If you’re using Salesforce.com as your sales platform and are not using Chatter as your communication hub, you’re not even coming close to recognizing the return on your CRM investment.

  1. IMPROVE SFDC AS A SYSTEM OF RECORD:  Organizations using Salesforce only to capture sales record-related information (i.e. leads, contacts, accounts, opportunities) run the risk of “just in time” record entry, as in, entries made only when the record owner thinks that their direct manager or the organization needs (or demands) visibility into record activity.  Companies using Chatter see an increase in visibility into the entire sales process: if the lead is converted to a contact and important information is passed from marketing to sales on the record using Chatter, or an opportunity is promoted from prospecting to qualified and information is passed from inside sales to field sales on the record using Chatter, that information is captured on the record for its lifetime (and not stuck, static, somewhere in someone’s email).
  2. INCREASE ORG COHESIVENESS:  If the system of record approach is improved with Chatter, silos can be broken down between departments.  There’s a natural flow between marketing, sales, and delivery which occurs when history is maintained and searchable in a self-service manner in Chatter.  Improved cohesiveness occurs when insights can be gained without calls, meetings, or emails asking for history on a record.  And, collaboration and innovation can take place that may not have occurred if what is now a Chatter post might have been an email or meeting that was missing a person with key information or tribal knowledge.  Additionally, Chatter groups can be established even for those without Salesforce licenses – each instance comes with 5000 Chatter Free licenses that can be used for people both internal and external to your company.
  3. DECREASE EMAIL:  This is the best benefit that you’ll find once you enlist and encourage a Salesforce Chatter strategy!  Emails with too many people cc’d and a bevy of “reply-all” responses become a thing of the past, as you can choose to follow or unfollow records that are key to your role.  Users can at-mention those that are key, and the rapid search feature which even includes Chatter feeds allows for the ability to quickly find topics of urgency and importance.  (Those who don’t live in Salesforce or are afraid to miss something can set up a safety net – email digests.)

What other benefits have you found in using Chatter in your Salesforce instance?  What challenges are you currently facing?  Let me know!