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Knowledge Management Software

Your London sales rep has a customer question about a new feature, but your product manager in Portland just logged off for the day.

You’re managing a remote team of 12, and you’ve been DMed the same question a dozen times.

You know you saw those new sales battle cards somewhere...but was it in Slack, Gmail, or somewhere else?

Sound familiar? Then you need knowledge management software

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What is knowledge management software?

Knowledge management (KM) software, also called knowledge base software or a knowledge management platform, is a tool that helps organizations capture, distribute, and effectively use their collective knowledge. Essentially, it’s a way to give every member of an organization access to the information they need to do their job. Some traditional, but limited, examples of KM software are web portals, docs and spreadsheets, and wikis.

Modern knowledge management software streamlines the KM process in a way that saves employees time (time they’d otherwise spend searching through spreadsheets and wikis for information) and in turn, saves companies money. The best knowledge management software streamlines the process even further by delivering the knowledge you need to you, right when you need it. Learn more about knowledge management with our reference guide.

Why is knowledge management software important?

In the broadest sense, knowledge management system software compiles the knowledge of your organization’s MVPs and makes that knowledge available to your whole team. By eliminating knowledge silos, KM software can save time and money, and improve performance. But not all knowledge management software is created equal, so it’s important to find a solution that’s a good fit for your team.

Finding the best knowledge management software

So you’ve checked Google and come up with a (long) list of knowledge sharing tools that probably includes Confluence, Zendesk, Freshdesk, Guru (hey, that’s us!), wikis, and more. So how do you decide? First ask these two very basic questions:

Who is the expected audience? Team members who need to share knowledge internally? Or customers who need a self-service help desk and access to FAQs?

For external needs, look for a self-service portal that makes it easy for your customers to get quick answers to common questions and problems.

For internal knowledge bases, ask which teams need access, and how their needs differ. Don’t look for a one-size-fits-all solution; look for a unified solution that is customizable to specific needs. What business processes need to be taken into consideration? Here are some examples:

  • Customer support teams require ticketing and ticket-linking
  • Marketing and sales teams need to understand how their content performs
  • HR is adamant that they need document management and PDF export
  • New employees want quick access to onboarding information
  • Remote workers need to know about word-of-mouth updates
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Knowledge management software comparison (things to look for)

Suddenly, this list of options is looking a lot more manageable, and you’re ready to think about the features you need. Focus on long-term usability to ensure your knowledge sharing solution is a good investment. All knowledge management tools are not created equal, so ask the following questions:

  • Is the knowledge management solution primarily for storing company knowledge, or making it accessible?
  • Focus on more than just content management here; you want to make sure team members can actually find what they need, and use what they find.
  • Does the user experience make sense?
  • Is it easy to see what you need at a glance? Or do you have to dig to find what you’re looking for? The user interface should be simple to navigate when you don’t know what you need, not just when you do.
  • Does the solution make it easy to see when a piece of knowledge was last updated?
  • How does it ensure that the knowledge it holds doesn’t go stale or expire without being removed?
  • Where will team members most likely need easy access to knowledge?
  • Make sure the solution you choose integrates with or overlays your other SaaS collaboration and project management tools.
  • How quick and easy is it to search for knowledge in a particular platform?
  • Is it strictly keyword-based with pages of undistinguished results? Or can you filter based on tags or level of organization?
  • Does your platform make it easy to identify duplicate or slightly conflicting information?
  • If multiple people are adding information on the same subject, your solution should be able to help you identify potential conflicts in order to maintain knowledge usability.

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