How Your Organization Can Use Salesforce Chatter

By Traci Whetzel, Concept Services, a Business Development and CRM Solutions firm and TMSA Affiliate member. Concept Services is a Salesforce partner with more than 15 years experience helping organizations win new business from new customers.

Chatter is often made fun of as the “social media” of Salesforce, and until recently, I agreed with that. Boy, was I wrong. First, a little background on what Chatter (technically) is and how long it has been around.

Chatter

Chatter was launched in private beta in February 2010, to 100 companies with rave reviews and was ultimately expanded to more than 5,000 customers due to overwhelming demand. With Chatter, employees and teams get immediate insight into their company’s programs, projects, people, customers, cases, documents and business data that is pushed to them, delivering new levels of social intelligence. (Source).

When Concept Services is assisting companies in implementing Salesforce, Chatter was usually phase 2. That was a best practice; it is what we have always done as a consulting partner of Salesforce. However, my mindset has changed. Recently, our vice president of operations and I have worked to make Chatter a mainstay at our company, and it is proving to be a wise decision. Below are just three of the ways we leverage Chatter within our organization.

  1. Strategic Collaboration: If you are emailing a co-worker, sending them a text message about a customer, prospect, case, contact, opportunity, you name it – you should send a Chatter post instead. Example: If you want to inquire about the status of a customer relationship, navigate to the account and @mention the owner of that account with your question. Once you @mention someone, an email is sent to them, and the post remains on the account. They can either reply to the email or log into Salesforce to respond to you. All the collaborative information is recorded in Salesforce, not in someone’s email. If someone else takes over ownership of the account, they have all of the historical, internal, communication.
  2. Topics: Topics are the hashtags of Chatter. They allow a user the ability to search by topic and bring up all messages that are tagged with the same topic. As the director of sales and marketing, I have instructed my team to use the hashtag, #competitivepricing, when they uncover a competitor’s pricing while speaking with a prospect. Topics allow me and others the ability to identify these posts quickly and group them for review.
  3. Groups: Groups are a great way to centrally locate internal (and even external communication). Groups can be public or private; they can be used with employees and co-workers and/or customers. Concept Services uses groups in a variety of ways, but one of the most beneficial is, group direction. Like most companies, we have different subsets of groups within the organization. These groups range from our CRM department to account managers. We have a group designed to house directive information to our account managers. It is a central source of collaboration, with up to date materials and idea sharing. New account managers can read through the thread of post for past direction and get questions answered quickly by creating a new post.

As a Salesforce partner, we implement and consult on Salesforce, but we are also a customer and an adopter. These use cases and others provide our clients the ability to leverage practiced methods within their organizations as well.

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