Salesforce Chatter Pros & Cons, Best Practices & Key Features

work employees sitting around a desk on phones and laptops

What is Salesforce Chatter?

Salesforce Chatter is a real-time social collaboration application that lets employees talk to each other, share information and work together. Chatter allows users to collaborate securely at work to establish networks, share files and status updates.

Chatter allows you to follow people, information and groups — all within the company’s private and secure internal network.

In our conversations with clients, we’re often asked how organizations are leveraging Salesforce Chatter to drive better collaboration and knowledge-sharing.

Here’s a breakdown of our findings, including best practices and key features.

Salesforce Chatter Pros & Cons, Best Practices & Key Features

Understand the best product features of Salesforce Chatter to help your team stay up to date, communicate better and streamline processes and growth.

1. Post Status Updates and Questions

Salesforce Chatter provides a forum for anyone to share insights or propose new ideas, which can ultimately increase productivity and work quality.

How to Use Salesforce Chatter to Stay In the Know:

  • Follow both people and documents to collaborate on sales opportunities, service cases, campaigns, projects and tasks
  • Use the feed to post interesting articles, videos, websites or other content relevant to your industry
  • Manage your feeds to control how notifications are received

2. Share Your Work and Ideas In Real-time

Salesforce Chatter provides an incredibly useful platform to connect every employee with files, data and experts anywhere, anytime. Chatter helps eliminate version mania because users can update the original file shared to the most current version.

How to Use Salesforce Chatter to Keep Your People Updated:

  • Attach files directly for easy access to edits and reviews
  • Provide and receive feedback directly
  • Actively engage senior executives to interact with junior employees
  • Answer requests for technical information from sales representative within minutes

3. Privately Collaborate on Sensitive Projects

Using public social network tools to collaborate can leave important proprietary information out in the open, whereas Salesforce Chatter can help your team privately collaborate.

How to Use Salesforce Chatter for Sensitive Projects:

  • Communicate privately with your team with the same ease of use and accessibility of public social networks
  • Collaborate on and maintain highly sensitive information within Salesforce’s secure cloud environment

4. Integrate Twitter Data Into Your Profile

The Salesforce Chatter system makes it easy to follow partners, customers or competitors from within your broader Salesforce profile.

This integration allows related data from companies to be appended to their internal records, so you can access the latest and greatest news for a company.

How to Use Salesforce Chatter to Gather Data From Twitter:

  • Connect with new individuals and stay in touch with ones you already know
  • Research competitors and customers by searching profiles, sending Twitter Direct Messages and conducting customer feedback surveys or polls
  • Quantitatively track social care team’s effectiveness and performance, which is valuable for sales teams looking to leverage new deployments

5. Follow Specific Service Records or Sales Cycles

Tracking the lifecycle of a customer service request or sales prospect is an incredibly valuable feature of Salesforce Chatter.

How to Use Salesforce Chatter to Monitor Sales Cycles and Records:

  • Provide managers with a top-level view of progress on key accounts
  • Allow employees who are not directly engaged with the sales cycle or in a management role to follow and learn from sales activities
  • Identify activities being performed by individual employees

6. Customer Communications Within Chatter

Salesforce Chatter External is designed to allow customers in Chatter groups. Customers are users outside of your company’s email domains who have very limited Chatter access.

For example, they can only see groups they’re invited to and interact with members of those groups.

What are the Cons to Using Salesforce Chatter?

1. You Must Be a Salesforce User for Full Access

How much does Salesforce Chatter cost? Salesforce Chatter is included at no extra cost for all Salesforce users. If you are a non-Salesforce user, Chatter costs $15 per user, per month.

This paid Chatter license includes the Salesforce content library, the ideas and answers features of Salesforce CRM and read-only access to accounts and contacts and the platform (i.e. custom objects).

There is also a free Chatter license available for anyone in your company (up to 5,000 users) which provides access to Groups and File Sharing, but no access to collaboration around records.

2. Salesforce Chatter is Best Suited for Larger Organizations

Because it is an enterprise-grade solution for an enterprise-grade sales management platform, very large and/or geographically diverse businesses have the most to gain from implementing Chatter.

Smaller firms with fewer locations have less of a need for this sort of collaboration.

See if your business is Salesforce-ready by reading our blog: Take Salesforce Lightning by Storm — Is Your Organization Ready?

Final Thoughts on Salesforce Chatter

Salesforce Chatter brings the many benefits of social media to organizations. The application can decrease duplicated work, increase the efficiency and speed at which a sales team acts on opportunities and improve internal communications.

The platform can help the way employees communicate with each other, especially in large organizations with a vast employee network and small organizations with a workforce that is geographically dispersed.

But some organizations struggle with low user adoption, largely because sending and receiving email is so ingrained in employees’ daily work routines.

Gaining buy-in from key influencers and understanding how to use Chatter and its benefits can help overcome this challenge.

While it comes with a price tag and is not ideal for all companies, Chatter is powerful enough to warrant further exploration of your business needs.

Need Salesforce Integration Support?

If you are looking to leverage Chatter for your business, enlisting a Salesforce consultant from Bridgepoint Consulting can help set your organization up for success. We offer implementation, optimization, and customization solutions using Salesforce and