Impressions of a new selling landscape
The fact that customer requirements are changing over time is nothing new. But the scale and pace of change that followed the Corona crisis was different. Accordingly, sales organizations also had to come up with new strategies very quickly. The various facets of the pandemic shift in sales were explored in detail in the fourth edition of Salesforce’s State of Sales Report.
The group of people in sales organizations most affected by the pandemic is the field service, as face-to-face meetings and sales conversations that make up a large part of their work activity suddenly had to be handled mostly via web meetings. So, it is not surprising that within the survey, 84 % of sales professionals stated that digital transformation has accelerated since the beginning of the Corona crisis. Sales tools such as videoconferencing and mobile sales apps rank among the Top 5 sales tools that have gained value since then.
Another aspect that could be observed is increased internal interest in conclusions drawn from on-site sales conversations with customers. 73 % of sales teams surveyed confirmed that they are increasingly monitoring outside reps’ activities. At the same time 63 % of sales reps said they would log more details about customer interactions than they did in 2019.
Since sales content management platforms are a perfect example of mobile sales apps that enable the collection and evaluation of information about customer interactions, it’s clear why implementing an effective sales content management strategy is currently at the top of sales leaders’ priority list.
Sales content management systems build the fundamentals of successful content management strategies. Since there is no one-size-fits-all solution, you should know some key features and best practices to implement and use the right tool in your organization.
How to choose the right content management tool
The most important thing to remember when selecting a software tool is that successful deployment depends on the acceptance and use by the people running it - in this case marketing and sales. In the following, we will give you an overview of which functions a content management platform should have in order to enable intuitive use on the one hand and to offer users significant added value on the other.
- All-in-one platform
The fundamental basis for all content management strategies must be a central hub where all - I mean really all - content is stored and managed. Salespeople have very tight schedules, so the last thing on their minds is having to search for specific content in multiple places. Having content in a single location ensures that sales reps can quickly access the most current version of any content.
- Efficient organization
Given the time constraints described above, content management tools for sales should also offer various features that make it easier to search and find appropriate content for each situation, such as tags, categories and filters.
- Easy collaboration
Typically, sales content is created by marketing departments and then handed over to sales reps for use. To create compelling and relevant content, close collaboration between these two parties is essential. Sales content management platforms should therefore provide a centralized basis for marketing AND sales to work together. Useful features in this context can include news alerts that remind sales staff of new or updated content. Conversely, marketing can receive direct feedback from sales on the content provided.
- Flexible customization
Interactive and personalized buying experiences have become a guarantee of success for salespeople in sales conversations. Unlike salespeople, marketing managers, as content creators, are not close enough to customers to be able to tailor content directly to their specific needs. Therefore, sales content management platforms must provide sellers with customization options, like templates or interactive forms, that allow them to flexibly adapt content to the various requirements of potential customers in the final step.
- Mobile access
With face-to-face sales calls remaining a key factor in sales success, sales reps are still on the road a lot and need mobile access to sales content anytime, anywhere. Efficient content management tools for sales enable sales reps to present and share content with customers in a variety of formats directly on their mobile devices.
- Simple integration
Make sure that the content management platform you choose offers various options for integration with your current IT landscape. This saves a lot of effort and time, as not all files have to be transferred manually to the new repository. Salespeople will also be much more accepting the new tool if they don’t have to constantly switch back and forth between different systems.
- Content analytics
Sharing content with customers directly from content management tools enables the collection of data on customer interactions with content. Questions such as “Which content is used by whom and which content is best for closing deals?” can be easily answered in this way. With insights into the effectiveness of specific content, marketing can derive content strategies for particular customer segments or selling situations.
Best Practices for successful sales content management
As you could read above, sales content management platforms can provide all the necessary functionality for a successful sales content strategy. But that’s just the beginning. Marketing and sales need to set up efficient workflows themselves to make it work. That’s why we’ve put together a few best practices that make it easier for both sides.
- Sales content reviews
Regular content reviews help marketing to keep track of all information in circulation. In addition to actuality, insights into the use and efficiency of specific content should be used to assess the status of sales material.
- Continuous updates
Since people in general are used to receiving highly relevant and new information every day, you should make sure that your sales reps also receive new content on a regular basis and are equipped with the latest selling points.
- Content structuring
There’s no point in storing content in a central hub if it’s all jumbled up there. Sales reps will thank you for organizing content by business unit, buyer personas, topics, audiences, brands etc.
- Regular feedback
As mentioned earlier, close collaboration between marketing and sales is critical to successful content management in sales. Regular feedback sessions between these two parties ensure that marketing receives valuable insights directly from the field. On the other hand, salespeople can get feedback on how to use sales content effectively in specific situations.
- Sales training & coaching
Another way to keep salespeople up to date is interactive training. This is the best way to equip them with all the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in sales. And the most practical thing: There are also content management platforms for sales that include training features specifically for this purpose.
As you can see, choosing the right sales content management platform and implementing it efficiently is a process that requires the full commitment of everyone involved to get the most out of it.
You still need some convincing in your company? In our blog post Sales Content Management Overview you will find the many advantages of sales content management once again presented in detail.