You know that feeling when you’re looking for a mug in someone else’s kitchen?
You don’t know exactly where they keep it – there’s probably a whole stack of them in a cupboard or a drawer somewhere, but which one? You’re not quite sure.
Your company knowledge is a little like that mug. If it’s out in the open, sitting on the counter, everyone can find it and use it. But if it’s tucked away in the pantry, no one really knows where it is.
So where are those little nooks and crannies where knowledge lives inside your organization? They’re notoriously difficult to find because, of course, you can’t see them until you start looking.
That’s why we’re busting out the flashlights and digging through the cupboards, to surface the five places knowledge likes to hide – and how you can bring it out into the open.
Tribal knowledge is the stuff your employees “just know.” It’s things like client relationships, sales tricks, and more that accumulate through experience and lives in their heads. The problem happens when someone else needs that information. There’s only one place to get it, if they know it exists at all. Multiply this across your team and you have a treasure trove of knowledge that can help make every rep their best.
Start by taking stock of where you have gaps in company knowledge, and get answers from experts who know the process. It takes time to pull that knowledge out of your reps’ heads, but it’s well worth the effort once it’s part of your day-to-day process.
Think about all the conversations in your Slack channel. Somewhere in there, someone has asked an important question and someone else has shared the perfect answer. But it gets buried fast – if you aren’t capturing those insights, they’ll scroll right off the screen and into eternal obscurity. So when the same question comes up again, it’s back to square one.
First, listen to what reps are talking about. If the same question comes up over and over, it’s a sign that you need to document the answer more formally. Second, you’ll want to look for the insights your reps share in the form of stories and sales tips. All of this is perfect content for your playbook.
The average sales rep uses almost six sales tools to help with their day-to-day work. This includes your CRM, prospecting tools, email automation and more. All are great on their own – but when you put them together, reps say they end up wasting time duplicating data entry, connecting records, and multi-tasking between systems.
Bringing on tech to solve problems is one thing… making sure that tech fits into your sales process is another. Our biggest tip: make sure the tools you buy integrate with each other, so reps can switch between them seamlessly without all the extra work.
Chances are, you’ve already captured and documented your best sales tips. The only problem? They live in a generalized document that tries to be everything in one. That means reps need to flip through 17 pages to find that one persona-specific tip they need. When a rep has just a few minutes say the right thing, every moment lost in that document is a moment the sale suffers.
Short, bite-sized bits of highly organized and super searchable information help reps find the most relevant content when they need it. Think short videos, bullet points, links, headlines, quotes, single slides… you get the picture!
Let’s not forget the company knowledge other teams keep, too. Marketing knows everything about your website. IT knows the systems you use every day. Customer success knows the common mistakes, questions, and complaints clients have. Legal knows your contracts inside out and backwards. With all that information squirreled away, do your reps know where they need to turn for answers – and do they get the responses they need in time?
Aligning on common goals is a good first step toward making sharing across borders a priority. Plus, it’s a two-way street. The knowledge from your team can help others do their jobs better, too.
In other words: when your reps are in your kitchen, keep your content out of the pantry and everyone on your team will find it.