Industry Knowledge, A Core Capability
At your company, you support a diverse workforce with a range of skill sets and knowledge. Some may be great sales agents, some may be experts in your industry, and others may be specialized in their role. A diversified workforce generates new ideas and improves productivity (Source), the only thing missing is ensuring everyone has a similar understanding of your industry. A shared foundational knowledge across teams can differentiate you from the crowd. Establishing trust with current clients and signaling to future ones that you are the company to work with.
So, how do you develop this capability in everyone at your company to use in-house industry knowledge? Here are a few strategic tips to get you started:
Share Expert Knowledge As we shared in a previous blog post, curating your subject matter expert knowledge is critical. Making it easily accessible and shareable makes it useful too while on-the-job.
Plan Industry Competency Levels Understand what it takes for a learner to become an expert in your industry. What does foundational, intermediate, advanced and mastery look like? You don’t want to turn on the firehose of information and let them sift through. Consider foundational knowledge to be something like: understanding competitors and their products, get familiar with major industry publications and standards, and how to identify industry trends. This can build learner interest and self-motivate to learn more.
Providing Guidance Mentorship programs are not for every organization depending on size and structure. But giving your teams a place where they can ask questions, receive feedback and advice based on scenarios without judgment will give them confidence. It also provides you with great data and information about what your workforce is thinking of and encountering in the field.
Building capability in your workforce with industry knowledge gives you an edge. If you are not addressing the changes in your industry or helping your teams do the same it can result in a loss of opportunities. Also, you may fail to deliver what your customers want or need.
It is essential to move your workforce from foundational knowledge to a mastery level communicator of your industry, products, and processes. Montage has worked with many different companies to plan their industry knowledge journey. Dedicated growth in your workforce results in growth of your company as a whole.
A great way to provide guidance and foundation is through your company’s past experiences. Get started by creating use cases for your industry library that detail:
- Your client’s problem
- How the problems impacted the client
- How your team went about solving the problem
- Metrics used to measure the solution’s ROI