The Future of the Sales is in the Crowd

February 19th, 2011 by

I finished the book “Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business” by Jeff Howe. It is a very good book that is well researched and provides outstanding examples of the power of crowd sourcing.

Quick summary of the book:

• Groups contain more knowledge than individuals. The best way to capture this intelligence is by establishing a large, diverse networks of people who possess unique knowledge.
• Successful crowdsourcing involves satisfying the upper most tier of Maslows’s hierarchy of needs. People are drawn to participate because some psychology, social or emotional need is being meet.

The book provides countless examples of why the theory of crowdsourcing is true and goes on to make a case that companies that learn how to harness crowdsourcing will be more successful that companies that do not embrace the concept.

The idea of crowdsourcing is a difficult concept for Type A personality sales person to grasp, sales people are traditionally very competitive often making it very difficult for them to want to belong to a group and collaborate. It is important that companies promote the concept of sales people participating in the concept of crowdsourcing.

Listed below are Sales 2.0 tools that promote crowdsourcing within your sales organization:

• Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – In a sales 1.0 environment customer information was kept in a black book, rolodex, desktop computer and accounting system. In a CRM environment the customer record is centralized and sales, marketing and operations are asked to work with the account on a collaborative nature. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_relationship_management

• Linkedin Groups – LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. LinkedIn has more than 60 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Groups essentially allows anyone on the network to create an open forum around a specific subject or profession where users can comment and share news and information. www.linkedin.com

• Meetup – is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, such as politics, books, games, movies, health, pets, careers or hobbies. www.meetup.com

• Chatter – allows any company to collaborate in real time with a secure, private social network for their business. Content, applications and people will now have profiles, feeds and groups, enabling them to be connected. In addition, developers will now be able to use the Salesforce Chatter platform to build social enterprise applications, and all 135,000 native Force.com applications will be able to tap into Chatter. http://www.salesforce.com/chatter/whatischatter/

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