A Better Approach to Sales Content Management

Every day, enterprise salespeople ask themselves: where can I find the right content to send to my prospect?

For most companies, the default answer is Google Drive, Dropbox, or whatever file repository the company is using. But that’s not always helpful. For example, if you are looking for a previous proposal to use as a template for a new prospect in, say, the auto industry, knowing they are seeking X functionality, how can you find the most relevant sample in your company’s drive? Unless your company has very rigid file naming standards, it often involves a lot of searching around through incomplete or irrelevant search queries to find what you’re looking for. 

Solving this simple issue doesn’t need to be difficult. Rather, it’s easily fixed with an effective sales content management solution. The goal of a good sales content management solution is to have a central place where sales assets are created, stored, and organized so teams can access them at any point in the selling cycle. This hub can be a cornerstone for sales enablement, but it’s also an effective way to increase your teams’ productivity and performance. 

A recent survey of salespeople by HubSpot Research found more than half rely on their peers to get tips for improving. 44 percent looked to their manager, 35 percent to team training resources, and 24 percent to media.

The need for sales content isn’t just an internal issue, though. As more companies implement social selling programs for their reps, there’s an even larger need for a central hub that is accessible and has an abundance of easy-to-share resources. In fact, studies show half of sales revenue is influenced by social selling in 14 common industries, including computer software, healthcare, and marketing and advertising. 

How can you get more mileage out of your sales enablement content? Here are a few best practices to get you started:

Take Note of Your Existing Assets 


Whether you’re currently storing your existing sales asset library in Box, Sharepoint, or something else, it’s very likely that you have a pretty large backlog of materials, which can make getting started feeling like climbing a mountain. 

Going back to basics can be the easiest way to overcome this initial hurdle: consider making a spreadsheet to take an inventory of all existing assets, noting the name of the item, what type of item it is (i.e., a video, a PPT, etc), a short description of its use, and a link to where it’s stored. This exercise is helpful when it comes to getting a better understanding of existing assets, but it also enables you to archive outdated and irrelevant content, while identifying additional content needs at your enterprise.

Address Gaps in Your Internal (and External) Content


If you want to improve your internal sales collateral, it’s important to have a clear strategy in mind and it starts with surveying your sales force. Find out if there are any pieces of content they like or refer to a lot and use this as an opportunity to update those documents. You’ll also want to find out if there are any knowledge gaps that exist in your materials. Is there something your reps could use more training on or a new trend coming down the pike they should be prepared for? Perhaps you noticed during the inventory phase that assets are out of date, don’t have complete information on them, or don’t address some new functionalities your product has. These are all good fodder for new content. 

This assessment doesn’t just have to apply to your internal sales documents. It’s also a great time to determine any additional external assets you need to have for any social selling initiatives your company might have. After all, when it comes to building a business case, content is king and still significantly influences purchase decisions. According to a survey by DemandGen, three-quarters of buyers said the content of potential vendors had a “significant impact” on which they chose. 

Your sales team likely spends all day talking to current customers and potential clients, which makes them a wealth of information when it comes to understanding what assets are worth developing. Ask them about their communication pain points, what prospects ask questions about and where there might be any opportunities to alleviate confusion. 

But planning new external sales assets shouldn’t exist in a vacuum: your company’s marketing team is also a great resource to tap into. They spend all day crafting and refining different messages to prospects and can usually offer data and feedback on what content will sing (and which will fall flat). 

Lastly, don’t forget to look critically at the customer journey for opportunities. When you have a better understanding of how your prospects become customers, you can identify where content can help eliminate friction at various points in the sales process.

Creating Sales Content


When it comes to putting together new internal and external-facing content, the possibilities are endless. Of course, it’s important to approach it realistically and strategically. Recognize that Rome wasn’t built in a day and, as such, neither will all the sales collateral you want to produce. Identify which pieces are the priority and enter them into a content calendar. This easy tool allows you to set timeline goals while budgeting your time realistically.

But who says content needs to build itself or only be done by one person? Tap into subject matter experts at your company so you can divide up the creation of these assets. Your team is also a great resource for some of these items, be they sales scripts, proposal templates, blog posts, or something else. 

