OpenTable senior VP of sales Mike Dodson once viewed Salesforce Chatter as a waste of time. Chatter is often billed as Facebook for enterprise, but the trouble is that this moniker is far too often taken literally. Chatter becomes a dumping ground for pictures of poodles, children’s birthday parties and inane status updates that do little to inspire collaboration or productivity.
But Chatter’s product team held a briefing with Dodson and helped him see that, when implemented correctly, Chatter could have a profound effect on his sales team. It could help his team untangle the endless spool of email threads, as well as boost transparency across his sales team. It could also allow sales reps collaborate on deals in order to help move leads through the sales cycle. Dodson saw particular value for his field sales reps. Mobile reps were operating in different homes and offices around the globe, selling OpenTable reservation services to local restaurants.
Inspired, Dodson took a new approach to using Chatter for Open Table. “Once I made the decision this was something we had to get serious about, I decided we’ve got to take all the fun and games out of it,” he said. He told his team that he didn’t want to see any more emails. Instead, he invited them to vent their frustrations, report their successes and ask their questions on Chatter in full view of the community. He also put an end to the dog pictures.
He has been happy with the results for both Sales and Marketing. The marketing team gets a real-time view of sales activities and can be agile in responding to sales reps’ needs.
“For me as a sales leader and my direct leadership team, the real advantage is this gives us more insight, more of a window into what’s happening in real time in multiple markets in the field,” said Dodson.
Is your business using Salesforce Chatter? If not, it can be a great way to bolster collaboration and transparency within an organization.