Queries from your Fleet on Street
Your sales forces went through this really intense sales training, but when the rubber meets the road and they are in the field, there are many questions product sales or other business aspect. As part of sales forces effectiveness and performance support, your subject matter experts have to answer those questions.
There has to be an effective way to handle those queries, without burdening your subject matter experts / trainers, which then leads to a more smoother sales process. Also there is huge value in analyzing the root cause of these queries.
At times, these queries have its origin in the sales training process (ILT or LMS eLearnings). Many a times these queries can be due to changing dynamics of the industry, newer regulation recently enforced, recent changes in product which happened post training hence needing a knowledge update.
Having worked with a large number of organization to solve the training and performance support problem. More specifically, there is on large UK based insurance company, with a huge fleet on street, the process of engaging with them inspired us to look closely at this query management problem.
Depending on how an organization does query management determines what knowledge management “era” your organization lies in. The more advanced the era, smoother is the flow.
1 Stone Age Era : Uses Emails / Phones as support channel
These organizations are marked with exhausted subject matter experts / trainers. They battle between managing daily work and managing incoming query over email /phone. Most of the queries are FAQ, which leads to repeated work.
Since all the queries land into emails it becomes a search hell and it quickly leads to situations where the complain like “SME is not responding back to us in time” start to emerge.
Responding over phone call is even worse given the contact time of such calls, as it has its upper limit.
Typically, there are very less upsides to being in this state.
2 Medieval Era : Has Query Management System (QMS)
Organization now has query management system, that makes it easy to manage the incoming queries.
Sales agents ask a query using their computer / mobile, this query is logged into the QMS system. This allows proper load balancing to happens for the subject matter expert (SME), as it allows any available SME to work on the queries as required.
SME is able to answer the query more effectively, sometimes by copying curated response of frequently asked question.
Organization analyzes the kind of queries that are being received, and can run analysis to find out gaps in training or avenues for new trainings.
However there is still a lot of manual analytics involved in finding out gaps in trainings / newer training needs.
3 Modern Era : Connected QMS and LMS
Organization has realized that there is a huge potential if the query management system (QMS) and Learning Management System (LMS) talks to each other. It’s a great marriage with huge upsides.
That way LMS training does not remain a one time activity, but starts to be a tool for performance support. The sooner a query lands into the QMS, due to the integration with LMS, relevant training and materials starts to get listed. Now SME refers to part of the existing training as they respond to a query.
SME is able to easily prepare a FAQ and push into the LMS system.
The best part is that at anytime, courses can be graded basis the its effectiveness in preparing the fleet on street.
4 Post Modern Era : AI Bot based responses, prescriptive course assignment on LMS
Here Organization have AI bots that provide direct answers to the query raised by the sales folks. Not only it takes care of handling various ways in which queries are asked, but also allows users to speak out query in broad array of vernacular languages.
Most of the query that enter the system are ‘frequently asked question’ category, which is exactly the place where machines do a better job.
As we go deeper, the LMS system looking at the kind of query, what demographics it is coming from can auto recommend refresher training to the training manager.
Taking your organization to the next era
As a leader in your organization, one of the success that you can contribute is by setting yourself at the right “Era”.
There are many tools in market today, marked at various “Era”. Stratbeans has the following tools in the same league:
Medieval Era : Ask Expert QMS
Modern Era : Ask Expert LMS Module – Suggestion of course + Automatic FAQ Creation
Post Modern Era : GoPerform – AI bot for answering queries + GOP LMS module
For any enquiry please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org