Three Tips to Drive Revenue with Social Collaboration


Share on LinkedIn

Social selling, social CRM, the social enterprise – these are solutions that leading businesses are using to foster better relationships internally and externally with customers, prospects, influencers and other stakeholders. Regardless of what you call it, an increasing number of organizations are implementing social collaboration strategies to help identify new business opportunities, anticipate customer needs and improve sales execution to ultimately increase revenue and ROI. However, while more companies are experimenting with social collaboration, few are measuring, and even fewer experiencing, increased revenue. The companies that have witnessed success are those who are incorporating social collaboration into their overall sales enablement strategy.

While social collaboration is just one aspect of sales enablement, it’s a crucial one. Social technology is changing sales and the process of selling. Social networks generate deep reservoirs of customer information, from buying habits to specific customer needs; sellers use these insights to better approach potential customers. Likewise, prospects expect sellers to approach them with this increased knowledge.

Used internally, social collaboration connects sellers with the resources needed to reduce the time-to-close and improve close rates. These resources can be general content, sales tools or subject matter experts (SMEs).

Despite obvious advantages for sellers, organizations have struggled to get sales teams to adopt the technology to generate meaningful ROI from enterprise collaboration solutions. A recent SAVO poll found that overall, 69 percent of businesses with enterprise social collaboration tools have not experienced an increase in sales.

Despite the early struggles with enterprise collaboration, it is still a critical element of a broader sales enablement strategy. Below are three tips to help implement a strategy that not only fosters greater collaboration, but ensures that collaboration is within the framework of a broader revenue-driving strategy.

1. Motivate your sales force to adopt social solutions – Before encouraging collaboration, sales people need to be convinced of the benefits brought to them by internal social tools. Overall, most companies are not seeing the financial benefits of social collaboration, but those organizations that have been successful in activating their sales teams are witnessing an increase in revenue and sales performance. As a general rule, most sales people do not like to share information as their incentives are based on individual performance. They also don’t want to expose what they don’t know to a large audience. Therefore, if they have a question, they would rather email or call an SME rather than ask publically in a company forum. And, many still believe this is the best route to get a quick response. Until recently, that probably was the case. Ensure social information shared with sellers is relevant to them. To do so, you must build a social circle of trust with a defined set of people for the sales force to tap rather than implementing an enterprise-wide solution.

2. Transform your sales force from social sellers to social collaborators – Successful adoption of social collaboration is when the sales force connects, consumes, explores and contributes to the broader community. It’s incumbent to foster a collaborative environment framework. Sellers need to be convinced there is value in it for them. When promoting best practices, you must prove that sharing knowledge from social interactions, previous RFPs, case studies, etc., creates smarter, more informed sales teams. Additionally, sellers need to know that leadership is an active participant in the social sphere to help motivate their participation.

3. Collaborate with Purpose – Companies are not seeing increased sales or revenue from collaboration because they’re not tying collaboration to their revenue generating strategies. Sounds pretty simple – and it is. Social efforts are often disjointed from bigger picture strategies. There’s no form, function or purpose driving the collaboration. As such, the right functions (HR, marketing, finance, etc.) might not be collaborating together. A strong sales enablement practice is about delivering social capabilities that address specific business problems, tied closely to revenue-generating strategies. If you’re not guiding the collaboration in your enterprise, then you will probably have just as much success simply standing up in your cube and shouting for help.

Social networking has changed the way we relate to people on the Internet. This same philosophy is now spreading throughout the enterprise, but without direction and purpose, companies will fail to realize the desired ROI. Enterprise social collaboration should function as a virtual knowledge network, integrating tools that empower your community to learn and establish a dialogue with each other. Social collaboration done right will make your organization smarter and accelerate revenue activities.

Patrick Viohl
Patrick Viohl is the Director of Solutions Marketing at SAVO Group ( Throughout the past six years, he has worked in a variety of roles at SAVO including implementation and pre-sales consulting, and as a manager of the consulting team. Directly prior to SAVO, Patrick was a technical consultant tasked with implementing global ERP deployments. Patrick is a graduate of the University of Iowa and holds duo bachelor's in Computer Science and Business Administration.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here