Last week i went to lunch with a client and we had a great conversation about 2.0 tools in the enterprise specifically related to sales organizations. One of the tools that we discussed was Wikis- during our conversation i mentioned that i had recently read a good "use case" blog post on the use of wikis within a sales teams (i define sales team not only Account managers but Sales Engineers, professional services, support etc.- anyone that is responsible for servicing the client in a B2B company)
The post that i was referring to was from the Socialtexts new VP of Sales Kris Duggan- in his post 'Sales Meets Wiki' he describes some use cases based on his own experience in joining the Socialtext organization and using their in-house tools, besides talking about group memory and transparency that he has experiences he wrote:
Team selling and leveraging your resources (The number one rule in sales!) Last week, a prospect asked me for a comparison between Forums and Wikis for creating a community. "Good question," I thought, "do we have any collateral on that?" A quick search of our corporate wiki didn't show anything promising. So I posted a wiki page called "Forums vs Wikis" with a few starting comments and the purpose of the page, knowing that our team of 30 constantly watches the "What's New" section of our wiki. Within four hours, five team members, including engineers, had contributed to the wiki page with numerous revisions. I had basically a final version that I simply exported as a Word doc, tweaked with final formatting, and emailed to the customer. Hmmm... the ability to dynamically leverage my internal resources and create immediate content for customer facing activities -- pretty cool. This plays into the whole "wisdom of crowds" and "power of the many" ideas too, in that I could have gone to one or two people in marketing and asked, but would it have been as good and as timely? Probably not.
Now, Socialtext happens to be a Wiki company so of course they better get it right (yeah aren't we all supposed to eat our own dog food?) and it still a small organization but it is an excellent example of the use of Wikis.
While i was looking around today for some other use cases to share with my client, i also found this post from Andrew McAfee from the HBR Faculty Blog that outlines an example of a company with 1000 employees that is a follow-up from a request he had made for real use cases of deep Enterprise 2.0 penetration. This use case goes beyond wikis and addresses things like tagging and tag clouds. Once again the company that is presented in the use case is a company does does work with client's intranets and extranets- so they are in the middle of it.
If you know of any other use case of wikis being used in sales organizations particularly, please leave it in the comments or shoot me a note.