Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stop Using the F, S and C words to Explain Connections

It's another one of those things which came up a few times in conversation and while you may disagree with me on this it seemed to strike a chord with people.

C is for Cookie Collaboration and be really sure you know what you are doing before you use this word. Why? Because when an IBM or Lotus shop hears this word, they think about Lotus Notes and Domino first. Microsoft shops think about Sharepoint but that's another story. Talk about sharing and security, files and finding, profiles(not profiling) and priorities (Activities).

S is for Social and do you really want to conjure up thoughts of interoffice affairs or family outing details? No, you want to encourage business and sales. Discuss openness, within your firewall. Point out the updates and "streams" of  data flow and information one can leverage. Utilize everyone's profiles to get a step up on your competition or sales.

Some will argue executives get this already. Well if they do, please ask your sales reps to stop comparing Connections to Facebook.
It's not.
Facebook is a platform that encourages games.
You encourage business.

Keep in mind while many people use Facebook in one way or another, there is much to dislike about it including security, games, likes, photo sharing, too much openness, serious UI changes unexpectedly and it is FREE


Compare it to Linkedin, something an executive probably uses and understands and in most cases PAYS for it. No, they are not on par by features but can you explain profiles in a better way? People naturally value what they spend money on so why would you compare a product that costs money to a free product?

Get inside your customers mind and outside your sales goals and you will go far.

Edited 11/9/2011: Information Week had a post with more generic ideas on selling, you should see it as well.
11 Ways To Explain Social Business Benefits by Rachel Happe, November 08, 2011