The importance of storing content in one central repository is well understood by now. When content is stored in disparate systems, productivity plummets as time is spent searching for a particular piece. Both Marketing and Sales benefit from having a dedicated library for content. Marketing gains a new level of control for ensuring that the latest and most up-to-date materials are the only ones being accessed; they also have an easy way to take a quick inventory or perform an audit. Sales reduces the 30 hours per month they spend searching for and creating content to a much more reasonable amount of time.
Sales asset management, as it’s known, provides clear benefits to both Marketing and Sales. However, like any solution, this process needs to be properly managed or it can quickly spiral out of control. Consider, for example, a library; a resource that houses selections from a wide swath of human knowledge. To simply open the doors and let people rummage around until they found what they needed would be chaos. A system of organization and categorization needs to be in place to ensure efficiency.
Being effective with your organization’s sales asset management is no different than running a library – and you don’t even need a degree in library science. For any large organization there will be a sizable amount of content that needs to be sorted and organized. Merely gathering up every piece from any number of directories will be a time-consuming and difficult task. But once everything has been corralled there are two distinct categories that content can initially be sorted into, as described by SiriusDecisions.
Sales empowerment content will be anything that is internally-facing for an organization. This is content that will be used for training, strategizing, internal reporting, and anything else that will provide Sales with knowledge or tools to improve their engagements.
Marketing may be involved in the creation or maintenance of these documents, but it is more likely that Sales will be in control of sales empowerment content. Branding and version control may not be as important with this content as it will be for internal-use only.
Cordoning off this type of content removes a large amount of materials that will not be relevant to Sales when they are attempting to find a piece to send to a potential buyer. This brings us to the second category of content.
Sales activation content is what people generally think of when they think of content. Guides, e-books, whitepapers, case studies, one-pagers, and anything else sent to potential buyers will be stored as sales activation content. Both Marketing and Sales will have a vested interest in this area of content and reap benefits from dividing this content from sales empowerment content.
Marketing will have one area under their purview where they can upload new content; segment the content based on persona, industry, stage in the buyer’s journey, or anything else; and ensure only the latest versions are being used by Sales.
Sales will be able to quickly access the exact piece of content they’re searching for, search through the library to discover if any content exists to meet their needs, and never worry about using an out-of-date piece that draws the ire of Marketing.
Dividing a central content repository into sales empowerment content and sales activation content is a quick and effective way to make a library much easier to use. Taking that one step quickly frees up Marketing and Sales to focus on their other responsibilities rather than waste time digging for content.
The way content is stored and structured can have a profound effect on business. As Seismic’s Jon Freeberg says, “The folder structure that you set up has a direct correlation to how easy your sales users are able to find content. Findability equals time saved. Time saved equals more time selling. Time selling equals more sales. More sales equals a better bottom line.”
Of course, simply splitting content into two categories is only the tip of the iceberg. Any large organization will need to subdivide content even further to take full advantage of their sales asset management.
To do this it’s necessary to unleash the full potential of a sales enablement platform by utilizing content analytics, content profiles, content engagement statistics, content personalization, integration between CRMs and MAPs, and much more. The full SiriusDecisions report goes into great depth about the ways a sales enablement solution can foster Sales and Marketing alignment past sales asset management.