What is Sales Content Management?
Sales content management can be seen as an overall term for the design, organization, distribution, analysis, and optimization of sales content. It is about the entire process that all content goes through, from its creation by marketing, to its use by sales, all the way to its analysis in terms of customer impact and acceptance.
Sales content management systems provide a central hub for the efficient handling of all these process steps and thus represent the core of a successful sales content management strategy.
What is Sales Content all about?
Sales content refers to information that is used in sales processes to convince potential customers of the quality of the products and services offered by a company. Whereas in the past, sales content was predominantly limited to print formats, today marketers have almost unlimited possibilities of digital media and devices to create customized buying experiences.
For example, by using touchscreen devices such as the Apple iPad, simple product presentations can be supplemented with interactive elements to involve customers directly in the sales conversation. Industry pioneers have already recognized the potential of multimedia content and are using it successfully to present interactive product, price and performance comparisons, didactically prepared study results, virtual product presentations or interactive 3D models of their products.
Why is Sales Content Management relevant for companies?
The increasing importance of sales content for successful sales processes is beyond dispute these days. In a study by DemandGen Report (2020), for example, 67 % of the surveyed B2B customers confirmed that they would make their purchasing decisions even more dependent on the content offered than in the previous year.
With this in mind, sales content management helps companies establish a successful content strategy to fully leverage the potential of their sales content. The guiding principle of a successful sales content management strategy is based on managing all of a company’s sales content in one central hub to create a common collaboration base for all stakeholders - content creators and users.
Companies that operate efficient sales content management benefit from significant time savings and productivity gains in their sales processes:
By centrally managing all sales content, …
- … sales reps spend significantly less time searching for up-to-date, relevant sales content. Freed-up capacities can be invested in revenue-generating sales activities instead.
- … it is possible to sort content according to strategic relevance, allowing sales reps to efficiently deliver appropriate content for each stage of a potential customer’s buyer journey. The result is more effective design and shortening of sales cycles.
- … a consistent content strategy and quality can be ensured across the entire sales organization. Presenting outdated and incorrect sales content to customers is becoming a thing of the past.
How do Sales Content Management Systems add value to sales organizations?
Sales content management systems are software tools that bring together all of a company’s sales content on a web-based platform and use automated processes to ensure an efficient design, organization, distribution, analysis and optimization of content:
1. Single source of truth
All sales content is stored, edited, updated and individually distributed in a single version on one central platform. Changes are automatically applied and synchronized with all users.
2. Flexible access management
Thanks to digital provision, employees have access to current sales content anytime and anywhere. Individual authorization concepts enable a demand-driven distribution of content. In this way, sales employees only have access to content that is relevant to them at a particular time.
3. More compelling content
Sales reps can share their content directly with customers via the content management system. As a result, valuable information can be gained about how customers use, download, and view content. These insights help companies understand which sales content works at which point in the buyer journey.
4. Identification of best practices
Just as sales content usage can be monitored on the customer side, it is also possible to track which sales reps are particularly proficient at timing and handling sales content. Best practices can thus be identified at an early stage and established across teams.
5. Sales training & coaching
Sales content management systems are often combined with additional functions for sales training and coaching. Linking sales training and sales content ensures that sales reps can be trained individually in the use of sales content depending on their previous performance.
6. Efficient collaboration
Sales content management systems give marketing and sales a common collaboration base that helps them close existing communication gaps between marketing as “content creators” and sales as “content users”.
7. Real-time feedback
Collaboration between marketing and sales via a central platform gives sales reps the ability to provide feedback on sales content to marketing while still on-site with the customer. This ensures a flexible and timely response to changing customer needs.
8. Outstanding buying experiences
Sales content management systems allow digital content to be presented in all kinds of interactive formats and in multidimensional ways. This opens up new opportunities for companies to positively influence the purchasing decisions of potential customers in the long term.
In summary, the use of content management systems enables a holistic view of all steps and participants in a sales content management process. This makes it easier for content creators and users to develop a deeper understanding of the use and impact of current, relevant sales content and to derive a successful long-term content strategy on that basis.