According to a study by The Bridge Group, the average sales rep tenure is 1.5 years. On top of that, Ciara found in their 2020 State of Inside Sales Report, that onboarding new reps takes most companies 3+ months. This means that your reps are working at peak productivity for a maximum of 15 months, which isn’t very long if you think about it!
To make matters worse, even in their peak time, sales reps experience a huge productivity loss as they spend hours trying to find the right information and perform boring administrative tasks. According to Docurated, salespeople spend about 26 hours per month finding and managing content across several locations. At the same time, only 4% of salespeople are very confident that a contact’s file is complete and accurate.
Both issues are caused by poor knowledge sharing and management, costing companies millions each year. Instead of fast and well-informed communication and easily accessible information, sales reps are stuck with outdated resources that are scattered all over the place as a part of their everyday life. Salespeople can’t possibly function at their highest level in this kind of environment.
The only way to ensure that sales reps find the correct information when they need it, and knowledge and expertise don’t get lost when someone switches jobs, is well-structured knowledge management. This will not only help you document processes and best practices better, but also help improve sales training and reduce ramp time. In the end, this means higher productivity and more revenue.
Let’s take a look at some easy tricks to help you establish successful knowledge management in your team.
4 Ways to Successfully Capture and Share Your Sales Knowledge
1. Promote a Culture of Knowledge-Sharing
Sales is a pretty competitive industry, with competition being present both in the market and within sales teams themselves. Although competition within a team should always be monitored, it isn’t always a bad thing. It leads salespeople to want to make extra follow-ups with prospects to really try and close the deal to help them meet their own personal quotas.
This is good because by competing against each other sales reps, in the end, they potentially close more deals than they would have before. And, in the end, the overall team revenue is what counts and not the success of one single rep. Which is why promoting a healthy culture of knowledge-sharing and establishing team goals is extremely important.
Encourage your reps to reach out to their team members and ask for help when they get stuck on a deal or, on top of individual goals, set team goals. In the end, it's about increasing overall revenue and not just the number of deals closed by a single team member. Teamwork makes the dream work.
2. Establish Regular Sales Training
An excellent way to ensure that the whole team is on the same page and use up-to-date sales strategies are regular joint training sessions. Try to stay away from purely theoretical workshops and rather discuss current deals, how to sell the latest product changes, or brainstorm ideal responses to common objections. A proven training approach is deal coaching.
3. Ensure Clear Documentation and Easy Accessibility of Knowledge
The best sales strategies and tricks aren't worthless if they are just sitting in the head of one person. Documenting the team's knowledge and making it easily accessible for everyone is crucial. Your team must be able to look back if they need to now and then and, especially for new hires, benefit enormously from well-documented knowledge. No matter what tool you use, Google Drive, or a specific knowledge management platform, ensure a clear structure and regularly monitor relevance.
4. Digital Sales Assistants as Key Tool for Successful Sales Knowledge Management
A digital sales assistant, like Ciara, is the perfect sales knowledge management platform. You can enrich it with important talking points, such as qualification questions or value propositions as well as objection battle cards. On top of that, by linking it with your CRM system, you can ensure that every rep knows what fields they need to update in a call and, therefore, ensure consistent and up-to-date customer data.
In contrast to commonly used knowledge management platforms, the assistant proactively provides you with the right information when you need it and guides you through day-to-day processes. This way, reps don't waste time searching for useful resources and processes, messaging is aligned, and knowledge isn't lost in unstructured folder structures.
If you want to level up knowledge management in your sales team, check out Ciara for free here.