Selling SharePoint

By Daniel Antion posted 10-12-2010 09:58


Once you have decided to use SharePoint, you need to sell that solution to others. I am not talking about the ROI discussion you might have to have with your boss; I am talking about convincing your coworkers that SharePoint is better than file shares or that document management solution they have heard about. For the sake of this blog post, I am going to assume you aren’t as bad off as I was; I was introducing ECM and SharePoint at the same time.  Let’s just focus on a few techniques for marketing SharePoint.

Highlight Success – The single best way to get people interested in SharePoint is to show them how others in your organization are using it. This sets up a chicken and egg problem for a while, but you can easily solve that. Find a user who has a problem and solve that problem using SharePoint. Then, and this is the important part, give that user the credit and let them tell others how great SharePoint is. If the success story comes from you, the overall reaction will be “meh” – if it comes from a user, it will be powerful.

Communicate – Keeping SharePoint in front of your coworkers is important, but be careful with this. See my earlier post about they’re having a day job; they don’t want to know everything you know. Scan articles and target appropriate content to specific people. For example, I have probably sent my boss five or six articles about “Successful Strategies Using SharePoint” where I have simply pointed out that “we do this”. I have sent articles about SharePoint in law firms to our lawyers and I have sent articles about “Employee Information Portals” to our HR folks. I also put SharePoint tips and techniques in our training newsletter and I send links to my blog anytime I mention or reference my coworkers.

Don’t Be Afraid – To say “that would be so much easier in SharePoint”. On the other hand, if you say that, be prepared to sit down and do it for them, or at least commit to doing it for them later. People only really begin to understand the power of SharePoint when they start using it. One of the times I always use this technique is when people ask me to help them find a file that “someone said was on the K: drive”. That is the easiest one to hit out of the park.

Have Some Fun – SharePoint doesn’t always have to “be in compliance” with something. We have a Photo-of-the-Week on our main page, along with a Poll-of-the-Week and the Daily Dilbert. We also track NFL results on SharePoint (since we block access to sports). We modified our calendar to calculate and show the next payday and the next day we are processing expense reimbursements.

Find ways to bring people to SharePoint and to show-off the myriad ways SharePoint can help solve the problems they have. Do that, and SharePoint sells itself.

#communication #sharepoint #SharePoint #Marketing #ECM