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salesforce.com Chatter is a great tool for collaborating with colleagues and making working life more efficient, effective and enjoyable. But there’s more to successful Chatter roll out than simply switching it on.

Here’s our 10 tips for successful Chatter roll-out based on our experience of working with salesforce.com customers around the world.

1. Get Executives involved from the start

It’s tempting to let Chatter use be driven from the ground-up. But really driving the benefits means that senior managers have to provide visible approval – and participation – in Chatter.

chatter executive 2. Add profile pictures

Chatter is a far more personal communication than email. We all like to see the person we’re talking to so get people to add a pic!

Chatter User

3. Plant some seeds

Ever felt like you’ve been missing out on something good? Don’t present users with a blank canvas when they first login. Seed Chatter with some good quality posts. Include some from the management team!

Chatter feed

4. Set the ground rules

In some teams it’s acceptable to post about subjects that are not strictly work related. A new baby for example. They take the view that the pictures would be circulated by email anyway.

In other organisations Chatter is the preserve of work subjects only. Both policies are fine. Just let people know where they stand.

Chatter guidelines

5. Give training

Creating a Chatter post is simple. But what about bookmarks, hashtags, messenger, @symbolls, favourites, files and polls? If you really want your users to adopt Chatter give some simple training on how best to use it. And follow up regularly with additional tips. On Chatter!

Chatter launch plan

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6. Ask questions about deals. On the record!

So much communication about the sales pipeline, important customer issues, customer service cases or projects relies on email. Make sure managers know how to get an update on a large deal by creating a Chatter post directly in the feed on the record. Nothing is more likely to drive adoption amongst the sales team.

chatter record

7. Enable Chatter feed tracking

This means anyone following a specific record will get an automated Chatter post when an important field changes. So make sure you enable this feature! And think carefully about the fields that should be tracked (sometimes less is more!).

Chatter feed tracking

8. Monitor Chatter adoption

At the moment it’s not possible to create reports that show the number of posts by users. However encourage managers and team leaders to use Chatter statistics on posts, comments and likes during appraisals and reviews.

gary smith

9. Communicate the benefits

Don’t keep it a secret! In particular get executives and managers to highlight examples of how Chatter has helped them resolve issues, close deals or driven projects forward.

chatter benefits

10. Use Chatter swarm

This free app lets you create business rules on Leads, Opportunities and Cases. Specified users automatically follow records based on rules that you specify. For example, if an Opportunity is over £100K and the Opportunity Stage advances to Proposal Made then the VP of Sales is automatically added as a Chatter follower. Or a customer service case is changed to type ‘Complaint’ then the Head of Customer Service and the Account Manager are automatically added as Chatter followers. Useful, free and easy to install. Click here to see the app.

Chatter Swarm

So there’s 10 tips for successful salesforce.com Chatter roll out. Don’t forget to let us know if you’ve got some more!

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