I don’t want to jinx anything, but Oh My Goodness it is so much easier to feel hopeful when the spring arrives. The buds on the trees, daffodils waving their happy yellow faces around, longer, lighter days – all much-needed natural signs that things are on the up.
At the turn of the year, we’re often fired up with the hope of transformation, but the reality is that in the world around us not much is changing. It’s still mid-winter. The days are dark – and this year they were darker than most. Maybe that’s why new year’s resolutions are so hard to keep. Come the spring, however, the urge to make a change – to get organized – feels much more organic. I want to throw open the windows, plant some seeds, make the most of every opportunity.
The good news is, you can take this spring-cleaning energy and apply it at work as well as at home. Decluttering your sales content gets rid of the distracting cobwebby content of old and ensures you have in hand exactly what you need to see you through the year. Better still, clearing out your sales content almost never results in the discovery of a spider’s nest. (A good reason to prioritize your content over your garage.)
Defining your system
If you’ve seen any of the home organizing shows, you know that the system is everything. From labels to folding techniques, everything has to be done in a way that works for the household taking part, but which is also future-proof, and easy to maintain. That’s true for organizing your sales content, too.
Your sellers need to understand the system in order to find the best possible content for every given interaction. That means it can’t just make sense to the people who are in charge of filing content. It needs to work in a logical, visual way that is accessible to all. Anything less and your content repository will be holding you back, not building you up.
Sales enablement technology not only makes it easy to organize your content, but also helps you sort the wheat from the chaff by providing data-led insights into what works, and how to use it for maximum return. It’s a proven system for storing and organizing content – and it works whether you’re in the office, at home, or hiding in your (WiFi-connected) underground bunker.
Once you have your system, you’re ready to begin with the real work: the spring clean.
Start with the basics: what sales content is working for you?
Knowing the answer to this question will make your content clear-out a lot easier. It’s not a question of whether or not a resource ‘sparks joy’ – but rather, whether or not it is helping sellers close deals. If you are already using a sales enablement technology that collects and analyzes data to determine content ROI – great! This part will be easy. If you are not, you are going to be reliant on feedback from sellers, which can be tricky to gather and even harder to measure.
Once you have identified the best-performing content assets, take the time to analyze how and when they are being used. In an ideal world, everything will add up. The right content is being used in the right context at the right time with the right customers. In reality, things are rarely that straightforward. You might need to plan a workshop or prepare some training resources to help your sellers get the very most out of these high-performing assets.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
So you have found your high-performers. What do you do with the rest of it? Much like my garage clear-out, you’re going to have to sort it into piles. But your labels are: archive, optimize and repurpose.
Archive – Some content simply doesn’t fit your brand or your strategy anymore. Give it a hug and let it go. You might want to keep a screen resolution proof for old time’s sake, but make sure you archive it somewhere well away from your sales application – you don’t want it to be used by mistake.
Optimize – Some of those resources might just need a bit of a zhuzh – you know, the sales content equivalent of adding a belt to a sack-like dress. Figure out where the existing files are falling short – are they too text-heavy? Lacking dynamism? – and see if you can optimize them to match the success of your high-performing sales content. The beauty of tracking usage data is that you will be able to visualize when a resource starts working for you, and keep adjusting it until it is just right.
Repurpose – And then there are those old bits of content that just don’t have a place in your current sales app. White papers that no one has time to read. Blog posts full of useful information but so far down the archives they’re just not getting the views anymore. Repurpose them. Turn them into social media posts, or even email signatures. Think of this as the equivalent of cutting up boring old blue jeans into oh-so-perfect jean shorts. You’ll be summer-ready in no time.
Always be engaging
One thing to keep an eye on with this year’s spring clean is how flexible your content is for both remote and in-person sales conversations.
This time last year, a lot of marketers and salespeople expended their collective spring energy trying to adjust to a new way of working – we thought a lot about what was manageable, not what was possible. In the months since then, we have all gained a lot of experience, giving us a different perspective on what works and what doesn’t work for remote selling. All this should influence how you look at your resources as you give your content and strategy a refresh.
With virtual meetings likely to continue to at least some degree for the foreseeable future, you might want to organize resources separately for in-person and remote meetings, or perhaps just consider whether more could be done to make your sales content equally applicable whether you are with your customers and prospects in person or not.
For example, animated or interactive presentation content holds buyers’ attention in ways that static PowerPoint decks do not. Asking your prospect to interact with a file is a sure-fire way to ensure their engagement. If they are clicking through a menu, for example, you get to see where their interests lie and provide the information that is most relevant to them.
Sales content that puts a spring in your step
Spring cleaning is a rewarding process. Getting to grips with all the stuff in your house forces you to – in that most Kondo-est of ways – pick it up and decide where it belongs. At the end, everything has a place and a reason. You come out of it with a clearer idea of what you have, what you like, and why a wishlist is a far better idea than saying ‘Oh you know me, I’m happy with anything’ next time your birthday comes around.
The same can be said for a content clear-out, which makes you take stock of all your assets and presses you to understand – with the help of the data you collect – what makes something good or useful, and why other resources have been forgotten. In that process lies the key to creating valuable content: learning from all the things you’ve created before, and understanding what you need for the future. The result? Content that adds value to the buyer’s journey, created and curated in a way that helps sellers to shorten cycle times, and which enables marketers to support business growth. And if that doesn’t make you feel full of the joys of spring, I don’t know what will.
Need to optimize your existing content? Watch our on-demand webinar How to Create Interactive Content and Presentations for Remote Selling.