Knowledge Growth Priorities

I experienced the disarming event of being ‘flamed’ the other day. As I felt sure that the flamer could perhaps modify their stance upon a moment’s reflection, I sent a courteous and considered response. The episode prompted me to look up their website, and I found a tasty morsel on a subject close to my heart. (Hopefully when they get chance, they’ll reply to my mail and look forward to that pint in San Fran!)

CSO Insights produce what I feel is an accurate portrayal of what those leading sales efforts are crying out for. Here’s a link to a telling graph:

Sales Knowledge Management Priorities (CSO Insights)
Source: Sales Knowledge Management Priorities (CSO Insights)

Knowledge is of course, power. Beyond what this noble graph states, is the huge disconnect between upstairs and downstairs, or if you prefer, generals and infantry.  (I refer specifically to ranks 1, 2, 4 & 6).

In short, my experience is unequivocal.  Over half of all reps do not share their bosses thoughts in this field.  This (amazingly large proportion) even go further.  They ignore any info that comes from others.   They might say in public that they want collective best-practices, CI or objection handles, but the suffocating majority will neither go out of their way to help capture it, nor will they tend to pursue its use in the field. This is crackers.

The solution is multi-headed, but one key pillar is to actively involve reps in preparing and publicly acting upon essential knowledge gleaned elsewhere. As I often recount on this topic, technology alone does not provide the answers.  Truly effective sales knowledge management is so rare because it is really tough to make it the essential on-going process within the daily sales fabric of b2b solution sales teams that it has to be.

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