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MAR 15, 2016 · BY

This article demonstrates the effect of workplace collaboration on lead generation.

When the late Steve Jobs sketched out his plans for Apple’s new HQ, he included countless “shareable spaces” – nooks and crannies where people could hold informal meetings or enjoy fruitful chance encounters. Jobs knew the value of collaboration: enabling people, even if technology’s not directly involved.

86% of businesses use online collaboration.

But it’s less known how these softer benefits affect your bottom line. The good news: the evidence is positive.

Why? Because informal collaboration can lead to a serious flow of fresh leads into your Sales team – and not just through webinars, terrific as they are.

Here are nine areas your collaboration choices may be helping you already.

1. The way social media can turn a cold suspect into a hot prospect

Soc Med doesn’t just connect people; it connects their networks. Around every person in your business is a walking network of potential customers. Letting people link their accounts together – as today’s collaboration software does – can surface opportunities your Salespeople will die for. Such as discovering the Ops Director they’ve been chasing is a buddy of your CFO.

2. The way questions from the floor can become a research survey

If your interactive session – a webinar, for example – includes an audience Q&A (which it should), why not treat those questions not just as bullets to answer, but as research for your next webinar or blog? The best questions are those your audience found unusually insightful. Since that’s the definition of great communication, why not build your next webinar around them?

96% of executives cite ineffective communication as the reason for workplace failures.

3. The way video presentations can become evergreen content

You present your TEDx talk to 300 guests. It works. But then you put it on your YouTube channel. It brings in 60 more. A year later, it’s still generating leads. Are you getting the most out of the collaborative content? Make sure you’re scooping up all the leads it can reach… across all channels.

4. The way you can get “audience feedback” without an audience

At work, you’re among friends. And sharing early drafts of your webinar – subjects, speakers, Q&A strategy, where and how it’ll be available after the event – can generate a larger audience for that content with ease. Once people have contributed ideas to a session, they feel a sense of ownership – and will share it with their social networks. Boosting lead gen while improving the content. What’s not to like?

71% of workers said collaboration made them more creative and confident.

5. The way it accelerates the sales cycle

You’ve probably got your customer journey planned out already – and your content reflects the stages on that journey, providing the right information at the right time. But do you know a great deal of the “comfort” that drives a prospect forwards is created not from your content, but from other people’s reactions to it?

A cautious prospect, attending your collaborative session to research your product, can zoom from warm lead to qualified buyer in the space of thirty minutes… just by hearing what other people have to say. Your top customers, your advocates, your experts – all fill gaps in his understanding and move him closer to a buying decision. Fast.

6. The way collaboration crosses borders

Everyone knows online collaborative content can cater to 10,000 people as easily as 10. But not everyone uses the channel’s other advantage: the possibility of tailoring content for different audiences in real time.

When you’re presenting, why not include speaker notes in local languages, increasing comfort for your overseas audience? Or provide links to localised handouts in PDF? Of course, every global presentation should be topped and tailed with a greeting from your local office head – making your webinar act local, when you’re thinking global.

Social collaboration can increase team efficiency by 20%.

7. The way leads can generate other leads

One of the best way of generating leads is referrals – whether that’s within your organisation or outside of it! Make your content easy to share or forward and watch it go viral.

8. The way it gives you the numbers to make your numbers

Collaborating online carries another big plus: it provides metrics and measures. Want to know how many of your audience hashtagged your quote? How closely participants are connected? What percentage of participants switch off before closing comments? Today’s software can tell you. And you can use it to continuously improve your content.

Half of all Millennials support social collaborative working.

9. The way collaboration throws up new ideas for everything

It’s the last one – but in some ways it’s the biggest. Perhaps the best part of today’s interactive collaboration is the free flow of ideas it enables. Casual comments, morning round-ups, quickie conferences – the so-called ‘black market of ideas’ all contain informational cues that give you a sense of place, this is what makes you stand out from the competition. And that’s a source of ideas for new content that’ll appeal to your audience.

So there you have it. Work today may be always-on, but collaboration keeps you always-connected too. With the right approach you need never miss a lead, never miss a chance to link up with a competitor’s customer. And webinars – a form of collaborative content that brings it all together – are a great place to start.

Takeaways:

  • Collaboration isn’t just a soft benefit, it’s hard-sell
  • 86% of companies use collaboration – but not everyone gets it right
  • The Millennial Generation can also be great at Lead Generation

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