Knowledge enablement is the practice of making sure important information is available to an organization. It’s particularly important when it comes to ensuring the people who need specific information are able to get that data exactly when they need it.
Also known as knowledge management, knowledge enablement is defined as “the process of creating, sharing, using and managing the knowledge and information of an organization.” While it’s important to every part of an organization, it’s particularly critical for your sales and proposal teams, who are constantly dealing with important data.
Sales content, client information, demos, and bids are all important information and your sales team is constantly using and accessing it. But if you don’t have a knowledge enablement strategy, you may not be getting the most out of that information.
What does a team without knowledge enablement look like?
- They are disorganized. When there’s no team strategy for storing information, people tend to develop their own systems of knowledge management. That means that sales content is stored in several places, and you may not know where exactly it is. Some team members might keep content in folders on their desktop, while others might keep it in the cloud. Others might use email to keep track of projects or may just search through old proposals when writing a new bid. That makes it difficult for the team to find what they need, and it also means that some people may own specific pieces of data.
- They lose valuable information. When everyone is keeping information in their own files or inboxes, your team is in danger of losing it forever. For example, if a team member who uses email to store sales content leaves the company, you might not have access to their inbox before IT deletes their email account. The same goes for information stored on a desktop or drive.
- They accidentally use stale information. How do you know your sales information is up to date? If you’re looking for information you don’t normally use for a proposal or questionnaire, you might accidentally use old content. An organized content library, on the other hand, can tell you exactly how old content is, and if there’s better, more recent information.
- They take longer to onboard new hires. New hires rarely ramp up quickly, but when your team isn’t managing knowledge well, they take even longer. According to research, it takes the average salesperson three months before they ramp up to hitting their revenue targets. If your sales cycle is longer, however, it can take as long as six months before reps get up to speed. Knowledge enablement can help by making sure that new team members have all the knowledge they need at their fingertips whenever they need it.
- They’re overwhelmed by proposals: When a team is writing proposals by copying and pasting information from old bids, emails, and other places, things can get confusing quickly. If they’re responding to several proposals, the process can be overwhelming. A knowledge enablement strategy can put all the information a team needs in an organized space so that the best, freshest content is available, and proposals can be written easily and quickly.
Developing a knowledge management strategy
It’s important for your company to share information across job descriptions and departments. If not, data silos can develop, isolating information with one person or office, and slowing down your whole organization.
To start developing a knowledge enablement strategy, begin investing in tools that consolidate all of your knowledge in a collaborative, searchable database. Ombud, for example, offers a platform that shares information across the entire sales process, curating knowledge and storing it in a centralized searchable repository. This puts all your organization's best information at everyone’s fingertips.
Interested in learning more? Find out how Ombud can help you compile a central library of all of your organization’s most important sales knowledge. Request your demo here.