“Of course banana trees are usually trees, that’s why there is ‘tree’ in the name. ”
That’s how a heated debate with my family started a few weeks ago. Or, instead, that’s how a heated issue would have started if Search engines had not ended it instantly. (In situation you’re curious, banana trees and shrubs are actually herbaceous plants ) .
At risk of getaway myself as a millennial, I feel like life before search engines like google was basically the wild, crazy west. Before we transported around the answers to basically everything in our pockets, we’d either be content with not so sure, settle on an incorrect solution, or consult books or even experts. (Madeleine’s father-in-law grows banana trees, he might be a good individual to ask…)
In the future, I think this is exactly what knowledge workers will consider the time before internal knowledge bases: Just how did everyone function prior to we consolidated all business knowledge into a single, easily accessible place?
Within 2020, Forrester asked more than 3, 1000 sales reps about their main hurdles to productivity. Finding content or information was at the top of the list.
And a McKinsey study found that information workers spend 20% of their time searching for internal information or even tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks.
Knowledge is a company’s most valuable asset, and being able to access this quickly and easily is essential to enhancing productivity and achieving targets. To make that a reality, you should create and maintain an internal knowledge base. Here’s a guide to create that happen.
- What is an internal knowledge base?
- How to use an indoor knowledge base
- How to develop a knowledge base in six steps
What is an internal information base?
An internal information base is really a library of knowledge created by a business for strict employee usage to easily (and securely) access confidential knowledge. The aim of a company knowledge base would be to make everyone’s job simpler by making company knowledge available on-demand.
A business knowledge base can hold solutions to basically anything. Including information about products, services, compliance, company history, and more. It may also contain the most up-to-date documents from all departments, including things like sales contracts, item roadmap, HR policies, and brand guidelines.
How to use an internal knowledge foundation
Think about an internal knowledge base as the spot to store the answers to every thing. Any question that people would certainly usually go to subject matter experts for answers to must be readily available—and easily searchable—in your internal knowledge bottom.
That way, instead of your employees pinging HR for health care policy information or asking marketing with regard to links to case studies, they can find what they require in your internal knowledge bottom.
Here are some types of how you can use an internal knowledge base:
- Answer customer questions
According to Hubspot research , salespeople invest 21% of their day writing emails. Many of those emails include following up to prospects with resources, or answering queries about the product or alternative. With an internal knowledge base available from their email, salesmen can find answers to consumer questions more efficiently—and get back to selling.
- Respond to RFPs, RFIs, Security Questionnaires, DDQs, etc .
Consolidating company knowledge streamlines responses to RFPs, RFIs, Security Questionnaires, DDQs—especially whenever you consolidate knowledge in an AI-enabled RFP software solution . We’ve discovered that organizations cut time responding to RFPs by 40% (on average) after applying RFP automation technology such as RFPIO.
- Improve onboarding
Brand new employees often ask exactly the same questions. Rather than relying on tenured employees to answer that will question time and time again, you can shop that answer in your internal knowledge base and allow it to be available on-demand to new employees.
- Stay on-brand
Shop marketing-approved articles in your inner knowledge base, including such things as branded slide decks, company letterhead, and templates, as well as brand guidelines and boilerplates.
- Get technical help
Use your inner knowledge base as a first choice spot for up-to-date IT info. Use your internal knowledge base to streamline common issues and communications.
- Answer assistance tickets
Store answers to back up tickets in your internal knowledge base. That way your support team can learn from each other’s experiences. Whenever a difficult support question comes up, your own team has a rich database to find the answer.
- Empower everyone to create their best content
When your company’s best answers are just a few clicks away, you can produce better content. This includes things such as blogs, slide decks, product sales proposals, and more.
How to create an internal knowledge base in 6 simple steps
If you need real-time knowledge sharing, a knowledge bottom is what your business needs. Knowledge bases can easily share details in real-time with verified employees.
There are many best practices to take into consideration when creating a company knowledge library. Listed below are the steps to consider when creating an internal information base :
- Consolidate existing knowledge
- Grow as you go
- Stay accurate and up-to-date
- Open up the floodgates
- Train your own team
- Conduct regular audits
Consolidate existing knowledge
I’m going to inform you something that might surprise a person: A quick way to consolidate corporation knowledge starts with your sales proposals, DDQs, and safety questionnaires.
When you write a sales suggestion — be it a proactive proposal , SOW, or response to a request for proposal, bid, or even tender — or react to other complex questionnaires (e. g. security questionnaires, DDQs) you’re compiling relevant, accurate, up-to-date information about your company, products, services, security standards, plus compliance status.
