How Do You Share Content with Your Sales Team?

It’s a simple question. How do you share content, all the various digital pieces of content your salespeople need along the entire customer’s path, with your sales team?

In this digital age with its abundance of technologies that could help with this challenge, you might assume that most organizations use some kind of sales enablement content management solutions. I did, too. However, the data says something different, based on our 2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Study.

Today, the majority of organizations (51.6%) either email content to salespeople (29.0%) or provide content in multiple repositories (22.6%).

Only 28.9% of organizations use a specific method that allows salespeople to find sales content in a way salespeople search and need relevant content, either via a stand-alone sales enablement platform or integrated within the CRM system.

Salespeople need content at every stage along the customer’s path. How you provide that content matters a lot, in terms of access, speed, available selling time, consistent messaging, productivity and performance.

Salespeople need content at their fingertips for a specific lead or opportunity, to have the right message regarding a specific business challenge the prospect needs to solve, for a particular buyer role, in a certain industry, ad a certain phase of their customer’s path.

Salespeople’s content requirements are situational in nature; they need content for an actual person in a specific organization. The more advanced an opportunity is along the customer’s path, the more specific are the content requirements, from both salespeople and buyers.

Content creators, whether they’re from marketing, product management, sales enablement or elsewhere, do not create content with the salespeople’s requirements or the customer’s buying process in mind. They usually create a certain number of assets around a specific business challenge, to serve a certain industry or to support a product launch.

Content creators work in topic-oriented buckets for buyer roles and for entire industries. And that’s how they store content – using categories that make sense to them as content creators. But salespeople search for categories of content that make sense to them as content users.

Sales enablement content solutions exist to establish a sales layer on top of the various locations and structures of content. This sales enablement layer effectively unites content creators (only 39% of content, salespeople need, comes from marketing) and content users (salespeople and buyers) on the same platform.

Sales enablement content solutions (stand-alone, or within the CRM) have a remarkable impact on sales productivity.

Having content on multiple repositories (shared drives, various locations in the intranet, etc.) is the least effective way to provide content; this practice correlates with an average quota attainment rate of 49.7%, compared to the study’s average (57.7%). The most effective ways are working with a sales enablement platform, having the content in the CRM or ideally, having the enablement platform integrated in the CRM system. With a sales enablement content solution, the percentage of salespeople who achieve their quota can be improved by 5.5 percentage points up to 63.2%, which is an actual improvement of 9.5% compared to the study’s average of 57.7%. Similar data exists regarding revenue attainment.

Based on the data, investing in sales enablement content solutions is a no-brainer. The data provides a compelling case for investing in these technologies. However, there are a few things to be considered and some homework to be done, to make such a technology investment effective.

Next week, we are going to discuss the steps you should take to make such an implementation work in your organization, and the processes to be implemented to remain successful after the implementation.

And, of course, if you haven’t already, have a look at our new book Sales Enablement – A Master Framework to Engage, Equip and Empower a World-Class Sales Force. Lots of “how to” information to address the challenges mentioned here.

Questions for you:

  • How do you share content with your sales force?
  • If you have already invested in enablement technology, what did you experience?
  • What are the steps you have taken to make it a success?
  • What are your lessons learned so far?

 

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