Where The Innovation Went: Sales HR - by John Sumser - HRExaminer

With each passing year, I wonder a little more about where the innovation comes from.

Where The Innovation Went: Sales HR

Periodically, you should take a look at Ray Wang’s Software Insider’s Point of View There’s no better place to get an understanding of the evolving world of enterprise technology. Wang has a grasp of things that is both deep and subtle

Sunday’s update proclaims that Dreamforce is the South by Southwest for the Enterprise. Dreamforce is the annual Salesforce.com convention. With 48,000 attendees and 90,000 registrants, it’s like a Coachella festival for the sales team. In Ray’s words, “The event represented the intersection of where aspiration meets innovation for the enterprise.”

Like last year, I made a pilgrimage to the Moscone Center to witness the fun.

I’ve been watching the HRTechnology scene for a long time. With each passing year, I wonder a little more about where the innovation comes from. At Dreamforce, I found it. The sales department is doing the innovation that the rest of the organization needs.

Selling to HR is notoriously slow and difficult. The Sales Department, on the other hand, is real-time performance driven. Anything that can generate a shred of competitive advantage is an easy sell and an easy purchase. What do you know about the primary assets of the sales team? They are all people.

Social Learning, Talent Management, Performance Assessment and lots of tools that connect people. The software that wasn’t built for pure lead generation, sales management, marketing and reporting, all looked just like HR Technology. It’s just that you’re not going to see much of it at the HR trade shows.

Here are a few of the amazing companies I saw:

  • TalentAnalytics

    At its simplest, this tool tracks performance and identifies top performers. It then groups them and begins identifying key similarities. These attributes drive the hiring and candidate evaluation process.


    Big Data Analytics. In HR, no one has ever heard of Hadoop. Effectively, data from all company systems (and loads of external data) can be blended into a single analytical tool. Companies like CETAS are in the business of helping their customers connect the dots.

  • Blackboard Learn

    If you haven’t spent time inside a multimedia online classroom, you’re missing a key HR innovation. Sales Force agility depends on quick learning and the ability to rapidly communicate changes in the market. Blackboard learn was one of several social learning tools in evidence. Social learning delivers intelligence quickly to the places where it is needed the most.

  • InsideView

    This is a focused, niche oriented, social listening tool (like SocialEars). It combines social media data with real time news feeds to support sales people as they move into a call. By providing a clear blend of relevant info, the rep is given tools to quickly warm the relationship. It would be a great thing to implement internally as a part of social HR. 

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