I have been a Linkedin user for about 4 years and it’s a tool that has provided me with the ability to keep in touch with contacts, promote my business and share my blogs and twitters feed. A recent article entitled, “A Guide to Generating Leads on LinkedIn” by Ann Hadley provided the results of a survey by LAB42 that suggests that the most popular uses for Linkedin are job search, keeping in touch, promoting business and hiring. One thing that I found interesting the survey made no mention of using Linkedin as a learning tool.
I have been a professional sales person for my entire career with a focus on telecommunications; 4 years ago I decided to start POIM with a focus on helping companies improve productivity within sales, marketing and customer service by implementing a CRM. I had the sales and marketing knowledge needed to make the transition, but I did not have the experience in CRM. To acquire the specialized knowledge I needed to become an expert on CRM; to do this I needed to gain experience by implementing CRM projects and I needed to form a mastermind alliance with CRM experts.
To build my mastermind alliances I did the following:
1. SalesForce.com – I became a registered partner with SalesForce.com and watched every video and read all the material produced by SalesForce.com.
2. Blogs and Twitter – I started building a list CRM experts and subscribed to their blogs and twitter feeds.
3. Linkedin Groups – I found Groups within Linkedin that focused on CRM, joined these groups and became an active contributor within them.
In the book “Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business” by Jeff Howe, he suggested that Groups contain more knowledge than individuals. The best way to capture this intelligence is by establishing large, diverse networks of people who have the specialized CRM knowledge. When I evaluate the three tactics I used to become a CRM expert I found that the Linkedin groups to be the most effective tool based on its alignment with the crowdsourcing.
I encourage all Linkedin users to become more active in “Groups” and benefit from the power of crowdsourcing. I am not a social media scholar, but I feel that Linkedin offers the most effective use of crowdsourcing within a social networking platform.