Stuck on content ideas? Try these:

  • Customer content: Case studies, white papers, blog posts, informative videos, downloadables like infographics, eBooks, etc.
  • Informative content: emails, presentations, brochures, multimedia files, informational documents
  • Internal sales content: sales scripts, email templates, product sheets, training materials, sales playbooks, micro-trainings, onboarding documentation, PPT templates, proposal templates, training modules, role-playing videos, sales education

Categorizing Sales Content Effectively


Sales has an information overload issue, which makes this arguably the most important step when it comes to the implementation and adoption of your sales content management platform. 

It’s no secret that sales professionals are busy people, but that doesn’t always mean they’re being productive. When it takes your reps an inordinate amount of time to find the content they’re looking for, productivity (and, you guessed it: profit) takes a dip. 

The stats are staggering: Aberdeen found out that sales reps spend close to 43 hours every month searching for information. That’s over 500 hours a year. Imagine what each member of your team could do if they got even a fraction of that time back. 

Organizing sales content in ways that speed up the search process is not only a productivity enhancer but a likely factor in winning more customers.  

Channels
Separate content into channels based on goal or subject matter. It also creates a search functionality that enables multiple methods of finding the right content. 

In this paradigm, a proposal that is uploaded to the sales content management solution can be assigned to a channel, such as Automotive, as well as to other relevant channels like Proposals, Prospects, or Customers.  Similar to a quantum bit of content, it can now exist simultaneously in more than one place and be found by salespeople searching from many different angles.

The beauty of a channel-based system, as opposed to a traditional folder system, is that it allows you to quickly add content to a new or existing channel with a single click. Whereas, adding new folders to a large store of existing content is much more difficult and assets tend to get lost in the process.

Tagging
Tagging is another way to effectively facilitate content discovery. If you were to create a new proposal for BMW, it can be stored and assigned multiple tags, increasing the likelihood it will be easily found later. 

Contextual Documentation
It’s not enough to know what content exists, context is also invaluable when it comes to saving time and boosting productivity. This may be in the form of thumbnails, which can provide a clue as to what is inside the file, or a description to accompany the file name. 

Annotations
A leading-edge sales content management solution should also enable annotations, which leave important insights about content for others to refer to. You might note that x asset may work best for y cohort but a video would work better for z. When the ability to comment is enabled, sales reps and managers can collaborate better, outlining which assets may help with a particular opportunity or problem. That also means advice is preserved within the content portal and easily referred to later, rather than being forgotten or lost in a black hole of email.

A good sales content management system gives your team an easy way to share what they’ve learned so you don’t have to wait for a pipeline review or a sales conference to learn what’s working–the sales intelligence is right there next to the content they used.

This functionality does not exist when you simply save a slide deck to Box or a similar file storage system but saving it in a place where users can comment, rate, and suggest improvements or tweaks to the content is an action that can actually lead to more closed deals.  

Distributing Knowledge 


Perhaps unsurprisingly: 60-70% of content produced by sales and marketing teams never gets used. After all, if it’s not getting used, what’s the point? Your sales force is always on-the-go and having one, singular portal across multiple devices is a great way for them to find whatever content they need, wherever they are. Whether they’re using the portal on desktop, an iOS app or Android app, make the content as easy to access as possible. 

Measure the Impact


Determining what sales content is having an impact goes much further than just knowing what your team is downloading. This doesn’t just apply to your team, it also applies to prospects. Having access to a suite of analytics can help you easily see:

  • What content is being shared
  • Who is sharing it
  • Whom they are sharing the information with
  • How engaged the prospect was with it
  • If it contributed to increased sales

Data doesn’t lie: when sales teams create and distribute content that is meaningful to their audience, they are radically more effective.

———–
Would you like to learn more about how CircleHD’s sales content management solutions can help your team deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time? We’d love to speak with you. Contact us today.


Using Sales Enablement Video To Onboard and Train Sales Professionals

As a sales manager with over fifteen years of experience, I’ve had the privilege of onboarding and training many sales professionals, as well as implementing sales enablement initiatives at many different organizations. Because each of these hires had a different start date, the onboarding was done one person at a time.

Originally, I’d provide a one-hour session on how to use our CRM system to the new hire starting in mid-August, and then I’d give the exact same session to the person starting in early September.

Not very efficient.

Today, the availability of platforms makes it possible to do onboarding better.

If a sales enablement solution has a video creation functionality, it is easy for a sales manager to record a training session that can be done once, and used by every new hire. It’s as simple as logging in to the portal, selecting the browser displaying the CRM tool, and clicking the Record button:

CircleHD for sales enablement in Chrome Browser Recording Plugin

With recording engaged, your training session becomes a video, with your narration taking your virtual trainees through leads, opportunities, reports, sales stages, and everything else they need to know about how to use your CRM tool effectively.

