These days, it’s nearly impossible for business organizations to effectively interact with customers without a good CRM. But as customers and prospects get used to the influx of sales introductions and interactions, it is becoming more imperative for sales reps to accompany their calls and emails with the right collateral. As a leader in the CRM world, Salesforce recognized this need and created Salesforce Content. A lesser-talked-about Salesforce solution, let’s shed a light on how Salesforce Content works, what it does right, and where other solutions may trump it as a content sharing platform.
What is it? How does it work?
Salesforce Content is a built-in content management system available to all Salesforce users within their Salesforce environment. Content can be stored in searchable repositories known as libraries, which function as segmented work spaces. Libraries are created by a company’s Salesforce admins, and access can be controlled based on the organization’s security needs. Admins or content authors can upload new or revised files (think sales presentations, spreadsheets, whitepapers, guides, and more), and notify users when they are added or updated. The goal is to allow Salesforce users to easily share content with prospects within the Salesforce environment.
- Customizable: Salesforce Content allows admins to customize and package content for the specific situation a Salesforce user may be in. This allows admins to control the content (branding and messaging) while still allowing sales reps to share what they want when they need to. This goes for Microsoft documents and PowerPoints, PDF files, audio and video files, Google docs, and more.
- Mobile accessibility: Salesforce Content is accessible on all devices through a browser.
- Price: Salesforce Content is available to all Salesforce subscribers at no additional cost.
- Search-ability: Salesforce Content uses tags, titles, descriptions and author name to make finding a document easy.
- Salesforce Integration: Salesforce users do not have to leave the Salesforce environment in order to access content. This saves time and allows reps to efficiently share content with customers and prospects.
- Customizable: while Salesforce admins can share customized content, Salesforce users cannot customize documents and presentations for the specific prospect they wish to share content with. Presentations can be segmented by a specific customer situation, but “live” updates aren’t possible.
- Mobile accessibility: Salesforce Content is not available on Salesforce1, Salesforce’s mobile app.
- Search-ability: Salesforce Content users are able to search for content based on tags, titles, descriptions and more, but users aren’t able to tag and bookmark their favorite content. Further, content is not served on a contextually-relevant basis. For example, searching for content for an early stage opportunity can still yield a contract and late opportunities may still display introduction decks.
- Data integration: Salesforce Content is able to integrate data from Salesforce, but no other data sources.
While Salesforce Content is a good tool for its cost (which is nothing if you’re a Salesforce user), a few disadvantages affect its competence as a content management tool. Its inability to integrate with Salesforce1 and average search capabilities can almost be unheeded, because Salesforce Content still succeeds at putting content in the hands of sales reps, but there is no way to integrate data outside of Salesforce. There are too many sources of information that exist outside of CRM that need to integrate with a content management solution, and this is where Salesforce Content falls short. Without the capability to integrate real-time data into presentations, the user must still leave Salesforce in order to retrieve the most updated information from other data sources. The ability to update collateral and presentations in real-time and customize a presentation for a specific customer is something that has become more important as sales conversations become more personalized, and at this time Salesforce Content is unable to deliver that.