Sales reps who’ve been in the trenches long enough can agree: Buyer’s journey isn’t as simple as shown in flowcharts.
There are many unknowns that even sales reps struggle with addressing. The buyer may need a resource, updates about the industry, removing outdated collaterals, advanced how-to videos, etc.
At scale, the traditional methods of storing and organising content don’t stay relevant. Here’s where SCM helps.
What is Sales Content Management (SCM)?
SCM is the making, storing and compartmentalising of content to educate sales reps during the buyer’s sales cycle.
It shortens the sales cycle as sales reps know exactly what content and collaterals to look for based on the buyer’s needs.
Thanks to SCM, you can:
- Organise content better so sales reps can discover them easily.
- Manage access to ensure confidentiality of resources.
- Train new hires faster because of readymade how-to resources.
- Remove outdated resources and collaterals.
- Store call and email scripts templates for easier communication with client.
Why do SCM?
Goes without saying, Sales reps are paid for selling products/services. Them spending time on activities that don’t generate revenue activities means the company loses money: both on employee productivity and the net employee output.
Sales Reps focus their time only on selling
A study by XANT shows that sales reps spend 64.8% of their time on non-revenue generating activities. Goes without saying, the time spent looking for resources, collaterals, etc. could be better used for selling!
Sales and Marketing teams get in synch:
About 60-70% of the content made for sales reps goes unused. One of the primary reasons for this is the difficulty of finding resources in the database.
The problem gets worsened further as marketing teams can’t get feedback on producing content as sales reps are yet to see relevant resources in the first place!
Strengthens Sales Enablement
Let’s not forget: SCM is the backbone of sales enablement. Hence, making it easier for sales teams to educate the prospects and new hires.
Sales Reps stay up-to-date with content about industry updates
What prospects reward most in a sales rep is the know-how of their industry. This makes it all the more important for sales reps to stay in touch with the updates in the industry.
Without responsible content management in place, sales reps expose themselves to embarrassing situations with prospects. Without context about the industry updates, they are prone to submit outdated responses & resources to buyers!
How To Do SCM?
SCM can be a daunting task without knowing which content to prioritise, how to source it and how to assimilate the resources in your CRM.
You have to ensure SCM is up and running with content that’s just enough to get the ball rolling. Considering the lack of time and resources, here are the five steps that help you build a robust SCM system:
- Consult with your sales team and customers. Find out what resources they want the most.
An effective SCM system starts by understanding what the sales reps want and then further building upon that knowledge. Follow the bottom-up approach of consulting the sales reps first instead of making resources that you think they need the most.
Meet with your sales reps, and ask these questions:
- Which content do they visit the most in the existing SCM system.
- Which content they think would benefit buyers the most.
- Which content is outdated.
- What content do they google the most?
Similar to sales reps, you should interview your customers and prospects. Learn about their likes/dislikes, and difficulties they face during their buyer’s journey and make content about that.
Find out the weakest links in your existing SCM from the above approach, and mend them right away.
- Audit your existing sales content resources
In this step, you analyse the gaps in your sales enablement with respect to what you have already. This is essential before you produce content to fill those gaps.
Without a robust SCM, your content may be spread out across your marketing automation system, CRM and such. In this audit, you’ll find out which existing content needs some repair or removal so you don’t have to waste resources and make it anew.
You should do these audits bi-annually or annually. In your existing SCM, find out:
- Which resources are shared the most and who shares it to whom.
- Identify why a piece of content is in your SCM and map it according to your sales team’s needs.
- Determine which existing content is useful, what needs to be updated and what needs to be removed.
Don’t remove unused/less used content right away. Find why it’s not used often – maybe it’s not relevant to current market, it references tools that your sales team doesn’t use. A simple content refresh can make this content anew!
3. Build and distribute your content
This is the most time-intensive and valuable part. Here, you fill out the gaps in your existing content.
Without any further ado, here are the steps to build quality resources:
- Make a content calendar
A content calendar details on content to be made across a quarter. Content calendar ensures that all marketing, graphic design and content writing teams know the deadlines beforehand.
Of course, create the most resources with the most pressing demand first. The goal should be to make a sales content repository that sales reps can use right away.
- Set up a speedy approval process
You get immediate results from sales content. So ensure it gets speedy approval about the branding and quality from relevant stakeholders.
Sales content isn’t much useful unless it’s easily available to sales reps. Here’s how you distribute it:
- Collect and assimilate content in your CRM
Your content might be scattered across many platforms. Collect it in one platform so they don’t have to spend extra time looking it up.
Sales reps spend a majority of their time in CRM, so it’s best to integrate your content there. It further makes adoption far easier as sales reps know exactly where to look.
- Recommend best-performing content
Ensure your content is easily searchable in your CRM. On recommending a piece of content, recommend similar content – which comes in handy in case the sales rep isn’t sure of what to look for. Give priority to content that has performed well in the past.
4. Track your sales content with analytics
Without efficient tracking, you won’t know which sales content is used the most and which isn’t. Track content based on the following metrics:
- Which content is shared the most. This tells you which pain points the prospect/sales reps address the most.
- How much time users spend on it. This tells you how engaging your content is. If users drop off fast, it needs restructuring/rewording.
- How many views does it have. Another metric to see the demand of content.
- How many times a content is downloaded. As downloading content is a high friction activity, this tells you which content is the most high quality and what prospects seek to solve the most.
SCM is a surefire way to improve your sales reps’ productivity and ensuring they don’t spend time & energy in non-revenue activities. Your buyer journey shortens, and buyers feel much more confident when they are better informed during their journey.