Most sales and marketing leaders are familiar with the term “sales enablement” however a far less commonly used term yet critical component within a sales strategy is “knowledge enablement”. Although the term "knowledge enablement" was coined over three decades ago, it is often overlooked and undermined by fintech firms who assume their teams are thoroughly versed in product and company information. By capitalising on the potential of knowledge through diligent team training, fintech companies can provide their sales teams with the insights, resources, and expertise necessary to engage prospects effectively and fuel revenue growth.

In the age of AI knowledge is king

Knowledge enablement involves creating, sharing, using, and managing an organisation's knowledge and information assets In the context of fintech sales, this means ensuring that sales representatives have access to the right information at the right time to address prospect inquiries, overcome objections, and close deals. According to Gartner, by 2025, 75% of B2B sales organisations will augment traditional sales playbooks with AI-guided selling solutions. Our newly released Ultimate Guide to Effective Sales Enablement expands further on the growing importance of leveraging knowledge enablement technologies to support sales teams in the fintech industry.

Five tips for overcoming prospect barriers with knowledge enablement

  1. Conduct a knowledge audit: Begin by assessing your organisation's existing knowledge assets, including product documentation, sales collateral, and customer feedback. Identify gaps and prioritise areas for improvement.
  2. Establish a central knowledge repository: Create a single, easily accessible platform where sales representatives can find the information they need. This could be a sales enablement platform, a company wiki, or a shared drive. Ensure that the repository is well-organised, searchable, and regularly updated.
  3. Encourage knowledge sharing: Foster a culture of knowledge sharing within your sales team. Encourage experienced representatives to share their insights and best practices with newer team members. Consider implementing a mentorship program or regular knowledge-sharing sessions.
  4. Leverage AI and automation: Explore how AI-powered tools can help your sales team access relevant information more quickly. AI-driven solutions can streamline the process of finding relevant content, enabling sales representatives to focus on engaging with prospects and closing deals.
  5. Measure and refine: Regularly assess the impact of your knowledge enablement efforts on key sales metrics, such as time to close, win rates, and customer satisfaction. Use these insights to continuously refine your approach and optimise your knowledge assets.

Product training is a marathon, not a sprint

One crucial aspect of knowledge enablement that cannot be overstated is the significance of ensuring sales team members have a comprehensive understanding of the product, user pain points, and challenges. It is essential to use well-researched data proof points to validate solutions and build credibility during prospecting conversations. Sales representatives who possess a deep understanding of the product's features, benefits, and potential limitations are better positioned to address prospect needs and objections with confidence and precision.

To achieve this level of product mastery, fintech companies must invest in a variety of training formats, especially role-playing and sporadic testing, to ensure that the knowledge is truly ingrained and not just glossed over. Role-playing exercises allow sales representatives to practise handling different scenarios and objections, while sporadic testing helps reinforce key concepts and identify areas where additional training may be needed. By providing ongoing, engaging, and interactive training, fintech companies can equip their sales teams with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their roles.

The consequences of neglecting sales training

Neglecting extensive knowledge training can result in significant challenges that hinder the ability to close deals and drive revenue growth. Lacking a deep understanding of product features, benefits, and potential pain points, go-to-market teams struggle to effectively address prospect needs and objections during sales conversations. This can lead to missed opportunities, as reps fail to demonstrate how their products solve specific problems or differentiate themselves from competitors. Consequently, prospects may lose confidence in the rep's expertise and the company's ability to deliver value, ultimately resulting in lost deals and revenue. Without a solid grasp of the competitive landscape and target industry trends, sales reps may find it challenging to position their products effectively. They may struggle to articulate their unique value proposition, differentiate their offerings from competitors, or tailor their messaging to resonate with specific market segments. 

This absence of market awareness can result in generic, unconvincing sales pitches that fail to capture prospects' attention and interest, leading to longer sales cycles and lower conversion rates. Without detailed knowledge of their ideal customer profiles and buyer personas, sales reps miss opportunities to personalise their interactions and build strong relationships with prospects ending up in generic, one-size-fits-all sales approaches that fail to resonate with individual prospects. By investing in ongoing training and providing reps with the insights they need to engage effectively with prospects, firms can foster a well-informed, adaptable, and customer-centric sales team that is better positioned to overcome competitive barriers, build strong relationships, and accelerate deal closures.

A testament to success

Fintech companies that have successfully implemented knowledge enablement strategies with consistent follow through tend to experience significant improvements in their sales performance. Notable improvements include increases in sales productivity, reduced new hire onboarding, and lower barriers to entry in the market. Recent research states the average sales ramp up time is over three months but can be as long as six. Considering the major headwinds sales teams are facing due to the current macro environment, a six month delay in generating pipeline could be significant. The same report further emphasises the significance of efficient product training, with high-growth companies reporting modestly faster average ramp times than laggards (2.8 versus 3.3 months respectively). 

Conclusion

Information is a valuable resource and a critical component of an effective sales enablement strategy. However, merely providing sales team members with surface-level product and company information is not enough to make a lasting impact. To truly resonate with prospects, sales and marketing teams must forge a symbiotic partnership, combining in-depth persona research with frontline insights gleaned from real-world buyer interactions. This multifaceted approach empowers sales professionals to deftly pivot their messaging based on each prospect's unique needs and use cases, without getting bogged down in manual administrative tasks.

By segmenting information into three key areas—product knowledge, market awareness, and buyer personas—sales teams can strategically craft a narrative that speaks directly to prospects' logical needs, demonstrates a keen understanding of the competitive landscape, and appeals to the emotional drivers that guide buyers through their decision-making process. By equipping sales teams with the right information and resources, fintech companies can improve engagement, increase win rates, and drive revenue growth.

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