When it comes to utilizing sales tools in an increasingly digital-first landscape of changed, more empowered buyers, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. While CRM or CMS (content management systems) enable sellers to tackle day-to-day tasks efficiently, they don’t inhabit the larger definition of “sales enablement.”
Mediafly defines sales enablement as incorporating sales engagement methodologies and technology to enhance how brands engage with prospective buyers.
Unarguably, a digital content management system is the rock star of the sales process on the back end; yet, the real benefit of a robust sales enablement system stems from technology that impacts customer-facing interactions. In the end, few deals are closed because buyers are impressed with the way sellers enter data before for the meeting. Sales engagements with positive outcomes are achieved when sellers stop pitching products and start driving value.
The 3 most common challenges of enterprise content management system implementations
Content management systems were created to serve as the “home base” for all digital assets, reducing time spent on administrative sales tasks. According to Forrester Research, sales reps are only spending 35.9% of their time selling, leaving more than 60% of their time spent on administrative tasks such as searching for content, creating their own materials, assembling presentations and following up with prospects. Problem solved, right? We made life easier for our reps, right? Wrong.
Content repositories fall short of expectations, mostly due to mismanagement. A content management system is often operated by the marketing department, which ignites three challenges. First, marketing is responsible for the upkeep of content. Second, the content is organized in a way that makes the most sense to marketing. Finally, content management systems are unable to accurately measure how prospects engage with content.
Keep your content fresh in your content management system
Understandably, content overload is common; marketing is apprehensive to delete out-of-date material, in case sales may have a future need. Sellers find themselves in the same inefficient cycle of digging through old versions to find the most recent or on-brand version. As a result, reps may unknowingly present old content, or worse, completely avoid the CMS and rely on using the same old content time and time again.
Organize your content structure to ensure sales productivity
Marketers commonly choose to organize CMS by file type or content format because this structure makes the most sense in their minds (i.e. one-pagers live with one-pagers; videos live with videos, etc.). But this format can be a source of frustration for sellers who prefer to search for content by industry, product, sales stage or buyer persona. It’s hard to find the content you need when it is organized differently than how you’re searching for it.
Let’s say you convince the marketing team to re-structure content to conform to the way sellers search for it – after all, a CMS is being used for sales’ benefit, right? What happens next? Your sellers download content, add it into a lengthy Powerpoint presentation and email it to a prospect post-meeting. Sounds good, right? Wrong, again!
Content marketing relies on measuring content effectiveness
While organizations are on the right track investing in digital assets, (heaven help those that are still using paper leave-behinds), it’s all for nothing if you can’t track the effectiveness of content. Achieving positive outcomes follows the answers to these questions, among others:
If you can’t answer these questions, you’re doing yourself and your company a huge disservice. Meanwhile, your competitors are engaging their buyers differently and winning the deal as you indecisively linger on taking next steps. By measuring what content resonates with buyers, companies can implement a true content marketing strategy that allows them to identify and promote successful content while improving underperforming collateral. Continuous improvement is an integral part of any sales enablement strategy.
Improving Sales Engagement with interactive and customized content
The most evolved sellers use customized and interactive sales tools to improve meetings from one-way presentations to collaborative discussions in which the buyer provides input to guide the outcome. Using dynamic content removes common pain points of a mismanaged CMS by assuring sales collateral is the most recent and on-brand version and reducing time sellers spend on searching for content and preparing for meetings. The best content management systems allow marketers to keep content fresh without interrupting sales processes and pairs well with modular content to enable sellers to quickly match content to the buyer’s needs and customize their interaction.
Determining the ROI your product or solution will provide your buyer’s business boosts credibility and accelerates the advancement of a decision in the sales process. An ROI or TCO sales tool requires buyer collaboration and data input from a back-end system such as a CRM or CMS for a seller to quantify value for the buyer.
A sales enablement solution should be more than a content repository. While your sales team will inevitably see efficiency gains from having all marketing-approved content at their fingertips, they’ll derive more value from a platform that helps transform live engagements with buyers. Your sellers need more than a CMS to help them create sales presentations. They need a presentation tool that empowers them to quickly pivot conversations with buyers in real-time, helps them understand how buyers are interacting with content presented in meetings, and measures what is resonating with buyers and what isn’t. Ultimately, a robust sales enablement solution requires all aspects to work together to enhance the sales experience for the buyer.
Contact Mediafly to learn more about creating effective sales interactions that leave your buyers wanting more.