What’s All The Chatter About?

Has your company implemented Salesforce Chatter? You may be wondering what it is. If you cross Facebook with Twitter, and make it accessible only to people with whom you work, you get Chatter. Basically, you setup a profile, complete with picture, which includes your location; contact info and can include interests and hobbies. It shows hierarchy – your boss and on what team you belong. You can “follow” other profiles to get updates from that user, and people can follow you. You can #hashtag content to be able to quickly search and find topical info and send comments directly to a specific user with @mentions – just like Twitter. You can also join specific online groups to have private conversations, discuss projects or use it for topical updates. Messages can come to you in two forms:

(i) As a summary in a nightly email; or

(ii) In an instant chat, SMS-type format.

Chatter is available on your PC and your mobile phone (yes, there’s an app). It’s free and can be pretty handy for busy sales teams. Here are 5 ways Chatter helps to improve sales productivity:

1. Build a Connection with Key Players in the Business

Have you ever found that internal employees are more likely to help you out after you’ve met face to face? Chatter is a way to keep your face in front of co-workers you don’t see on a regular basis. You won’t be confused for other people since your picture is tied to the profile. You’re also tied to the account in Salesforce, so any Salesforce user can click on your profile to post a message on your profile page.

2. Have Team Specific Conversations.

You can setup specific groups for sales conversations. Don’t worry; you can keep the contents private by restricting group membership to a chosen few. A team group would be a great spot to post team agendas, to-do’s, best practices, regional testimonials and more.

3. It Can Cut Down the Email You Receive.

Company updates, hiring and promotion changes and other administrative communications could be posted in a Corporate group. Instead of getting tons of emails each week, users could simply check in with the group for the latest corporate updates. Instead of an email about the latest product update, sales staff could check the latest updates of the specific product group.

4. It’s Fast and Easy to Use On Your Cell Phone.

Chatter has an easy-to-use mobile app, making it easy to Chat, browse groups and read the latest updates. The mobile format means you don’t have to zoom in on tiny text and that buttons are easily accessed without having to click all over the entire screen trying to get at them.

5. Competitive intelligence, account information and more.

Chatter gives you the ability to subscribe to any content on Salesforce.com, including accounts, and documents. You’ll get an alert when a document is updated and posted into the Salesforce, so that you always have the latest and greatest document. You can subscribe to Account alerts. Waiting for internal approval? Once the account is updated, you’ll get an alert. At a closing meeting and receive a question about the competition? No problem, simply browse the competition group for the answer, or put out a post for a quick answer by any Salesforce user with access to the group. Subscribe to the product pricing group and get an alert with every new post. Have an industry updates group for the latest and greatest industry trends, changes, facts and news, so that you stay up-to-date on what’s affecting your prospects and clients.

Did we mention that basic access to Chatter is free? It’s even available to businesses that are not using Salesforce.com. It’s a great tool to increase your team’s productivity. For more information, check out http://www.chatter.com/.

Authored by Yvette Montague, Director of at Salesforce.com Training at SFTC.

SalesForce Training & Consulting is a Salesforce.com training and Salesforce Management consulting firm based in Toronto, with training centers in Boston and Chicago, helping sales teams get the most out of Salesforce.com.

by   Mark Christie