What is knowledge enablement?
Knowledge enablement, also called knowledge management, is the practice of making key knowledge and institutional wisdom available to an organization. It’s the process of creating, sharing, using and managing that knowledge so that everyone has access to it when they need it.
Think about all the knowledge your sales team possesses — especially your most senior members of the sales team. Once that team member leaves your team for another job, or even if they’re gone temporarily, unreachable on vacation, what happens to that knowledge?
If you can’t tap the knowledge you have, junior team members must go through the process of learning that information on their own, either through trial and error, research, or searching for the information in old documents.
The knowledge disconnect is most evident when it comes to answering requests from customers, such as Requests for Proposals (RFPs) or Due Diligence Questionnaires (DDQs). Subject matter experts (SMEs) and senior sales professionals have all the information your sales team needs, but the rest of your team doesn’t necessarily have access to that knowledge. They may have to spend precious time chasing SMEs for information, or digging through old proposals and questionnaires to find the knowledge they need.
This can result in old or irrelevant content being used in a bid, irritated SMEs who have been harried for the same information over and over, or new proposal writers fudging information in a proposal.
Sales enablement isn’t able to solve these problems. While it’s excellent at providing sales training and content, sales enablement isn’t focused on sharing institutional knowledge.
What’s the difference between sales and knowledge enablement?
Sales enablement is the practice of giving your sales representatives the training, content, tools, and resources they need to sell more effectively. Sales enablement is about investing in your reps, improving their skills, and helping them provide a first-class experience to the buyer.
For the most part, sales enablement is about bringing new information to your team: information about new products, training and onboarding, tools that help your sales team perform well. What it doesn’t share is the knowledge your team already has. Knowledge management collects and curates that knowledge so that it can be used and shared by all your team members - even ones who were onboarded yesterday.
This means everything from product insights to information about customers’ business problems is collected in a single location where it can be used to answer requests from potential buyers. Ombud, for example, offers a platform that shares information across the entire sales process, curating key knowledge and storing it in a centralized searchable repository.
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.