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Sales 2.0: Social Media for Knowledge Management and Sales Collaboration
[October 09, 2008]

Sales 2.0: Social Media for Knowledge Management and Sales Collaboration


(Marketwire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BOSTON, MA, October 9 / MARKET WIRE/ --

As the proliferation of social computing has
forever changed the way customers gain information and feedback concerning
a particular company's products or services, sales representatives are
challenged to sell to a prospect base that potentially knows as much, if
not more, about the competitive landscape than the reps themselves. This
new challenge has caused a number of companies to implement social media
solutions within the enterprise as a way to more effectively connect sales
representatives to the subject-matter experts they seek. A recent study,
"Sales 2.0: Social Media for Knowledge Management and Sales Collaboration,"
conducted by the Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), reveals
that 59% of Best-in-Class companies consider the use of social media
collaboration tools within the sales department to be a priority to the
organization, compared to 35% of all others. Aberdeen's report reveals how
top performing companies currently blend process and technology to achieve
a higher level of collaboration and, ultimately, a superior sales
performance. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit:
http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5308.

The pressure to increase top-line revenue growth (63%) and improve overall
sales productivity (60%) were identified by survey respondents as the top
two pressures causing organizations to focus resources on the
organizational capabilities and technology enablers use to improve sales
performance. Nearly a third of respondents (32%) also cited the need to
compete with increasing customer and prospect knowledge of products and
competitive differentiators as a factor when determining spend on sales
performance. Best-in-Class companies indicated that they currently
implement formal and documented sales processes (66%), solicit the support
of senior management for internal-facing social media solutions (55%), and
currently have, or plan to have in the near future, defined performance
metrics to measure the impact of social media on sales productivity.

"The result of an increased number of companies welcoming, and in some
cases facilitating, online conversations about their product or services,
is ultimately a more knowledgeable and informed customer. In order to
properly understand the business challenges of such a customer base and
more efficiently map their own products and services to these challenges,
sales representatives must have access to the tools that allow for quick
and easy internal collaboration," explains Alex Jefferies, Senior Research
Associate at Aberdeen Group. "By connecting sales reps to subject-matter
experts, allowing them to collaborate on project or procedural documents,
or simply reducing the amount of time spent looking for answers to
frequently asked questions, organizations can shorten their sales cycles
and improve overall sales productivity. The use of social media solutions
within the enterprise better prepares sales representatives to answer
questions from prospects who understand the competitive landscape, thereby
allowing them to work smarter, not harder," Jefferies concludes.

The report demonstrates the value of collectively leveraging organizational
practices in process, performance measurement, knowledge management, and
technology to provide a foundation for sales success. By combining
organizational capabilities with a strong focus on enterprise social media
solutions, Best-in-Class companies are able to positively affect
performance in average deal size and increase market share.

The research educates readers about the various aspects of sales
collaboration. The report also identifies Best-in-Class performance as a



result of sales performance initiatives and the use of enterprise social
media solutions, compared to the Industry Average and Laggards. A
complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part to the
following underwriters: eTouch Samepage (www.etouch.net), StreetSmarts
(www.streetsmarts.com), Landslide (www.landslide.com), and Telligent
(www.telligent.com). Furthermore, this research is being disseminated to
the market through the support of various media outlets, such as the ECT
News network and ITO America. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report,
visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5308.

To access all of Aberdeen's complimentary research please visit
http://research.aberdeen.com.


About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market
intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more
than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely
positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating
demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment
analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets,
corporations turn to Aberdeen(TM) for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in
context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's
analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of
Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement -
Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role
Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit
Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more
about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

? 2008 AberdeenGroup, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
451 D Street, Suite 710
Boston, Massachusetts 02210-1928
Telephone: (617)854-5200
Fax: (617) 723-7897
www.aberdeen.com

Media Contact:
Alex Jefferies
Aberdeen Harte-Hanks
(617) 854-5337alex.jefferies@aberdeen.com

Copyright ? 2008 Marketwire

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