embracing crowdsourcing as a way to
differentiate and make their businesses better.   With advances in technology and more
openness to social collaboration, sharing tribal knowledge across teams is
accelerating business growth.
Relationships are being redefined.
Governments are rethinking how they serve their constituents.  Businesses are opening new markets they never
dreamed existed.

Crowdsourcing makes
you and your leaders be at the pulse of what’s going on in your sales
organization.  Here are some
crowdsourcing guiding principles I have lived by over the years.  These guiding principles in some of the most effective and loved tools and programs ever created for sales people.

Be an Open Leader: You
have to leave your ego at the door in order to be a real crowdsourced social
leader.

Listen: Embracing crowd sourcing means genuinely
listening to your communities.  Your
executives should be ready to hear things they never dreamed of before.  The new ideas will change your culture and
your company for the better but the onus is you to drive a culture of
listening.  I learned so much from sales people by just listening. The best ideas came from sales people themselves.

Make
it Safe:
  Offer your sales teams a workspace that is
either public or private but let everyone know it is safe to share any and all
ideas. You can use Salesforce Chatter or Salesforce IDEAs.

Drive
Participation:
Nurture full
participation by everyone. Promote sharing Ideas.  Use incentives, recognition, rewards and peer
pressure to drive full participation.
Share ideas submitted in team meetings, bridging the gap between the
offline and online worlds.

Celebrate
Ideas:
  Create a culture of sharing ideas and best
practices. Recognize winning ideas and losing ideas. You will learn from both
and probably learn more from the ideas and deals that didn’t win.

Implement
Ideas:
  Deliver metrics and ways to measure results
to every stakeholder.  If you don’t
measure it, it will not happen. Standardize on scorecards that are transparent
and shared broadly.

Make
it Easy:
  This one sounds obvious but regardless of the
technology you choose your sales teams should be able to read ideas, submit
ideas, vote on ideas and comments on ideas in seconds from their desks or their
mobile devices.

Make
it Fun:
  Create fun and themed ideas sites. Bring the
themes to life in your offices with posters and other paraphernalia.

Celebrate
success broadly:
  You will earn the biggest points from your
stakeholders by celebrating their successes. Create Idea leaderboards and share
them around your company.

Enjoy what you’ll learn from your sales teams by embracing crowdsourcing in your culture and operations.

 

 

 

About the Author
Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $300M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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