What Do Expert Networks Look for In Subject Matter Experts

  • Anuj Saxena


<p style="text-align: justify;"><img src="https://kradminasset.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/ExpertViews/WhoAreSubjectMatterExpertsOption02.jpg" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">A Subject Matter Expert (SME) is a professional with advanced knowledge and a profound understanding of a particular topic, process, domain, function, department, technology, material, machine, or type of equipment.</p><p class="bbox" style="text-align: justify;"><em>Subject matter experts weigh in when a person or organization needs to populate information about a topic, usually while conducting market research, and require expertise on the issue. SMEs are always in significant demand across industries.</em></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Many people aspire to be SMEs in their fields. If you want to be a subject matter expert, this blog will show you how to do so. We have outlined how SMEs work, their roles and responsibilities, and the skills you'll need to become an SME in your field.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong>What Is a Subject Matter Expert?</strong></span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Subject matter experts are individuals with proven expertise and unmatched authority in a particular area or topic. Their expertise in a specific subject or domain uniquely qualifies them to guide people and develop strategies.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">These days, almost every organization consults SMEs. They not only guide people but also resolve technical challenges or help them do it through their expertise.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">SMEs continuously upgrade their knowledge, expertise, and understanding of their work area. This is another reason companies look to employ SMEs or help develop existing employees into SMEs that positively impact the work environment.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong>Who Uses Subject Matter Experts?</strong></span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Subject matter experts are frequently consulted by those who want to learn more about a new market, product line, or investment opportunity:</p><ul><li style="list-style-type: none;"><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Private equity professionals evaluating a potential investment</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Asset managers and hedge funds portfolio managers assessing a stock</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Leadership and strategy teams, when challenged with a strategic decision</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Firms that conduct research for clients' projects, such as due diligence</li></ul></li></ul><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong>How Do Subject Matter Experts Work?</strong></span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The designing, planning, or execution teams may call SMEs when confronted with a specific challenge and require expert intervention to resolve it. For example,</p><ul><li style="list-style-type: none;"><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Project managers may consult SMEs when they encounter a complex challenge beyond their generalized understanding or knowledge - for instance, <span style="color: #3598db;"><a style="color: #3598db;" href="https://www.knowledgeridge.com/c/CaseStudiesDetails/15">resolving contemporary manufacturing challenges</a></span> that require a specific working knowledge of the manufacturing equipment involved.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">A company's training and learning department may invite an SME to prepare specific training program content or review the existing one to suggest improvements, changes, or upgrades. Discover how Knowledge Ridge aided a global capital management firm <span style="color: #3598db;"><a style="color: #3598db;" href="https://www.knowledgeridge.com/c/CaseStudiesDetails/29">gain insights into growth prospects in the education and learning space</a></span>.</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Realtors may invite a real estate market SME for an <span style="color: #3598db;"><a style="color: #3598db;" href="https://www.knowledgeridge.com/c/CaseStudiesDetails/30" target="_blank" rel="noopener">expert opinion on the current market trends</a></span>, forecasts, downwaves, etc.</li></ul></li></ul><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong>How to Become a Subject Matter Expert?</strong></span></h2><p class="bbox" style="text-align: justify; line-height: 1.4;"><em>You require more than just training and experience to become a true subject matter expert. Building credibility and executive authority need more than just knowledge. Acceptance &amp; acknowledgment as a subject matter expert is accomplished through a combination of education, skill, and marketing.</em></p><p style="text-align: justify; line-height: 1.4;">SMEs are often sought by businesses that:</p><ul><li style="list-style-type: none;"><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Are set to become public, or are ready to be acquired</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Have a rising (or falling) stock price</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Are introducing a new product</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Are faced with new or additional government policies or regulations</li></ul></li></ul><p style="text-align: justify;">Becoming an SME requires you to study concepts thoroughly and gain as much knowledge and understanding as possible about the topic of your interest. You cannot become an SME overnight. It requires patience and perseverance to qualify as an SME.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><img src="https://kradminasset.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/ExpertViews/HowtoBecomeaSubjectMatterExpert01.jpg" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Explained &ndash; How to become a subject matter expert:</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>1. Acquire Knowledge</strong></span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">Since SMEs are specialists with the highest knowledge and understanding about a particular subject, to stay current, you must keep up with new advancements in your chosen subject and develop new skills. You can learn on the job or through online classes or certification courses.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Additionally, you must stay attentive to learning opportunities and take the initiative.</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>2. Broaden Your Knowledge Sources</strong></span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">It is best not to rely solely on one source of knowledge or insights to become an SME. <a href="https://www.knowledgeridge.com/Knowledge-Ridge-Experts-Views" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gathering relevant insights from diverse sources</a> is as crucial as the quantum of knowledge. So, to expand your knowledge base, you must widen your sources.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In addition to the internet and books, you must attend conferences, join online forums and offline business chapters, talk to SMEs, and stay apprised with the latest updates and news about your topic of interest.