SalesHood - Leadership Tips To Crowdsource Ideas From Your Teams

Listening to your sales people is the secret to delivering sales programs that are compelling and timely. Crowdsourcing 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 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 $500M 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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