by: John Caddell
By now, anyone who's acquainted with Web 2.0 tools realizes how peer-to-peer, bottom-to-top, and diagonal information sharing can greatly increase insight.
Yet, in corporate America, top-down information flow remains the rule. And nowhere is that more true than in the sales department (check out a salesforce.com user hierarchy to see what I mean).
And it's hurting businesses, especially when they sell complex products. Salespeople and sales engineers typically pair up and work together on opportunity after opportunity. (I once tried instituting a policy of frequently rotating sales engineers among salespeople--and did the salespeople ever complain!) Information silos develop, and deals are lost because one team didn't have access to the information from the others.
So how does the critical information gathered from each sales call get to other salespeople, sales engineers, product management? More importantly, how can dialogue ensue that helps evolve the product, adjust the positioning and counter negative selling information? Simple Web 2.0 tools, like RSS readers and blogs, can show the way. Shawn Callahan of Anecdote suggested a straightforward application of these tools to solve the sales information problem. Take a look.