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Salesforce.com Chatter rountable with EMEA analysts – review

I attended the roundtable event yesterday to provide a user and developer perspective on Chatter based on our experiences at FinancialForce.com. The event was attended by some leading industry analysts who heard from different customers about their experiences. Tim Barker, Salesforce’s VP of Strategy, EMEA, did a great job facilitating the event and provided a round-up of the Chatter Private Beta customer survey results. Parts of this survey have been quoted extensively in the media, but I still find the results compelling. Success metrics include:

  • 27% increase in collaboration and team work (pretty hard to measure) – 19% improvement in Salesforce user adoption
  • 3% increase in sales revenue
  • 90% indicate they will likely continue to use Chatter in the future.

That’s impressive! We are already sold on the application and our customers are finding that the collaboration it delivers improves customer service dramatically and facilitates sales, but it’s still a difficult concept to sell to anyone that hasn’t tried it. I was asked following my presentation, ‘if we had to pay for Chatter, what business case would we present to the CFO?’ And it struck me when thinking about an answer just how difficult a sell it is, which is why Enterprise 2.0 organizations major on the problems with user adoption. Without trying it out first, I don’t believe you’d even have the basis for a discussion with the CFO.

But then you’d need to show where you have/could have lost revenue as a result of not having Chatter and where you have won deals on the back of better collaboration. These things are difficult to measure. Salesforce.com private beta customers measured the improved time taken to find information, and the increase in close rates among other things. If Salesforce.com could provide a compelling guide to measuring your Chatter success and presenting a business case, I don’t see how it can fail.

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