Over the years, we’ve partnered with thousands of companies to help them enable their organizations with the skills, content, tools, and insights they need to grow. During this time we’ve noticed how important a culture of knowledge sharing is to enablement. That’s why we’re excited to bring you the second post in our three-part blog series that takes a look at how go-to-market teams can create, motivate, and implement a culture of knowledge sharing. If you missed the first post, read it here.
Sometimes go-to-market (GTM) teams have the right strategy, tools, and team members in place, but they still struggle to get knowledge management right. While there are a few different reasons for this, the most common is that knowledge sharing isn’t actually ingrained into the organization’s culture.
In this series, we’ll share some tips on how to motivate your team, handle objections, and successfully enable a culture of knowledge sharing in your organization.
What does it mean to create a knowledge sharing culture?
Knowledge sharing is part of the knowledge management process that encourages employees to share what they know with their teammates rather than keep that information to themselves. The rapid transfer of knowledge is crucial for GTM teams that need to get new hires ramped quickly and ensure that engagement is consistent across sellers.
How to motivate knowledge sharing
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “knowledge is power.” And while this is true, we want to take it to the next level: sharing knowledge is power. The ultimate goal should be for your employees to recognize that sharing knowledge is not only good for the company, but it’s also best for their own personal interests. When employees understand the why behind a company objective or goal, they’re more likely to buy into the initiative and actively participate. Therefore, it’s helpful to communicate the following benefits of knowledge sharing.
- Improved productivity: Knowledge sharing enables and empowers teammates by giving them fast access to the knowledge they need to succeed in their roles. Instead of searching for an answer, employees can quickly find the information they need which increases productivity and efficiency.
- Encourages collaboration and communication: Studies show that 75% of employees think that it’s important to spend around 50% of their time collaborating with peers. Knowledge sharing is a natural way to encourage collaboration and communication at scale. In return, this can lead to higher engagement and job satisfaction.
- Sparks innovation and discovery: Knowledge sharing is a great way to share tacit knowledge or information that reps gain while interacting with prospects and customers. This ensures that everyone is aware of best practices and insights that have been useful in similar situations. When a rep sees something that’s worked before, they’re less likely to spend time reinventing the wheel and more time on engaging with a prospect.
Never stop growing.
Overcoming objections to knowledge sharing
While knowledge sharing sounds simple on the surface, it can be difficult to encourage employees to do over time. Some people might not understand what information they should share to begin with. On the other hand, some employees may object to the idea altogether. Here are a few reasons why this may be the case:
- Lack of trust: Employees may hoard information in order to stay ahead of colleagues or receive recognition. This is likely if your organization is extremely competitive or if your GTM culture doesn’t embrace teamwork. In order to overcome this objection, leaders need to engrain knowledge sharing in their team’s goals and objectives so it’s part of performance reviews.
- Time limitations: We get it — reps are busy. They may feel as though they don’t have the free time to capture and share information when they already have so much on their plates. Therefore, leaders need to enable reps to access and share knowledge right within their workflows with a knowledge management system. This streamlines the process instead of requiring reps to stop what they are doing to share information.
- Don’t see it as a benefit: Others may fail to understand what knowledge sharing really is or why it’s beneficial in the first place. In this scenario, it’s important for leaders to go back to sharing the basics of knowledge sharing and why it’s beneficial in the long run.
How to make knowledge sharing happen
Knowledge sharing starts with each individual rep, so it’s important to give your team an example of what good looks like. This is a great opportunity for managers to lead by example. Here are some other strategies:
- Solicit feedback from team members
- Ask questions
- Tell your team what you plan to do before you do it
- More importantly, tell the team why you’re doing it
- Ask experts and high performers to share what they know
- Make the process easy
At the end of the day, your team members love to be heard and involved in the planning and launch of your organization’s biggest projects, so make this process as open as possible. By democratizing access to knowledge, your organization will create a transparent and collaborative environment that will experience greater growth and success.
When it comes to enabling a culture of knowledge sharing across your GTM organization, we still have some helpful resources. And, in the spirit of knowledge sharing, we can’t wait to share them with you! Stay tuned for our next blog which will focus on the tools teams need to effectively share knowledge. In the meantime, learn more about the benefits of knowledge sharing and read about our newest product, Seismic Knowledge, here.