Recently I was chatting with my friend and founder of DRE Software, Inc. Donald Hatter about collaborating online from a sales perspective. It just so happens that his company has a great new tool that I thought Arrow-Tips readers might find interesting so I asked him to discuss the need he saw in the market and the BCN solution his company developed. Enjoy and please give Donald some comment love!
by Donald Hatter, President of DRE Solutions
I have spent the past 15 years in different Sales and Marketing roles, and I learned from my experience successfully selling to companies such as Wal*Mart, Shell Oil, ExxonMobil, Texas Instruments, Waste Management, Haliburton,Johnson & Johnson and others that many clients and prospects are looking for a communication tool that is a little more intimate than facebook, or customer portal sites. I also found that these companies value the opinion of their peers, and they look to interact with each other frequently. When I was an outside sales rep I needed a more cost effective way to interact with customers and prospects, and to have customers and prospects interact with each other on the continuous basis, and in front of me.
Getting clients and prospects together at annual user conferences and other marketing events is nice, but it does not provide an easy way for constant interaction. An environment is needed so that clients can interact with the sales rep and other clients throughout the day/week/year without attending an event. This kind of ongoing interaction can provide valuable insight to the vendor. It is also beneficial to the customers that are interacting with each other, and it can enhance customer loyalty.
I think we all realize those facts. The question is what tool do we use to accomplish our objective? The introduction of Web 2.0/Sales 2.0 technologies and the Business Collaboration Network (BCN) in particular, presents an opportunity for organizations to reach their desired goal of driving revenue more efficiently. But even though the technology was there, I just wasn’t seeing it configured optimally for sales organizations so I decided to start my own company to create just such a tool. The BCN created by DRE Software, Inc. allows any user the ability to create a secure, collaborative workspace so that they can create their own client community. Within that collaborative space/community users can exchange ideas and best practices through discussion forums, and share documents by using the file library. There is no software to download or install and users only need a web browser to access the system.
Despite all the technologies that exist (i.e. the traditional CRM, SharePoint, Social Media Platforms, and email) companies are increasingly using business collaboration software tools to supplement their existing sales and marketing efforts. It is an easy and inexpensive way to leverage the experience of happy clients and add direct value to the sales rep, thus helping them drive revenue efficiently.
I realize that there is an art to creating engaging dialogue online. It is essential that companies use tools where the sales rep has the ability to define who is invited to the collaborative workspace or client community. It allows the person with the most knowledge of the relationships to decide who speaks to whom. Aligning the “right” group of clients and prospects makes all the difference in your success.
I invite you to take a look at our website and let me know what you think.
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