By providing free, real-time reservations, OpenTable makes it easy to plan a night on the town. Instead of phoning a restaurant directly—which can mean busy signals, waiting on hold or leaving messages—diners can quickly check availability and reserve a table from a computer or smartphone. That same level of efficiency is making its way into the company’s own business as OpenTable enables social networking for its sales and restaurant relations teams.
OpenTable started its social transformation by rolling out Salesforce for sales and customer relationship management (CRM). Consolidated customer profiles maintain information on the 25,000+ restaurants that use its service, as well as prospective new clients. According to Gina Calhoun, Director of Product Management, “Salesforce gives our sales team one place to see sales progress, from lead generation through closing the deal.”
OpenTable added an employee social network, powered by Chatter, to streamline basic internal communications for its sales and restaurant relations teams. “Chatter helps us easily communicate across departments and regions,” explains Calhoun. OpenTable uses its employee network for many communications once done via email, such as new customer announcements. Now everyone can get excited about new restaurant customers and share kudos about the wins.
Chatter also helps bring sales closer to the product team. Instead of hunting for a specific person who might have the answer, reps can crowd source a question by posting directly to a Chatter group. “The appropriate product manager can quickly provide an answer that everyone can see. And other reps share best practices and tips,” explains Calhoun. “With Chatter, the sales and client relations teams have easy access to information.”