Thursday 5 November 2020

Quantified KM value story number 142; 7-figure increase in sales revenue from simple knowledge sharing meetings

 HBR have published a case study showing the impact of simple structured knowledge sharing meetings. 

Although the article is entitled "how virtual teams can better share knowledge", the study was held using face to face knowledge transfer meetings, pre-Covid.

The study attempted to test whether incentives or structure were more important drivers of knowledge transfer. The researchers worked with 3 groups of sales staff;

  • The first group were incentivised to improve their sales performance by working in pairs, but without providing and structure to the knowledge transfer.
  • The second group were not given any incentives, but were provided with a structured knowledge transfer approach, where each of the pairs created a "self-reflection" worksheet which was then shared in the pairs to identify knowledge which could be shared, and the pairs were then encouraged to interview each other.
  • The third group were given the same structure AND incentives as well. 

The study claims that 

The second and third groups realized a 24% increase in sales productivity, on average, during the four weeks that the meetings took place. Worker pairs who only received explicit incentives (group 1) saw a 13% lift in performance during these same weeks.

Several months later, workers who participated in these meetings averaged 18% higher sales production than those who had not. By contrast, the group that received incentives alone had no long-term gains.  The greatest beneficiaries of the meetings were employees who had been paired with high-performing peers. 
"Over the 24 weeks that we tracked sales data, the firm realized a 7-figure (>$10 million)  increase in revenue among those who participated in the guided meetings. The implementation cost was less than $15,000".

They also conclude that the role of management is to ensure that reflection and knowledge transfer is expected and structured by creating "opportunities and directives" within routine work. 

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