Just a few weeks ago, Jeanne Meister, Gary Woodill, and I co-hosted a webinar and Twitter chat on the role of digital tools in sales. Both events left us with some interesting takeaways about what kinds of strategies, devices, and other technologies transforming the sales landscape. During the webinar, Gary and Jeanne described how rapid increases in the volume and accessibility of information, especially through the Internet and social media, is empowering today’s consumers. Since these consumers have the ability to be well-informed about their options in almost every marketplace, selling has become a collaborative process between the sales person and the consumer.
The following is a guest posting by Heather Bennett, Chief Learning Officer at M5 Networks, the market leader in cloud-based phone systems. Like most companies, we at M5 see sales as the heart of our corporate growth and success. So when we learned that Blackboard’s new application on the salesforce.com platform could make our sales processes even more efficient and successful, we were eager to explore it. As our implementation is underway, we’re very excited about the ways that Blackboard Learn for Sales™ is taking our employee and sales team training to the next level. Its seamless integration with Salesforce and use of social and informal learning tools will not only increase knowledge retention within our sales team, but it will also engage our staff to help them meet their personal and professional goals.
Our new partnership with Blackboard fits perfectly with the launch of People Team. This group will develop an online working environment for M5 that is fun, creative, and productive through social learning and employee collaboration. Blackboard provides an ideal tool for People Team, allowing us to shake up the entire corporate culture and bring our focus to cultivating talent within our company.
Date: February 16, 2012 at 1:00 – 2:00 PM ESTSpeakers: Jeanne Meister (co-author of The 2020 Workplace), Gary Woodill (author of The Mobile Learning Edge), and Lee Perlis (Senior Marketing Manager, Blackboard)Register at: http://bit.ly/xtJZFY The digital revolution has changed how humans communicate, share information and collaborate; and have had a profound impact on many areas of life.
The mobile digital revolution has created an information explosion giving everyone with a mobile device the latest knowledge at their fingertips. Social networking and instant access to product websites have empowered consumers to learn about any item they want to buy, and to shop for the best prices. At the same time, the aggregation and analysis of “big data” collected about consumer’s habits gives power to data miningsales forces to predict consumer behaviors and buying patterns. Traditional sales techniques have morphed into collaboration with the customer. This requires fresh thinking about how to approach all aspects of sales.
Blackboard’s successful partnership with salesforce.com has led us to think more about the social enterprise concept. The social enterprise not only represents the new and meaningful ways that your organization can connect with both customers and employees, but can also serve as a model for social learning within your company. Below is our visualization of the ways in which you can apply the social enterprise model to enhance social learning within your organization:
Last year, we wrote several posts on the positive impact that social learning and social media can have on workplace training. But how could “going social” improve your company’s sales training plan? Could social learning tools have a positive impact on your sales results? Our experience has shown that by fostering social learning, your company can create a culture of knowledge sharing and best practices development that will have a real impact on sales growth. Here are some of our top tips for creating an effective social learning environment within your sales team:
1. Improve onboarding by connecting new hires with mentors and other experienced staff members: After all, there is a strong tie between successful onboarding and employee productivity and retention! Since your younger staff members are accustomed to a highly-connected life style due to the prominence of social media, they are likely to benefit from opportunities to engage with their peers online throughout the learning process.