Knowledge Management Improves Sales And Marketing Strategies
Knowledge management concerns the collection of data and information, the analysis of that data and information, and the sharing of those results across your organization to help improve performance and drive better decision making.
With an effective knowledge management strategy, you’ll be able to leverage your data to make improvements to every facet of your business, including marketing and sales. The more you learn about your customers, your market, your industry, and your own marketing and sales tactics, the more successful you will be
Leverage Knowledge Management To Drive Marketing And Sales Success
Analyzing the right data and putting the knowledge you glean from it to good use can be a more difficult task than you might think. A proper knowledge management strategy can help to reduce costs, improve revenue, and position marketing and sales efforts to successfully handle any changes or issues they will undoubtedly face. The following are a few examples of how a knowledge management strategy can help you achieve this:
A lack of effective knowledge management can make it difficult for valuable information to be properly shared throughout your organization. As a result, data collected and analyzed in various departments may not be shared with other departments. When such data silos occur, other departments may not end up making the best decisions or will be incapable of making certain improvements, simply because they don’t have access to information that could have otherwise been beneficial.
By implementing a knowledge management strategy, you will be able to eliminate data silos and encourage the sharing of knowledge and expertise from one department to another. In turn, you will see an improvement in the organization-wide collaboration that will result in better communication and decision making.
Knowledge management makes it easier for decision-makers across your organization to make informed decisions and solve time-sensitive problems. This is because effective knowledge management will provide them with easy access to relevant data and information as soon as they need it. Additionally, both communication and collaboration will assist in making quicker and more accurate decisions as well since decision-makers will be able to make decisions based on past experiences and lessons learned from others within the company.
A focus on knowledge management can have a significant impact on sales enablement. Individual sales personnel often find themselves in the dark when it comes to what their company’s goals are or what their direction is supposed to be, especially if organizational changes have been made. Knowledge management helps keep everyone on your sales team on the same page, thereby reducing inefficiencies as well as ensuring better and more consistent customer experience. Instant access to lead and customer information, that’s kept up to date, across all departments, will help your sales team to engage with both prospects and customers with greater success.
When all of your departments are on the same page, there won’t be a divergence in messaging, especially when your personnel is engaging with prospects or customers. There’s nothing that will frustrate a customer more than if a customer support rep told them something different from the sales rep and vice versa. Knowledge management will help avoid such issues, which can hurt your brand reputation.
Sales and customer support reps will also have access to customer profiles that inform them about past interactions before engaging in order to provide a better experience and more relevant information or guidance. Proper knowledge management can also help prevent leads and customers from slipping through your fingers because you didn’t engage them in a timely fashion. All of this will help you build your brand authority and contribute to the overall reputation of your organization.
Being able to collect and analyze your data and glean actionable insights from it, is going to go a long way towards helping you eliminate inefficiencies and make positive improvements to business-related strategies. This, in itself, will help keep your company competitive. The data that is collected is a unique asset that can be leveraged to better understand your customers and their needs. On top of that, a good knowledge management strategy should include basic research and information gathering on your competitors within your industry, which can provide you with insight into how to compete more successfully. Tracking business trends can help you to forecast events to better prepare all of your departments for future success.
In order to improve your marketing and sales strategies, you need to be able to monitor the performance of your marketing and sales teams. While this can be done using data analytics, you need to have something to benchmark against. While benchmarking current results against past results can help you determine whether there are general improvements or not, you will want to compare your results against industry benchmarks. This is possible if you have detailed knowledge about your competitors and your industry as a whole.
With proper knowledge management, you’ll not only be able to improve upon existing processes, but you’ll be able to promote standard and repeatable processes across your organization. This ensures that employees know how to complete their tasks and ensures more consistent high-quality results.
The Essential Components Of A Knowledge Management Strategy
Considering how much data your organization likely has access to (even smaller companies can collect vast amounts of data as a result of their online marketing and sales efforts), acting on that data can be a challenge. That is why a good knowledge management strategy is made up of several different components. The following are the major components of a knowledge management strategy that you will need to address to successfully leverage knowledge management and continually improve your marketing and sales results.
Knowledge about your market, your customers, your competitors, and your industry are all necessary in order to stay competitive and relevant. As such, constant research and information gathering is needed and includes performing competitive analyses, doing market research, and simply keeping track of the new and emerging trends.
Implementing a CRM will allow your entire organization, including your marketing team, sales team, and customer support team, to have access to customer and prospect profiles that are accurate and up-to-date. This customer information can then be shared confidently throughout your company to help strengthen the overall customer experience. Of course, you will have to make sure that everyone who is responsible for data entry updates your customer profiles consistently and accurately using standardized data entry protocols and that they do so in a timely manner so that your profiles are never out of date.
