Look to Knowledge Automation to Fulfill Your Customer Service and Sales Potential

The core of any enterprise's business is its CRM application, but a CRM system is only as useful as what employees can get out of it—preferably as easily and quickly as possible. Unfortunately, employees are inundated with content, and informative signals are often completely drowned out by noise, making useful content increasingly hard to find and leaving salespeople asking themselves "Is this document useful?" or "Is this sales presentation the latest?"

Despite our best intentions, the more content that gets produced, the harder it is to find the materials that are pertinent and vital to each of a business' different departments. IBM estimates that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This information overload is experienced most acutely by professionals in sales, marketing, and customer service, who have to turn to a wide variety of systems to find the information they need to take action. On average, according to an IDC statistic cited in a Google report, employees spend up to two hours a day looking for what they need.

This is where knowledge automation has the potential to make a clear business impact. Knowledge automation starts with the concept that no user should have to sift through his company's CRM system, Google Docs, or Excel spreadsheets to find what he needs. Simply put, it is the process of a machine organizing a company's content so that those within the company can easily access the knowledge that is relevant to them, right where they need it. A successful knowledge automation system recognizes that knowledge is not only alive and thus constantly changing, but that it also comes from a wide variety sources and is stored in many locations.

Following are three ways knowledge automation can be used to reap the rewards of your CRM investment:

Communicate your sales messages with "one voice"

Without the proper tools in their arsenal to pitch and close a sale, your sales team will be fighting an uphill battle from the start. In fact, CSO Insights reported that 42 percent of salespeople don't feel that they have the right information before calling on a prospect. With knowledge automation, only the best assets are surfaced for your team and, in turn, only the best assets are consistently shown and shared with prospects. Knowledge automation allows sales to share content directly with prospects and then track exactly what those prospects do with it, so a rep knows if she should follow up. This helps an average salesperson operate like your best and most connected salesperson, consuming and sharing the right materials to advance deals. Better still, this content is personalized to the sales reps and delivered inside their CRM system in the context of the deal they are working on and the particular products they are selling.

Track and utilize the marketing content that truly works

More than 50 percent of sales representatives don't believe their company's marketing content improves their sales effectiveness, 

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