When you’re looking for information, where’s the first place you turn? The answer’s probably, “it depends.”
If you’re looking for customer or prospect data, you’ll flip to your CRM. If it’s an answer to an objection, you’ll hunt down your playbook on your shared drive or cloud service. If it’s the next step in the process for closing paperwork, maybe you’ll tap a colleague on the shoulder. (Reps need to know all this stuff, after all.)
Does looking through multiple repositories and systems sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. 61% of knowledge workers use four or more systems for the information they need to do their jobs, says a 2014 IDC study. 13% of those folks are accessing 11 or more systems.
Even more shocking, they find the information they’re looking for just over half the time. In 44% of cases, they return empty-handed.
Part of the problem is where we keep our knowledge. Too often, it’s held in the usual places: scattered across different systems, documents, and websites – and sometimes locked inside of reps’ heads.
[bctt tweet="61% of knowledge workers use four or more systems for the information they need to do their jobs, says a 2014 IDC study. 13% of those folks are accessing 11 or more systems. Talk about information overload!" username="kiiteHQ"]
Without a way to surface and bring knowledge together, you might notice the following:
Too much time spent searching, not selling
How much time does your average employee spend looking for information? According to the IDC, it’s 16% of their day, plus another 10% spent consolidating data from multiple sources. Our productivity survey found that 52% of reps consider looking for information to be a top time-waster.
More interruptions in the day
Peer-to-peer interruption also ranked high as a time waster, with 30% of respondents from our productivity survey saying it’s a major concern. It figures, considering sales reps get interrupted every 16 minutes, according to a study from Pace Productivity.
Data gets lost when people leave
Your dark knowledge – the experiential stuff that lives inside your reps’ heads – is a treasure trove of info, but in most organizations, it doesn’t get documented. When staff leaves, that invaluable information leaves with them, never to return.
Onboarding is harder than it needs to be
No one will argue that training doesn’t matter. But the time it takes to arm new reps with all the information they need to start selling? That takes time and energy. No wonder sales enablement services dedicated to training, coaching, and onboarding reps is a top demand for more than half of sales organizations, finds CSO in their 2018 sales enablement report.
Data is inconsistent, outdated, or incorrect
How many different versions of that document are on your shared drive? If you aren’t tracking and keeping all your information across different systems up-to-date, then the answers your reps are getting (and potentially sharing with prospects and leads) aren’t reliable either. On top of that, reps can waste more time trying to figure out what the real answer is when they have conflicting information.
What’s your knowledge quotient?
If you’re relying primarily on those traditional homes for your knowledge, your organization probably doesn’t have a very high knowledge quotient.
What’s a knowledge quotient? It’s about being effective and efficient with our information, so we can, analyze it quickly, and share it openly, says the IDC. To score high on your knowledge quotient, companies need to focus on four key areas:
- Process for knowledge sharing: The ability to find, combine, access, organize, analyse, use, reuse and share information, regardless of data type, throughout the organization
- Technology support: The availability and satisfaction with your knowledge databases and software, and how they handle unstructured information that lives in many places
- Socialization of information: How easy it is to collaborate, share, and reuse information
- Information culture: Whether your organization sees information as a valuable asset
By unifying knowledge, reps only need to turn to a single place to surface the information they need to do their jobs. Think software that integrates with the systems, databases, and repositories you already use, and the conversations your team is already having, giving them access to the answers they need quickly without flipping through four different systems (or in some cases, more than 11), or tapping someone else on the shoulder.
Your team’s chat is the perfect place to surface that information and answer those questions. That’s why, at Kiite, we focus on smart integrations that tap into knowledge where it already lives, do the searching for you, and deliver the results to reps when and where they ask for them.
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