Sales collateral management, or sales content management, refers to the organization, storage, and distribution of sales collateral materials. These materials can include brochures, product sheets, case studies, white papers, presentations, and other resources that sales teams use to engage prospects and customers.
The goal of Sales Collateral Management is to ensure that the right collateral is available to the right people at the right time, thereby aiding in the sales process.
Overlooking this strategy halts your progress navigating the competitive sales landscape without the right tools is like sailing stormy seas without a compass; you're set to drift off course.
By not leveraging sales enablement content, you risk missed opportunities, wasted efforts, and dwindling revenue.
But fear not! This post uncovers the power of sales enablement content, arming you with knowledge to steer clear of potential pitfalls and towards success.
Don't let ignorance be your downfall - read on and reclaim your edge.
A Sales Enablement Content Management System (SECM or SCM) is a specialized software platform designed to collaboratively create sales collateral and centrally manage, organize, and distribute sales-related content.
The goal of Sales Enablement Content Management is to help sales teams engage prospects, remove friction from the sales process, and close deals more effectively.
Unlike general content management systems (CMS), an SCM is tailored to meet the unique needs of sales organizations.
Centralized Repository: Stores all sales collateral, such as brochures, presentations, case studies, and videos, in one place that is easily accessible to the sales team.
Search and Filter: Allows users to quickly find the content they need through search functions and filtering options based on criteria like product type, customer segment, or sales stage.
Version Control: Ensures that only the most up-to-date and approved versions of documents are available, reducing the risk of outdated or incorrect information being shared.
Customization: Enables the personalization of sales collateral to suit specific customer needs or market segments, often through templates or modular content blocks.
Access Control: Provides different levels of access permissions, ensuring that only authorized individuals can view, edit, or distribute content.
Analytics and Reporting: Tracks how sales collateral is used and measures its effectiveness through metrics like engagement rates, conversion rates, and ROI.
Integration: Often integrates with other sales and marketing tools, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, to streamline workflows and data sharing.
Compliance Management: Helps ensure that all content meets legal and brand guidelines, reducing the risk of compliance issues.
Efficiency: Streamlines the process of finding, customizing, and sharing sales collateral, saving time for sales representatives.
Consistency: Maintains brand and message consistency by ensuring that all team members are using the same, approved materials.
Effectiveness: Analytics features allow for the continuous improvement of sales materials based on real-world performance data.
Collaboration: Facilitates better communication and collaboration among sales, marketing, and other departments involved in content creation and distribution.
Scalability: As the sales team grows, an SCM can easily scale to accommodate more users and more content.
Warning: Unorganized Sales Enablement Causes Problems. Imagine a beehive. Every bee has a role, and chaos ensues without a system. An unstructured strategy is that chaos. It wastes time and reduces efficiency.
A Recent report by McKinsey show that businesses with structured sales content strategies outperform those without by 34%. It's like a singer with the right tune hitting the top charts.
Managing sales content effectively is crucial for the success of any sales organization. Proper management ensures that your sales team has access to the right materials at the right time, which can significantly impact the sales process.
Here are some best practices for effective sales content management:
Inventory Existing Content: List all the sales collateral you currently have, such as brochures, presentations, case studies, and videos.
Evaluate Quality and Relevance: Assess whether the existing content is up-to-date, accurate, and relevant to your target audience.
Categorize: Sort content into categories based on product lines, customer segments, or sales stages.
Tagging and Metadata: Use tags and metadata to make content easily searchable.
Use a Sales Content Management System (SCM): Store all content in a centralized repository that is easily accessible to the sales team.
Cloud Storage: Consider using cloud storage for easy access and sharing.
Keep Updated: Ensure that only the most current versions of documents are available.
Archive Old Versions: Keep older versions archived for reference but clearly mark them as outdated.
Search Functionality: Implement a robust search function within your SCM.
Mobile Access: Ensure that content is accessible via mobile devices for sales reps on the go.
Templates: Create templates for common types of content, allowing for easy customization.
Personalization Tools: Use tools that allow sales reps to personalize content for specific prospects or customer segments.
Grab sales content templates
Role-based Access: Limit access based on roles within the organization to protect sensitive information.
Audit Trails: Keep logs of who accessed what content and when.
Usage Metrics: Track which pieces of content are being used most frequently.
Performance Metrics: Measure the effectiveness of content through metrics like engagement rates and conversion rates.
Content Calendar: Create a schedule for regular updates and new content creation.
Feedback Loop: Collect feedback from sales reps and customers to continuously improve content.
Legal Review: Make sure all content meets legal requirements and brand guidelines.
Approval Workflow: Implement an approval process for new content to ensure it meets quality and compliance standards.
Onboarding: Include content management training in the onboarding process for new sales reps.
Ongoing Training: Offer refresher courses and updates on new features or content.
Sales Content Management Solutions come in various forms, each designed to meet specific needs within the sales process.
Let’s cover the main types of Sales Content Management Solutions.
Purpose: Primarily used for storing, organizing, and retrieving rich media files like images, videos, and audio clips.
Features: Advanced search, metadata tagging, version control, and access permissions.
Purpose: Focused on the management of documents such as PDFs, Word files, and spreadsheets.
Features: Version control, collaboration tools, and workflow automation.
Purpose: Comprehensive solutions that go beyond content management to include training, coaching, and analytics.
Features: Content repository, training modules, analytics dashboard, and CRM integration.
Purpose: General-purpose platforms are often used for website content but can be adapted for sales content.
Features: Content creation, editing, and publishing capabilities, often with SEO tools and analytics.
Purpose: Primarily used for managing customer data but may include features for storing and distributing sales content.
Features: Contact management, sales funnel tracking, and content repository.
Purpose: Used for training and development but can also store sales collateral like training videos and manuals.
Features: Course creation, tracking, and assessment tools.
Purpose: Simple storage solutions for files and documents, accessible from anywhere.
Features: File sharing, basic version control, and access permissions.
Purpose: Internal websites that can be used to store and distribute sales content within an organization.
Features: Content pages, forums, and internal communication tools.
Purpose: Designed for sales reps on the go, these tools offer mobile access to sales content.
Features: Offline access to content, mobile-friendly interfaces, and quick sharing options.
Purpose: Specialized tools for creating, managing, and tracking sales proposals and contracts.
Features: Template libraries, electronic signatures, and workflow automation.
Purpose: Manage all information related to products, useful for sales teams in retail and e-commerce.
Features: Product catalogs, SKU management, and multi-channel publishing.
Purpose: Tailored to the specific needs of an organization.
Features: Custom features and integrations as per the organization's requirements.
Based on the information from TrustRadius, here are some of the top-rated Sales Content Management tools for this year these are a few tools to consider -
Paperflite: Scored 9.8 based on 36 ratings.
Bloomfire: Scored 9.2 based on 282 ratings.
Uberflip: Scored 7.9 based on 91 ratings.
Allego Sales Enablement Platform: Scored 7.7 based on 41 ratings.
Storydoc: Offers highly engaging interactive sales content, personalization at scale, and built-in content analytics.
Seismic: A leader in sales and marketing enablement.
ClearSlide: Enables sales and marketing teams to find and communicate content.
Brainshark: A video presentation platform for sales enablement.
Highspot: A sales content management software solution.
Proposify: An online proposal software designed for the closing stage of a sales process.
GetAccept: Designed exclusively for sales professionals for deal design, orchestration, and closure.
Dooly: A sales enablement platform that collects essential information and insights.
Showpad: A platform that marketing and sales can use to prepare sellers, engage buyers, and optimize performance.
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