</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>3. Verify Your Knowledge Continuously</strong></span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">Since you are an SME, your clients will consider your views, opinions, advice, and recommendations as the final word. People may look up to you to help them achieve their desired goals. Therefore, you must test and retest your knowledge, theories, etc. and prove their results.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Unverified knowledge and uncertain outcomes may ruin a particular project, thus tarnishing your identity as a subject matter expert.</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>4. Establish Yourself as an Authority</strong></span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">Though SMEs are regarded as an authority in a particular area of work, knowledge alone may not suffice in establishing you as an SME in today's online age. You must make an effort to post informative content in blogs and videos across various social media. Additionally, answering questions on multiple forums with conviction, accuracy, and an authoritative manner can further corroborate your stance as an SME.</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>5. Neutral Views and Authenticity</strong></span></h3><p style="text-align: justify;">While talking as an SME, you must offer unbiased and authentic views. Your recommendations must not sound salesy or promotional, driven by commissions from a particular company to promote their products or services.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong>A Subject Matter Expert&rsquo;s Roles and Responsibilities </strong></span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The fundamental role of an SME is to ensure the authenticity of the facts and details and that it meets the needs of stakeholders, policies, standards, and best practices. To do so, companies expect SMEs to do the following:</p><ul><li style="list-style-type: none;"><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Offer recommendations for procedural upgrades</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Define organizational, departmental, or project processes and policies</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Communicate how the company should apply the rules, regulations, processes, and policies</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Identify pain points and recommend process improvements</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Validate the needs and deliverables of the product or service involved</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Offer valuable insights and inputs to help design and construct test cases and scenarios</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Test a particular product or service, using it, evaluate and provide honest and comprehensive feedback about it to the development team</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Guide content accuracy</li></ul></li></ul><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong>Skills Required to Be a Subject Matter Expert</strong></span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">SMEs must develop crucial abilities outside of their area of expertise in order to be successful. You must develop the following skills and be:</p><ul><li style="list-style-type: none;"><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">An expert in your area of work</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Experienced enough to guide people</li><li style="text-align: justify;">An excellent observer</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Curious about learning new things</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Innovative</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Cooperative</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Excellent communicator</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Active and helpful</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Precise and transparent with your thoughts and views</li></ul></li></ul><p class="bbox" style="text-align: justify;"><em>If you have an extensive understanding of a product or market, the chances are that someone wants to tap into that expertise.</em></p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong>The Knowledge Ridge Advantage for Experts </strong></span></h2><p>At Knowledge Ridge, we assist our clients in sharpening crucial decisions, driving innovation, and making more informed investments. We provide an excellent platform for industry leaders to share their knowledge, skills, and expertise to catalyze business decisions worldwide.</p><p>Whenever clients require a relevant expert, they think of Knowledge Ridge.</p><p>Our most significant advantage is <strong>custom vetting</strong>. After extensive research and a meticulous phone vetting process, we hand-pick our subject matter experts to ensure that we save our client&rsquo;s human hours which they would otherwise expend on conducting due diligence and background checks.</p><p>Additionally, clients find our experts highly trustworthy and valuable because we ensure that our SMEs:</p><ul><li style="list-style-type: none;"><ul><li>Expertise matches the client's stated requirement</li><li>Are authentic and establish their unique point of view</li><li>Are specific and transparent with their thoughts and theories</li><li>Are curious about learning new things</li><li>Are deliberate about how they engage with our clients</li></ul></li></ul><p><a href="https://www.knowledgeridge.com/Careers">We are one of the fastest-growing expert networks</a> that provide end-to-end expert solutions to companies globally and across various industries. Click here to <a href="https://www.knowledgeridge.com/Knowledge-Ridge-Contact">connect with us</a>.</p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;"><strong>Frequently Asked Questions</strong></span></h3><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Why do we need subject matter experts?</strong></span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">We need Subject matter experts in various domains to resolve advanced challenges that demand thorough expertise, experience, and comprehensive understanding.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>Who can be a subject matter expert?</strong></span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">People who&rsquo;ve developed a comprehensive understanding of a particular subject and extensive experience can qualify to become subject matter experts.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>What are subject matter expert services?</strong></span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">SME services offer companies highly specialized knowledge concerning a particular area, process, technical methods, practices, etc. Companies can invite SMEs to guide their professionals, provide advice and make unbiased expert recommendations to help them overcome challenges.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;"><strong>How do we assess a subject matter expert?</strong></span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Here are some quick suggestions on how to evaluate a subject matter expert&rsquo;s knowledge, expertise, and quantity and quality of experience:</p><ul><li style="list-style-type: none;"><ul><li style="text-align: justify;">Assess the SME&rsquo;s work process</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Verify the SME&rsquo;s credentials</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Run a proof of concept (PoC) if required</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Talk to previous clients or companies served</li><li style="text-align: justify;">Examine results delivered in the past</li></ul></li></ul>