70% of Learning Comes ‘On The Job’, Put Your Sales Knowledge Where Reps Work

Last verified May 27, 2020

How do your reps handle things on the fly?

Can they find what they need in the moment they need it?

Having the right knowledge can be a real game changer when it comes to closing sales.

Most sales leaders are busy searching for the right sales enablement tool for their team. Why? Because a whopping 65% of all of their sales reps reported they can't find content to send to prospects, when they need it.

So, you’re here because you’re part of that majority. You know this problem is real, you’ve experienced it, and you need help.

But, before you can decide which sales enablement solution is right for your team, it’s important to keep a few “must have” features in mind for the sake of your sales reps and other knowledge consumers.

One of those key features is the ability to instantly consume knowledge without disrupting your rep’s workflow. They rely on their highly tuned workflows to be productivity machines, so any solution that can’t fit into their workflow will simply not be adopted. Take a wiki, for example, a very popular type of solution for sales enablement teams. Since it is another portal your reps need to go to, adoption for wiki’s remains low. According a study of 551 organizations using Microsoft SharePoint (a knowledge repository like an internal wiki), only half (51%) of them saw adoption of 75% or more.

Ideally, your team should be able to browse and study knowledge for onboarding or ongoing training, as well as notify subject matter experts when new content needs to be created without ever interrupting their daily work. Fewer interruptions will give your reps a higher chance of closing deals without facing setbacks.

When your reps can’t find content or a way to verify information with your experts, they lose potential clients and you lose money.

And speaking of those wonderful subject matter experts, it’s just important to keep them in the loop when considering “must have” features. If they’re going to be creating and maintaining content regularly, they’ll need to organize, present, and verify content based on topics of interest to knowledge consumers (your client-facing teams) in a rapid, reliable manner.

When your solution lacks the ability to carry out these crucial functions, finding easily digestible information at the right time becomes nearly impossible. Often times, startups and enterprises will still try to rely on outdated solutions such as Wiki’s. And sure, they might be great when solely utilized for browsing and studying.

But, unfortunately use cases like instant consumption aren’t accounted for in the feature set of Wiki’s. Which is a huge problem, considering 88% of missed opportunities were caused because sales couldn’t find or leverage internal resources.

Now stick with me here as we dive deeper into the two use cases your sales enablement solution must solve for...

Instant consumption helps your reps learn better on the job and onboard faster

Research on training suggests there is a 70:20:10 model that describes the optimal sources of learning for individuals. This model holds that individuals learn 70% of their knowledge from on-the-job experience, 20% from interacting with others, and only 10% from studying and reading.

Most sales enablement programs focus on onboarding; where reps are asked to read and study sales content like objection handling documents thinking they will be more prepared when on a call. But the reality is much different.  

For a short period of time, they might remember what they studied, but retaining and recalling that information on the fly over time is extremely difficult. Much like in the classroom, rote memorization is not as effective for long term retention of information as actually solving problems on your own. The benefit of this to your business is faster onboarding time as your new reps are able to learn more quickly than if they were solely studying your onboarding material. The on-the-job learning is critical to getting new reps to attain quota more quickly.

Instant consumption can help you close more deals

Reps and other client facing teams need knowledge to live where they work, and they need access to it pronto when it comes to conversing with a prospect, especially if they want to build credibility or quickly close a deal. And as I mentioned earlier, disrupting their workflow to searching for the right content is time consuming and costly for everyone.

One of the biggest killers of deals is time. The longer a deal is open, the less likely it is the close. Instant consumption of knowledge eliminates those pesky and lengthy email threads, back and forth phone calls, and other time sucker and conversation killers.

Any questions or concerns prospects might have will be addressed immediately, more deals will be closed, and more money will be made. Now go find the right sales enablement solution for you and your team!