Much of the knowledge that your company gathers is going to come from the data that you collect and analyze. Data analytics can help steer your marketing and sales strategies in the right direction while also helping to strengthen your decision-making capabilities. For your data analytics to be effective, however, you will need to ensure that information is made available to decision-makers and stakeholders in a manner that’s easy to consume and derive actionable insights from, which is why you’ll want to track relevant KPIs and metrics using dashboards and reports. Decision-makers aren’t the only ones that can benefit from data analytics either. Employees and team leads can use dashboards and reports to monitor performances.
Marketing and sales alignment is absolutely essential to effective knowledge management. Both your marketing and sales departments will see much-improved results if they are able to share valuable information and if collaboration between both is encouraged.
For example, when marketing has access to information about the leads that they sent to sales and is able to communicate with your sales team, they will be able to adjust their marketing efforts accordingly. Doing so can improve the quality of the leads that they attract as well as improve their ability to qualify prospects. On the other hand, your sales team will be able to collaborate more effectively with marketing on the resources that they create, which can then be used to more successfully engage and nurture sales opportunities. Your sales team can also learn more about the products or services your company provides from your marketing team, which enhances sales enablement.
As a result of data analytics as well as direct feedback from employees and team leads, you should be able to develop new processes that can help improve productivity and results. However, actually implementing those new processes can be challenging if employees are unaware of them or are stuck in their old ways. As such, an important part of your knowledge management strategy is to develop a process for how to create, store, promote, and use your standardized processes that will encourage employees to follow processes more regularly.
Common Challenges Of Knowledge Management
At a glance, knowledge management might seem like a simple enough process. Many assume that it’s just a matter of doing some research, learning from your successes and failures, and applying what you’ve learned to all future marketing and sales efforts. However, the process can be a bit more complex than that. There are a number of obstacles that can prevent your knowledge management strategy from having the impact that you might expect. The following are a few of the common challenges that can derail the potential impact of your knowledge management strategy:
There are a lot of solutions that you can implement to help execute and enhance your knowledge management strategy, from a CRM to chatbots, which can be used to collect qualifying information on website visitors. However, it’s important not to become overly reliant on the technology you’re using. Being able to leverage the knowledge gained from these tools and to put it to good use is entirely dependent on the processes that are in place. Not to mention that your employees must be thoroughly trained to understand how to use those processes as well.
As previously mentioned, data silos can be a huge obstacle to knowledge management. When data silos occur, it prevents potentially important information from being shared across departments. These data silos occur as a result of poor integration. Even if you’ve implemented a CRM, then you need to make sure that it’s properly integrated with all of the data sources throughout your organization. Otherwise, the profiles that are put together in your CRM may contain inaccurate information or may have incomplete information. It’s going to be difficult to rely on your data if it’s siloed, inaccurate or incomplete.
Data integrity refers to the quality of your data. There are a number of issues that can affect your data integrity, which will hurt the accuracy of your analytics. For example, data that is duplicated, inaccurate, incomplete, outdated, or obsolete. These data integrity issues can be caused by human error as well as transfer error. While there are several processes that you can implement to help prevent poor data integrity, such as data standardization protocols and data entry protocols, you should also implement a data hygiene process to routinely clean your data by correcting, removing, or consolidating data wherever necessary.
Although knowledge management strategies typically encourage the access to and sharing of information, there’s some information that might be considered too sensitive to make readily available to everyone throughout your organization. Sensitive data, which can include proprietary information or personal customer information (such as credit card numbers) should be kept secure and private. You will want to take measures to ensure data security and privacy, such as encrypting information (which, for example, can be done online with the HTTPS protocol) and implementing user permissions so that you can restrict access to certain employees or departments.
Knowledge management can help improve organizational alignment, but it can’t help if there are not processes in place to actually encourage alignment between your company’s different departments. For example, while knowledge management makes it possible for your marketing and sales teams to collaborate more effectively, this isn’t going to happen if your marketing and sales teams aren’t communicating with one another. They need to get on the same page, which can be done through a marketing and sales SLA (service level agreement). Only then will knowledge management actually make a difference as far as alignment is concerned.
Effective Knowledge Management Will Facilitate Business Growth
Knowledge is power, as they say. Without effective knowledge management, there’s no guarantee that you will be able to continually make improvements to your marketing and sales strategies. The ability to properly manage the knowledge that you can learn from your data, which includes sharing that knowledge with the appropriate personnel and leveraging that knowledge to make more informed business decisions, is what will help to drive the growth of your business over the course of the future.