To become a valuable subject matter expert, think revenue

Think you’re not part of the revenue team at your organization? Think again. As a subject matter expert (SME), you’re brought in for moral support in a multitude of revenue generating activities within your organization every day.

It may seem like revenue generation is “not your job.” You have plenty of work stacked high on a full plate as it is. Anytime someone asks you for help responding to a business query—like an RFP (Request for Proposal), a DDQ (Due Diligence Questionnaire), or a complex product question from a sales prospect—it might be tempting to look the other way.

If you want to be a top-performing SME, it’s time to see revenue support as an important function of your job. Without further ado, let’s dig into a few reasons for switching to a revenue-driven mindset to help you bring more value to the table.

Are subject matter experts the new rainmakers?

Since subject matter experts are considered authorities on specific areas and topics, the power is in your hands. You have to decide what to do with that power. If you are open to using your superpowers for the good of your organization, that will open a lot of doors for you.

Buyers are more willing to talk to SMEs, because they know they will get the best answer to their question. Whereas if they ask the same question to a salesperson, they might feel they are being sold to versus being informed.

Top organizations recognize that sales departments must evolve, just as the buyer’s journey has evolved. That means recognizing subject matter experts as the new rainmakers in the organization, with specialties that hold high value throughout the sales process. When SMEs are surrounded by support and resources, they can drive progress with revenue goals.

Make it Rain…Here’s a Blog Post SMEs Love

Influence vs. expertise in response management

Responding to RFPs is one of the key opportunities for winning new business. They are a team effort on the grandest scale, requiring an organization to work closely together to submit a compelling deliverable.

Sales and marketing may be the influencers, but you’re the expert. According to Adweek:

“Expertise is how someone reacts to your knowledge, whereas influence is how someone reacts to your status. People who have true expertise are inherently more influential, based on the power of that expertise.”

You can have the best proposal writer in the world, but they will not have the necessary expertise to fill in important product details. You can have the most attractive branding and the most driven sales team, but that won’t save a sales proposal that is missing the technical heart and soul. When it comes to response management, your expertise holds the power to influence the entire deal.

Be methodical as you support your revenue team

Take a look around. Your revenue team includes people from sales, marketing, support, and customer success. Take a look in the mirror now. If you’re willing to participate in revenue-generating activities like RFPs and security questionnaires, you’re part of the revenue team too.

Take a peek behind the operational curtain to make sure your revenue team is using technology, like a response management platform. If you’re always repeating responses in a document that’s being passed around the office, that’s a red flag that software is not being used to make the response process more efficient.

A response management platform like RFPIO has many benefits for organizations, yet only 16% use this technology. One of the main benefits is making the most relevant company information accessible to everyone. It takes the weight off your shoulders when you have:

  • A searchable information hub for all of your organization’s content called an answer library.
  • An AI-powered content recommendation engine that makes finding your best responses easier.
  • A Google Chrome extension called RFPIO Lookup, which allows you to search, select, and store answer library content across all web pages and applications.

Just because you’re on the revenue team doesn’t mean you should follow the rules that are already in place. Because your expertise is in high demand, use your methodical way of thinking to your advantage. This will make life easier for you and your revenue team.

Becoming a top-performing SME is a quick form submission away. Sign up for a demo of RFPIO right here.


As the Co-Founder and Content Strategist at Superneat Marketing, Britt strives to inspire RFP responders with content and resources that support their cause.

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