Your leads care how quickly someone responds to their questions and concerns. A knowledge management system allows sales representatives to pull up the information right away and reply on the spot, instead of waiting to hear back from someone else in the company.
Access to a knowledge management platform helps get the right information in front of the right people at the right time. When someone has a new question, they can post it to the knowledge management system and get an answer from executives or other top salespeople. And now that the answer to that question is on there, the next person who needs that information can do a quick search and find it.
There are many ways that a knowledge management platform can improve sales: here are four of the biggest.
Getting Salespeople on the Same Page
Everyone in your sales department should have a clear idea of your company’s value proposition. Something makes your company unique — there’s some spin on what you offer and how you offer it that sets you apart from your competitors. Mike Kunkle, a training leader with a Fortune 50 corporation, explains the problem is “that spin is often deeply understood by a handful of people in marketing, or maybe a handful of people in sales leadership, but it’s not always clearly communicated throughout the sales organization. There isn’t always consistency in messaging around the value proposition.”
A knowledge management platform provides an easily accessible place for your value proposition–and related sales collateral–to live. Making the company’s value proposition easy to find should allow everyone to have it on the tip of their tongue if asked, and to understand how it applies differently to the primary personas you target.
Making It Easier for Sales and Marketing to Help Each Other
You know who’s probably already spending all day thinking about your company’s value proposition and personas? Your marketing team.
An important part of their job is working to understand the main challenges your target audience faces and the most common questions your prospects have in order to create relevant content for them. How often does your sales team take advantage of that content?
Probably not often enough. According to the American Marketing Association, 90 percent of the content produced by marketing is never used by sales. They’re doing research that yields the kind of insights that make a compelling case for your leads. And they’re already making that case for you in the content they create. Not using it to make sales is a huge missed opportunity.
Get that content into the knowledge management system and make sure your sales team knows it’s there, so they can start taking better advantage of it.
Helping You Track Valuable Insights and Information As You Go
Your prospects and customers are constantly providing useful feedback that can help you and other sales representatives better approach future sales opportunities.
As Kunkle points out, “there’s a wonderful opportunity at almost every touch point to glean something of value from your customers. Unfortunately, the number of times that we don’t capture that feedback somewhere, every time that someone touches the customer — that amazes me.”
Capturing that information is just step one, though. You have to make sure it’s organized and accessible in a way that allows other members of your team to benefit from it. Putting that information into the knowledge management platform makes it possible for other salespeople to see it, respond to it, and all generally build off of each other’s knowledge and experiences.
Allowing You to Refine and Deliver a Better Training Process
A knowledge management system can help you track which questions salespeople ask the most, which pieces of content they access the most often, and which types of activities your top salespeople perform that produce the best results.
All that information can then inform a strong sales training strategy. You can load all the training content you’ve created into the knowledge management platform in an organized and intuitive way, and track the views of each assigned piece as your new hires are working through them.
Training shouldn’t stop with new hires though. Everyone in your department can benefit from learning from those who perform the best. If you want your salespeople to progress from good to true mastery, Mike Kunkle recommends a top-producer analysis. What you learn from researching and observing your top salespeople will ensure you’re giving the rest of your team the best information. Your top-producer analysis fuels your training content.
“If you’re going to take sales reps out of production and spend the time and money to put them through training, the very first thing you’ve got to do is ensure that the content you’re teaching is going to matter and make a difference,” Kunkle explains. “If you can get the training content right, then the knowledge management system can help you take things a step further.”
To learn more, check out our white paper, “How a Knowledge Management System Empowers Your Sales Team.” It explores the challenges today’s salespeople face, how a social knowledge network can help, and what to look for in a social knowledge network.