In our last post on Benefits and Challenges of Sales Content Management, we highlighted that upwards of 1,400 sales assets are available to B2B sellers per Forrester. No wonder sales can spend up to 30 hours a month looking for or creating content.
That’s why having effective sales content management is critical for sales enablement and marketing. We curated the top 7 sales content management best practices from subject matters, including internal experts, customers, and industry peers. Don't have time to read the entire blog? Download the sales content management best practices infographic that summarizes the best practices.
“We had content and collateral everywhere. We had all these assets that people used throughout the sales process that didn't match, were out of date, and people were making duplicates of content. Enable Us makes it so easy to find content, understand which pieces of content have impact, and create a repeatable process for our sales team.” - Drew Hultgren, Senior Manager of Revenue Operations, Propeller Aero
Best Practice #1: Audit Your Existing Sales Content
It’s tempting to start “organizing” all of your existing content. However, Christina Anderson, Head of Content, SaaScend, recommends the following:
“When you audit your existing sales content, analyze what is being used and what content has led to closed won deals and faster sales cycles. Also be sure to consider each of your personas and make sure that you have a case study and customer testimonials that align to each persona, so your sales team can share customer success stories that resonate best with their prospects."
Key Sales Content Auditing Tips:
- Identify which sales content assets have influenced your sales cycle
- Segment your sales content by type (e.g. one pagers, case studies, eBooks, etc.)
- Map out sales content to your key ICP attributes, such as buyer persona, industry, market size, etc.
- Determine how each sales collateral aligns to the buying process - Awareness, Consideration, Decision
By doing the above, you can identify potential gaps in your sales collateral, such as too many white papers or 75% of collateral is written for creating awareness and none for making a decision.
Best Practice #2: Speak to Sales and the Right Internal and External Experts
Once you’ve audited your existing sales content, Harris Kenny, Founder, Intro CRM, brings in sales and technical experts to further refine what type of sales content to include:
“Rather than focusing on broad talking points (there’s a lot of that in sales content), we’ve restructured our content creation process to include more technical members of our team so they can contribute to making content that shows people how to do things. We’ve seen far more engagement by taking this ‘niche down’ type approach than trying to speak to everyone.”
Best Practice #3: Create a Content Taxonomy
You’ve identified your sales content assets and mapped the assets to your sales and buying process. Now all you have to do is put it somewhere, right? Wrong!
Since everyone searches for content in slightly different ways, to ensure that your sales content is organized and easily discoverable, create a content taxonomy first. Airon (Black) White, Manager, Product Marketing, BigCommerce explains:
“Adding a tag for each search with a standard naming convention for all assets will also minimize the amount of questions one will get about where things are located or if they exist. For example, if you create one-pagers for North America customers, call it “company name-product name-onepager-2022” and if possible tag it as #onepager #productname. These naming conventions not only provide a standard mechanism for search, but it also ensures that the recipient knows that it is a) from the company they are speaking with, b) the right product, c) current.”
Key Content Taxonomy Tips:
- Align with sales and other cross-functional teams to identify and define the content taxonomy
- What are the content categories?
- What type of content is organized in these categories?
- What tags to use and their definition?
- What is the filing naming convention?
- Confirm the date format as US (mm-dd-yy) or International (dd-mm-yy)
- Create a glossary of all category and tag definitions
Using dates or indicating DRAFT or FINAL in the file naming taxonomy is great if you’re using a file storage service, such as Google Drive or Sharepoint. However, if you’re using a sales content management system like Enable Us’, the file name is typically used as the externally-facing title to prospects. Adjust your file naming taxonomy accordingly.
Best Practice #4: Make Sales Content Easy to Find Via a Centralized System
Today, sales content is saved in multiple locations, such as a folder, wiki, or spreadsheet.
For Talview, bringing all their content together into a single, online location was key for their stakeholders. The head of marketing stated, “We were seeking a straightforward tool that could be used by our sales teams across several time zones. We needed a single source of truth that all of our stakeholders - sales, customer success, marketing, executives - could use.”
Tip: Read Buyers Guide to Sales Content Management Software to determine the best platform for your sales enablement needs.
Best Practice #5: Train and Support Your Cross-Functional Teams
You’ve spent the time organizing your sales content, renaming file names, adding tags, and more. Yet, your sellers and stakeholders ping you on Slack asking where the latest sales presentation or product sales sheet is.
Once you have your sales content in a central location, provide training and support for your sales team to ensure that they are comfortable and confident in finding the right content. Show the team that having a content library as a source of truth will save them time by having one place to go to find the most up to date, relevant, and engaging content.
Lynn Pietryga, Chief Customer Officer, Enable Us, elaborates:
“At Enable Us, there are two ways we train users in finding content - search and filter. Search is great if your sellers and stakeholders are looking for a specific asset. Make sure that marketing or the admin has named and tagged content aligned with how users search for it. In the case sellers are unsure what content to share, filters help narrow down content to what is more relevant for a certain situation. Having a couple attributes and tags to use as filters, displayed in a recommended order, guides sellers to the best fit content.”
She adds that a robust search functionality that looks at content details, text, and transcripts will help sellers get to the content they need.
Best Practice #6: Turn on Content Tracking and Analytics
With the right sales CMS in place, you can get in-depth seller and buyer insights, such as views, shares, engagement, and more, to support how to manage your sales content. Your sales enablement and marketing teams can track the performance of your sales content and regularly test new ideas to see what works best. This promotes better collaboration between sales and marketing on what content is working or not.
Megan Saucier, Sales Director, North America, TechSee, explained that “being able to use the insights to go back and have a different conversation with my marketing partners” fostered a collaboration on what content isn’t working, how to update it to be more targeted, and truly understand what the overall impact was.
According to Global Enablement Expert at TechSee, a sales CMS like Enable Us’ gave the marketing team, “a chance to see their results, and what they drive for the business as well. It was their content, their material, how it was used, how the customer engaged with it, and then they saw the dollars in revenue that brings in for the organization.”
Best Practice #7: Keep Your Sales Content Library Up to Date
Getting all the content organized, tagged, and tracked is a significant accomplishment. Ensuring the content is accurate and relevant to your needs requires diligence to regularly review, update, or archive your sales content.
How do we manage it here at Enable Us? We recommend that you review your content at least quarterly to determine if it should be updated, archived, or unpublished from your content library:
- Update - For sales collateral that is still relevant, you can quickly update the content, such as updated product features and functionality, stats, links, graphics, etc.
- Archive - When the sales content becomes obsolete, archiving hides the sales collateral from the library while enabling administrators to access a copy. All data and analytics are available and can be referenced to spark content ideas.
- Delete - In very rare instances, you may opt to delete the sales collateral from your library along with any analytics. This would be done if the asset was used for testing purposes.
Conclusion: Keeping Your Sales Content Fresh
“84% of sales executives cited content search and utilization as the top productivity improvement area.” - G2 Crowd
Having a well-organized, up-to-date sales content library has a significant impact on sales productivity. By following these content management best practices, your sales team accesses up-to-date, relevant sales collateral, while recouping upwards of 30 hours a month to focus on customer activities.
Learn how Enable Us can help with your sales content management and sales enablement needs.
Download this FREE guide on everything you need to know to organize, manage, and measure sale content.