Friday, August 14, 2009

SaaS Inside Sales Teams Are a Great Collaborative Filtering Engine

Making sense of the information on the internet is a huge task. This is why a lot of companies like LinkedIn, Amazon and Google are putting an enormous amount of effort into collaborative filtering. Collaborative filtering (CF) is the process of filtering for information or patterns using techniques involving collaboration among multiple agents, viewpoints, data sources, etc. Your inside sales team is a great collaborative filtering engine....use it!

If I was a prospect and I had an inside sales person filtering information for me based on my needs and then proactively serving it up to me, I would be extremely impressed. They are providing me a form of filtering. If they are good, they are doing it with "my" interest in mind and remaining as agnostic as possible. Here is my example....

I want to buy Live Chat software for my company. I have done a little research on the internet and reached out to my first vendor for a little clarity. If the inside sales person was worth their salt, they would take this opportunity to differentiate themselves from all the competition and provide me with some killer filtering. I would have my inside team provide papers on why companies use Live Chat software, best-practices on how to use it, the major vendors in the space, the business value of the software, links to some forums/blogs talking about the different vendors and some industry expert videos or presentations on the subject.

The idea behind collaborative filtering is simple....based on my actions, preferences, behaviors and needs serve me up what I'm looking look for.'s all about me. As Seth Godin likes to say, "Nobody cares about you, they only care about me."

Don't overwhelm "me" with all of this information at once. Do it in increments that "me" can digest. Go at "me" speed. Always provide value to "me" and you will be rewarded.

Me going to keep this article short...from me to you..have a wonderful day!

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