If your organization responds to RFPs , writes sales proposals, and/or fills out security questionnaires and DDQs, you already have the foundation upon which you can build your internal knowledge base.
Many teams choose to consolidate knowledge using a shareable spreadsheet (e. g. Google Sheets) or platforms like Sharepoint. While this is a perfectly respectable first step for smaller teams, it can be very labor-intensive, difficult to scale, and can very easily get out of control.
For a more long-term plus scalable solution, you might consider using an AI-enabled RFP automation solution (e. g. RFPIO). With RFPIO, you can import old responses (e. gary the gadget guy. to RFPs, RFIs, safety questionnaires, DDQs, etc) to the platform, and RFPIO’s trademarked import functionality will break your lengthy questionnaires into question-answer pairs.
Step two: Grow as you go
After you’ve consolidated articles from your sales proposals plus security questionnaires, start consolidating question-and-answer pairs (Q& The pairs) from other departments. If you’re using a spreadsheet, create a tab for each department. Within the tabs, designate a column with regard to “questions” and a column to get “answers”. If a question requirements multiple answers, you can create an additional column.
If you use an RFP software platform, growing as you go is more straightforward. Labels, collections, and custom areas keep your internal knowledge base organized. And the more questionnaires you respond to, the richer your Solution Library grows.
You can also easily build your inner knowledge base beyond proposals and questionnaires by adding question-answer pairs (Q& A pairs) not associated with any suggestion.
As a Content Marketing Manager, I use RFPIO as a hub for sales enablement documents, including situation studies, data sheets, one-pagers, blogs, and email layouts. Because of RFPIO’s advanced lookup functionality, the sales team can certainly find the information they need with a simple keyword search.
Step 3: Stay precise and up-to-date
The key to an internal understanding base is that it’s already been approved and pre-vetted from the right people.
Before you add any brand new Q& A pair to your inner knowledge base, make sure it’s been reviewed and accepted. If you’re using RFPIO, you can set up articles moderation , so any new Q& A pair must go through an internal knowledge base “gatekeeper” before it can be put into the library.
The second part is remaining accurate and up-to-date. Should you be using a non-automated solution such as Google Sheets or Sharepoint, you can use your calendar or email scheduling tool to remind yourself to review and verify information.
With RFPIO, you can established custom review cycles upon each Q& A pair. For instance , if you set the review cycle for 6 months, the content owner will be sent an email reminder every 6 months, asking them to review the answer plus verify it’s still up-to-date.
How often you should conduct reviews depends upon what type of content. As a standard rule of thumb:
- Corporate content should be reviewed as soon as every 90 days
- Product content should be reviewed every single 6-12 months
- Evergreen content should be reviewed every single 12-24 months
Step 4: Open the floodgates
Once you’ve created your own internal knowledge base, it’s time to give your team access.
If you’re using an AI-enabled internal understanding base solution like RFPIO, you have a lot more control over user permissions, so you can feel self-confident your people only have access to the content with need.
- Google Chrome,
- Ms Teams,
- Ms Outlook,
- Microsof company Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), and
- Chrome Edge
Step 5: Train your team
Individuals hate change. This rule never rings truer when you’re trying to get people to embrace a new system that will make their lives easier.
Even if you’re simply writing a link to a cloud-based spreadsheet or storage system, you still need to train your team on how to use it.
Here are a few best practices to get your team up and running with your inner knowledge base:
- Schedule coaching. More teaching than you think necessary. As soon as to show people how to use the device. And then again after 3 days, 3 weeks, and three months.
- Discuss information. Create how-to guides for utilizing the platform and share them with your team. And then share them again. And again.
- Learn from your own peers. Luckily, you’re not the first individual to ever implement an indoor knowledge base. Learn from just how other high-performing teams about how they set up their internal knowledge base:
- Read how the Microsoft team utilizes Microsoft Teams to make company knowledge widely available
- Read or Watch how Light up Education made their inner knowledge base available through Slack
- See how Genpact made company understanding available from Microsoft PowerPoint
Step 6: Perform Regular Audits
A healthy knowledge base requirements regular updates.
For content audit best practices, head over to our blog: Clean up your RFP answer library in 3 tips .
Get going building your internal knowledge base
Inner knowledge bases are ideal for companies looking to easily find resources efficiently and safely. Learn more about how RFPIO® Look for can help you create an internal knowledge base .
Or, should you be ready to see LookUp in action, schedule a customized demo .
The post Internal Knowledge Base: What it is, how to use it, as well as how to create one appeared first on RFPIO .