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Business Consulting For The 21st Century Via A Holistic & Intelligent Approach

Getting the team to buy the tool (e.g., Yammer)

Question => “How do you get sales going for a b2b product like Yammer, Jive or Rypple?” on Quora.

=> My answer…

Maybe I’m reading it wrong but my interpretation of the question is you’re trying to sell this idea intra-company. This isn’t about selling another company but getting sales in your own company to get on board. Correct? Well, here goes…

As a Yammer user myself I would suggest not emphasizing the “social media” aspect. Yes, it does that. But ultimately it’s a collaboration tool and a productivity tool. Traditional email it is not. Good-bye over-stuffed inbox! The Communities feature is a hidden jem as well. Networks within networks is powerful.

I find it super easy to use. None the less, start slow and be sure to give real examples about how to use it, the benefits, etc. “Yammer Tip of the Day” would be a subtle reminder. Chances are good some will adopt quickly and some will not. So choose your battles and don’t get discouraged about the Luddites.  Have faith that those who are less enthusiastic will end up being less productive. Eventually, I would presume, that part of the team will be less likely to meet their targets.

I’d also suggest not focusing just on the sales organization. The benefit of a tool like Yammer is the network. To silo it is to cut off its legs. Look at what happened with Google and Wave. Wave was intended for collaboration but when Google limited the number of users it compromised that tool’s usefulness. If just one out of group of three, four, or 20 wasn’t on Wave then Wave was not an option. Be mindful of this, please.

Two more points….

Any shift like this needs a champion. Not only does management need to push it, they need to eat their own dog food too. Bottom up will work too but PM best practices typically suggest having a champion(s).

Finally, maybe have some fun with the roll out. Use the polling or anther feature to have a contest or something a bit less threatening. For example, best suggestion for ____ wins a $50 gift certificate. Submit and voting would be on Yammer.

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