1. How IT supports sales at 3 large companies

    Supporting the organization’s sales department is one of the best ways that IT leaders position themselves as strategic contributors. What does that contribution look like in practice? It starts with learning what sales people do and what their challenges are. The next step is to streamline, automate and equip them with tools to make them more productive.

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    1. We built the Sales Coach for Salesforce to help our sales professionals become more effective.
    2. This app helps new sales staff get up to speed and learn how to work effectively with different buyers.
    3. Working with customers and prospects considering competitors is a recurring challenge in sales. Our technology eases that situation.
    4. I started here by emphasizing listening. Listening to and learning from the business is important in serving sales and other parts of the company. I see myself as a business person who knows how to use technology to solve problems.
    5. The sales organization is looking for simplicity, ease of use and a one-click solution. They don't want to become technologists.
    6. Ensuring data quality is another way we support sales and the rest of the organization.
    7. My approach to building a relationship with the Northwestern sales organization includes formal processes and informal networking.
    8. The formal aspect includes an annual planning process where we take in suggestions and ideas from across the organization – including sales staff – and build our budgets and plans accordingly.
    9. We improved our IVR (interactive voice response) system so that sales staff can access the menu and service they need in seconds rather than minutes.
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