Phone numbers. Email addresses. Passwords. PIN codes. To-dos. Meetings and events.

Think about the sheer amount of information the average person is expected to know simply to function day-to-day. Spoiler: It’s a lot.

It’s so much, in fact, that we’ve invented clever ways to offload the burden of remembering. Your login credentials? Use a password manager. Contact info? Your address book has you covered. Your schedule? Set reminders on your calendar.

Increasingly we rely on bots over brains for details we don’t need to carry around in our heads. On one hand, that comes with a sacrifice. “Many people struggle to recall memories and simple information they entrust to their devices,” found a landmark study in 2015.  

But there’s another result: we’ve gotten really, really good at remembering where we can find the right information when we need it. And that’s a good thing, argue the study’s authors. “Digital amnesia allows people to outsource their memories to digital devices in a way that enables them to achieve more and store information in ways that were never before possible.”

In other words, digital amnesia – the willful “forgetting” we do when we store information on our devices rather than our brains – actually makes us more productive and creative.

Rather than fight it, here’s how you and your sales team can use digital amnesia to your advantage.

An extension of our brains

Sales reps need to know a lot of information, to the point where it’s impossible to keep it all in their heads.

Think about what a rep needs to know before talking to a prospect for the first time:

  • Their name (yeah, even the most basic information can get muddled)
  • Their role or job title
  • Details and announcements about their company
  • What they say on social media
  • Their past experience and background
  • Connections they share
  • Any previous interactions they’ve had with your company
  • How that prospect fits in with your personas
  • Who your competitors are
  • The ins and outs of your product
  • The deals and discounts on offer

That’s just scratching the surface – never mind the additional knowledge needed for follow-ups and meetings at each phase of the customer journey. Multiply that over the total number of touchpoints a rep makes in a day, and it’s clear why memorization alone just isn’t feasible.

So rather than fight against the flow of digital amnesia, why not give reps fast and easy access to the information they offload – or the things that slip their mind?

Let technology do the grunt work

Your reps’ time is best spent connecting and selling, not looking up information or trying to find content. With tons of technology solutions available, from the CRM that captures your prospects’ details to the knowledge tools that surface the best content, you can make it easier than ever to give your reps the information they need, exactly when they need it (no matter where they are).

Start producing microcontent

The content your reps need to do their job is useless if it’s buried on page 16 of a 17-page PDF. Instead, they need words, phrases, sentences, ideas, and paragraphs that connect the persona and pain of each prospect with the relevant features of your product or service. Think bite-sized, sales-ready nuggets of content, built for just-in-time access.

Encourage your reps to share

Your reps are smart. Even with digital amnesia, they have a great deal of knowledge earned through experience in their heads. But it’s useless to everyone else on the team if it stays there. Tap into the tips and tricks they use to become better sellers by surfacing the insights and anecdotes in their personal Playbooks™ and chat so everyone can benefit.

Offloading information is nothing new – we’ve been doing it since we started keeping paper calendars, to-do lists, and journals. Our methods have just gotten better, freeing up our minds to do more than ever before.

Embrace it and let your reps get back to doing what they do best: making those sales. 


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