3 Ways CIOs Work With Sales to Create Innovative Solutions

How IT leaders are recruiting ideas, building trust and embracing lessons learned when building tools sales teams want to use.

Here are three ways innovative CIOs are recruiting ideas, building trust and embracing lessons learned when building tools sales teams want to use.

1. Get Continual Input

Sheryl Fikse, CIO, Southwire: Almost a year ago, we set out to ensure that our salespeople are better equipped than anyone else who could call on a customer. We created two new tablet applications that provide real-time access to the information we hold on customers and inventory. The customer-focused app rolled out in June and the configuration-management app went live in September, and we're seeing an amazing rate of adoption.

This could not have happened without significant involvement from leaders throughout the company. In fact, the vision for the configuration-management application actually came from the president of our largest division. During development, we continually demonstrated the apps to the teams of business staff assigned to each initiative, and their feedback and suggestions made both applications stronger in both big and little ways.

For example, one regional vice president shared a thought when we were fairly far into development of the customer application: It would be good if we labeled the various elements in addition to color-coding them, because some people are color blind. Those kinds of ideas make as much of a difference as input on necessary elements or processes. And now we are constantly receiving emails from users throughout the business saying, "Great app!"

2. Learn to Create Trust

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