Social Collaboration: How HR Can Bring $19.2 Million In Revenue Opportunity

Kerry Brown

With each click, share, like, and tweet, the world’s data pool expands faster than we can ever comprehend. In fact, IDC recently estimated double-digit growth rates of real-time intelligence, exploration, and discovery of unstructured information by 2020. As the pace of business accelerates, many organizations struggle with capturing relevant data and distributing it to the right people who can make sense of it all and put it into action.

But, here’s a little secret: Your CHRO may have the answer to your data woes.

Typically, HR is viewed as a cost center charged with making sure the workforce is engaged, properly skilled, compensated, and retained. However, the function can also impact the entire company in ways that change how employees work – not just differently, but better.

During the Webcast “516% ROI for Social Learning: Create Your Continuous and Collaborative Learning,” Forrester Research reports that HR leaders are searching for technology that works seamlessly across every aspect of the function including recruitment and hiring, talent management, and learning and development. By taking these capabilities beyond HR practices and incorporate its other areas of the business, the overall company stands to gain $19.2 million in combined savings and additional revenue over the course of three years.

How? Through social collaboration.

Why social collaboration – and why now?

Social collaboration technology presents an opportunity to create a culture centered on learning. If you think about it, the world’s addiction to social media and information gathering has primed the talent pool for this new approach to work.

Most people are all too familiar with the need to know anything at a given moment – whether it’s the news, sports statistics, history, weather, or the bio of a favorite actor. Thanks to Wi-Fi connectivity, mobile devices, and a steady stream of information shared worldwide at all hours of the day, our desire for more knowledge is constantly fed.

Whether we’re at work, in our homes, or somewhere in between, we all expect to indulge in this information-seeking mindset. This is where HR holds the key: a well-integrated solution that supports social collaboration.

Four ways social collaboration changes how we work and drives revenue

At first glance, social collaboration solutions and tools seem to be only relevant to HR. In Forrester’s study, the top five use cases include:

  1. Team collaboration (70%)
  2. Employee training (63%)
  3. Knowledge sharing (57%)
  4. Mentoring and coaching (37%)
  5. Employee onboarding (37%)

What do they have in common? Most people will say that they are HR processes. However, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll soon find that they are enablers of creating a better, more-engaged, and responsive workforce. Forrester found that lines of business such as sales (40%) and IT (43%) were the beneficiaries of improved collaboration, knowledge sharing, and training once social collaboration technology is extended beyond the realm of HR. Interestingly enough, sales teams seem to be the most impacted, generating 9% more revenue – $9.63 million in three years, on average – by shrinking sales cycles and increasing win rates.

According to Forrester’s total economic impact study, the residual impact of social collaboration technology is not a fluke. It found that this approach addressed four critical business challenges:

  1. Boosting win rates and accelerating close rates for sales cycles. At any given moment, anywhere in the world, sales people need expertise, information, and data to strengthen the customer relationship. Now that each deal consists of seven people, it is critical to provide on-demand access – even with a mobile device – to help win the deal quickly and maximize its value.
  1. Speeding new-hire onboarding time and time to productivity. Corporate learning is not just an HR agenda item – it involves every business function. With immediate access to expertise inside and outside the enterprise, employees can connect with each other to answer questions, provide guidance, and grow their skill sets.
  1. Elevating the customer experience. Customer service is another area that requires critical information to resolve a service ticket. With access to the full story from the start, agents can review the status of that current or prospective customer while handling the issue successfully.
  1. Fostering collaboration for better engagement and more-productive processes in every line of business. From marketing and IT to finance and supply chain, the struggle to collaborate efficiently is a reality that surfaces in the form of outdated spreadsheets and fruitless e-mail searches. By taking all of their data into a central location for collaboration, business processes are not only supported, but also improved. And with mobile access to this information, employees can make decisions at the same speed the market changes.

Find out how you can achieve these advantage while realizing a 516% ROI on your social collaboration investment. Watch the Webcast replay “516% ROI for Social Learning: Create Your Continuous and Collaborative Learning” to hear the details of Forrester’s research.

Now you can be part of shaping how organizations adopt and find value in social collaboration technology. Tell us what obstacles you are facing and the benefits you are reaping by taking part in this survey to help SAP develop our future perspective on social collaboration and how it affects us all as employees, managers, and businesses


About Kerry Brown

Kerry Brown is the VP of User Adoption at SAP. She is an international speaker on change management, learning, talent and organizational development, social and collaboration, interacting with diverse global occupational cultures and industries, including many Fortune customers.