Sales reps have a lot of information running around in their heads.

They need to know their clients.

Who do they need to talk to? What’s their background? What do they or their company do? What are their goals and challenges? What are their budgets and timelines?

They need to know the market.

Which clients are best suited? Which are most likely to buy? Who else offers a similar service? What does that service do? How is yours different?

They need to know their product.

How does it work – from the general to the technical? How is it implemented? What are the pricing and delivery details? What deals and discounts are on offer?

They need to know their jobs.

When is the best time to call or follow-up? What are the internal steps they need to take to close a deal? What’s working and what isn’t working with their approach?

That’s a lot of questions they need to answer.

With the amount they have to know, and with so much of it being technical and hyper-detailed, reps rely heavily on content to take over where memorization just isn’t feasible. It’s the whole reason playbooks, templates, scripts, and value messaging exist – so everyone is on the same page, with all the information they need.

But finding that information isn’t all that simple. A whopping 31% of a rep’s time is spent searching for content or creating it if it doesn’t already exist (or can’t be found), according to a sales productivity study from Docurated.

[bctt tweet="You can cut the time sales reps spend searching for the information they need by having a single place where content lives, and including integrations across tools." username="kiiteHQ"]

How did it get this way?

Knowledge is scattered across multiple places

In an ideal world, reps can find all the information they need in one well-structured place. But in reality, information is spread across document repositories, company portals, various sales enablement platforms, and email inboxes.

More than half of companies report using email or multiple document repositories as the primary method of sharing information with their sales teams – the two most common options – in a recent sales enablement study from CSO Insights.

Content is inconsistent and out-of-date

Whether you’re looking at your playbook or the content you share with a prospect, you expect to see the same value messaging around your product or service. But that isn’t the case in many organizations that create content in silos.

The messages are different, depending on who created it. And with so many “owners” and repositories, that content is hard to track down when something changes.

Knowledge isn’t documented in the first place

We talk a lot about “dark knowledge” at Kiite. It’s basically the stuff our subject matter experts know through education or experience but hasn’t been captured in a formalized way. Although it’s incredibly valuable, it’s impossible to measure and difficult to share.

And when it is shared, it’s through unofficial channels: conversations, emails, and chat. If you don’t have a way to float this kind of information, you’ll find the same questions being asked over and over again, which wastes time for both the person asking and the person answering.

Surfacing knowledge in an intelligent way

In all of these cases, the onus is on the rep to find what they’re looking for. But that’s not how it should be.

You can cut the time sales reps spend searching for the information they need by having a single place where content lives, and including integrations across tools. Not only is it easier to use from a rep’s point of view, but it’s easier to manage, track, and update when everything lives in one place.

And tapping into all of a company’s knowledge – not just the playbooks and marketing material – is a time-saver. Encouraging dialogue in a search-enabled chat app like Slack is one step, but pulling all of that knowledge together, along with your more official documentation, is what Kiite does best.

Especially when it comes to missing the questions that are commonly asked or the information reps search for most. “I've never worked in an organization where the same damn question isn’t asked every four weeks by the new person,” says Mark Bergen, head of revenue at Shopify Plus. “They're common questions in the organization so we need to find new ways to surface that in a more intelligent, thoughtful manner and start breaking some of these cycles we get into.”

(You can hear more of Mark’s thoughts on episode 5 of Sales Leader Spotlight, by the way. It’s a great listen if you haven’t tuned in already.)

For all our sales reps need to know, it’s more important to give them easy and fast access to the things they don’t know – or the things they’ve forgotten. So let the technology do the memorization for you and let your reps get back to selling.

 

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