Search.shutterstock_156932351.jpgAsk a knowledge worker supporting sales to find customer-facing information produced by any combination of departments such as researchers, engineers, marketing, product development, suppliers, services, and partner teams; it often takes a long time.

Now ask the same question of current or new sales team members who are responsible for accelerating pipeline or winning deals and the results often take “much” longer. The time spent in searching, collecting, e-mailing, and verifying the right versions of the truth can be frustrating.

Based on an IDC White Paper* reporting on a global survey, “information workers waste a significant amount of time each week dealing with a variety of challenges related to working with documents {and related assets}. This wasted time costs the average organization $19,732 per information worker per year, amounting to a loss of 21.3% in the organization’s total productivity.”

While the survey results may vary in many organizations, the trend is clear.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/geodesic_dome_shutterstock_82616662_297319.jpgToday as companies bring together business processes such as “account and opportunity management” with “social business collaboration” by way of SAP Jam and SAP Cloud for Customer (as well as SAP CRM powered by the SAP HANA® platform) the need to pro-actively deploy “information architecture” in the set-up, governance, and deployment fundamentally brings value and new challenges for internal account teams and customers.

Understanding Cost Savings and Benefits

Barriers in finding sales and customer-facing information have real economic impact including:

  • The cost of finding the right information
  • The cost of finding the wrong information
  • The cost of not finding information 
  • The cost of reworking unfound information
  • The cost of unfiltered information

Results-driven sales leaders and their teams prioritize collaboration around one or more of the following:   

  • Solidifying business strategy
  • Enabling increased sales
  • Providing a single source of the truth
  • Sharing best practices
  • Encouraging customer storytelling 
  • Reducing on-boarding and learning costs
  • Delivering tools to reduce the impact of turnover
  • Improving knowledge sharing
  • Minimizing duplication of effort
  • Fostering new ideas, discussions, and questions
  • Removing barriers to finding the right information
  • Addressing the speed of change!

SAP Jam = The Cornerstone of Information Architecture 

/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/complex_simple_shutterstock_148102334_297329.jpgInformation architecture represents the science and art of organizing a growing network of ever changing internal and external communities, wikis, intranets, portals, and applications that continue to grow and can become unwieldy to the productivity of sales and cross-teams that support both revenue objectives and the customer.

The goal is to turn the “complex into simple” for those who need priority sales and customer information quickly and efficiently.

The time and expertise to successfully manage these systems requires a fusion of hard and soft skills ranging from business and marketplace knowledge (& acumen) to sales, marketing, product, operational, finance, technical, engineering, content, communications, writing, networking, and program management work experiences.

In addition, 5 key components must be considered and work together including: 

  1. Integrating Sales Process Requirements – SAP Jam integrated with SAP Cloud for Sales (and/or SAP CRM) provides market leading tools and approach to managing accounts, opportunities and related pipeline and revenues.
  2. Equipping Cross-Teams to Support Sales – Aligning to key customers, industry, and solution groups to ensure that the cross-teams that support sales are aligned and providing the most current, relevant information available to accelerate pipeline, win deals, and support the customer.
  3. Consolidating Disparate Information and Efforts – The need to consolidate information set-up by groups and discern what’s in the planning stage and what is customer-ready. Disparate information may be found on internal / external portals, communities, and other multi-platforms.
  4. Governing and Managing Content – Ensure that cross-teams take responsibility for their deliverables which equip sales teams to support customers.  One or two owners must be identified who take responsibility and work with their teams within the framework of the overall Jam initiative. Efforts must be realized and sustained over time including regular communications to the respective audience.
  5. Leveraging Document Workflow Systems – These tools are very good for document creation, approvals, and on-going revisions but are very different from a collaborative social business platform designed for dynamic updates and two-way exchanges of questions, ideas, and discussions. They can be a helpful part of the solution when aligned and linked to Jam with an eye to the mobile worker.

The Power of Successfully Using Jam to Accelerate Sales

/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/speedboat_shutterstock_93851650_297317.jpgSales leaders, who strive for excellence in their sales teams, pro-actively look for ways to tangibly improve a return on investment (ROI) by saving time, innovating and improving productivity. Leaders who identify the essential tools, resources, and experts that equip sales enable more independence, cross-teaming, and simplicity.

If knowledge and related-content in a collaborative system is left to chance, chaos will emerge in respect to high priority information, resulting in frustration and tangible costs which impact the bottom-line.

Leaders who wish to transform their organization must pro-actively break down the barriers which prevent sales from achieving their maximum productivity. 

Teams responsible for go-to-market understand the importance of positioning the right products, solutions, and offerings at the right time by way of the sales team (& related channels) to support the customer.  

Given the importance of “account and opportunity management” (SAP Cloud for Customer and/or SAP CRM) with “social business collaboration” (SAP Jam) it’s essential to have a framework for strategic and tactical delivery so that cross-teams that support sales and customers win together — and simultaneously reduce wasted time costs, barriers, and ultimately focus on the benefits which support the value, growth, profits, and revenues of the organization.

*Multiple Sources Sighting: IDC Whitepaper, sponsored by Adobe, Bridging the Information Worker Productivity Gap: New Challenges and Opportunities for IT, September 2012.

About the Author

  Richard D. Blumberg is a SAP Jam Practice leader who works with both SAP and SAP Services. He is the President of World Sales Solutions, LLC (WSS) (www.WorldSalesSolutions.com) providing 29+ years of thought leadership on a variety of “View from the Top” strategies including: Enterprise Social Business, Go-to-Market Strategies, Business Development, Talent Development, and Community Building.  He and his team are recognized SAP Jam global experts for implementations and adoption.

Blogs

.

.

.

.

To report this post you need to login first.

Be the first to leave a comment

You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

Leave a Reply