Here are some of the benefits of recording your CRM video training session:

Sales Enablement and Training Accuracy

When you train someone in person, at best they take notes and remember much of what you’ve explained. But typically, several weeks later, the notes are buried among other notes, and they’ve forgotten quite a bit of the session.

With video, all the knowledge you’ve shared is perfectly preserved, and it’s available to your team 24/7, whenever they have a need to refresh their recollection.

Intelligent Organization and Advanced Search of Sales Training Content

The best sales enablement solutions allow you to divide an hour-long video into Chapters. If someone needs to review what you said about opportunities, they can just review that Chapter, rather than trying to fast forward through the entire video.

In fact, the very best sales enablement platforms also allow salespeople to search for specific words and phrases, inside of a video:

CircleHD sales enablement Search within Videos

Salespeople Prefer Online Learning

No matter how hard I tried as a manager to make sessions interactive, I know they often felt like a forced lecture to my sales team. Today, salespeople prefer self-serve learning, choosing times that fit their busy schedules that often change at a moment’s notice.

And you can still evaluate how well your team has learned. The highest-rated sales enablement portals provide feedback and rating tools, as well as reports and analytics, and even the ability to create quizzes and lessons, all of which help managers gauge the effectiveness of video training.

Make your sales training efficient, productive, and easy. Deploy a sales enablement solution that offers video recording, and reap the benefits.

Contact us today to learn more about how CircleHD can help your organization with your sales enablement goals.


Sales Enablement Tools Can Help You Train Your Team Faster

Sales enablement solutions are changing the sales operation landscape. Legacy, old-school learning systems are not user-friendly, and consumer-grade solutions don’t offer important security and access controls needed by enterprises. To create and maintain a well-trained sales team, companies need to explore ways to improve their onboarding, training, and information-sharing capabilities.

Today, a best-practice sales enablement platform should provide you with the ability to upload and intelligently organize video content, and to record training videos in a few clicks.

An enablement solution should make it easy for all team members to share content with each other, and with external partners. By design, these tools should be open, collaborative, and secure.

What is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is the implementation of technology to make the onboarding and training of sales teams more efficient and productive. Using a modern platform will allow sales teams to sell with far more skill, and maintains all relevant sales collateral in an organized, shareable portal.

Discover the Benefits of Sales Enablement

From small businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises, sales enablement solutions help streamline the on-boarding process and speed up new-hire training. These solutions empower companies to communicate their processes and procedures and share company updates faster.

1. 24/7 Training Availability

Because sales professionals are in constant motion, it can be difficult to get the entire team together for training, updates, and reporting. By contrast, creating videos and uploading them to a central location allows team members to view training content when they can give the material their full attention.

2. Faster, Higher Quality Onboarding Of New Hires

A sales enablement platform gives you the most effective solution for efficient, high-quality training. Training new team members, one at a time, in an ad hoc manner is not efficient. Asking salespeople to read one-dimensional training documents is a low-quality learning experience when compared with videos and slide presentations that combine graphics with audio explanations.

3. Keep Company Information Current

Whether there’s a change in business operations, changes to CRM software, product updates, and pricing changes, employees should be given an overview and some training.

The most efficient way to communicate these changes is to create instructional videos that can be uploaded and shared with the entire team; that remains available 24/7, and that can be accessed through any device.

Sales Enablement Manager

The Sales Enablement Manager plays a critical role by providing dedicated support to the team’s success. This person typically has prior experience with highly-technical and complex sales in the enterprise space. They optimize the sales process, create amazing sales playbooks, manage certifications, and drive revenue campaigns. This person should be adept at working with prospects as they are with working with customers.

WHAT’S THE Difference between A Sales Enablement Manager and Sales Ops Manager?

At smaller organizations, these roles may be interchangeable. But when a company is in “growth mode”, the Sales Ops Manager carries out many of the administrative and operational tasks required to run a sales organization. By contrast, a Sales Enablement Manager may be focused on accelerating the sales team’s productivity and efficiency, implementing processes and guidelines for aligned teams.

How Can Enablement Affect Your Business?

Sales enablement is the easiest way to train your sales team and keep them up to date. Creating videos for your team to watch and reference again as needed will provide them with the best opportunity to succeed in their roles. 

Learn more about video enablement and how adding it to your sales enablement playbook will significantly improve sales team efficiency.