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Twelve Tips for Driving Sales Asset Productivity

January 11, 2019 | By Nancy Maluso

  • Despite buyer need, many sales reps don’t use all the content that is available to them – usually because they cannot locate it
  • There are 12 simple steps to take to make it easier for sales reps to find and use content
  • B-to-b organizations must leverage usage and feedback data to make content more effective

SiriusDecisions studies indicate that buyers consume 22 percent more content overall from winning sales reps. In addition, the content these reps provided to buyers was more likely to be perceived as high impact. And yet, many reps don’t effectively share content with clients because of the time they must devote to finding it.  

Here are 12 tips for improving the speed and ease with which sales reps in your organization can find and use content that works.

  1. expressive hands over table with analytical symbols overlayConsolidate access to all sales content through a single interface. Don’t make sales have to go to multiple places to find content; bring their access into one place. If content is stored in various repositories, ensure the rep only has to worry about one point of access.

  2. Enable multiple navigational paths so reps can traverse the storage structure in different ways and still get to the same content. For example, start at the product level and navigate down to industry and content type. Or, start at the content type and navigate to product and industry levels. Paths could include offering, industry, geography, language, content type, buyer persona, buyer need, or stage of buyer journey.

  3. Collect and leverage sales-created assets to increment the library. These assets must have content validated to ensure they conform to brand and template standards; you might be surprised, however, to find how effective some of these non-compliant assets have been! This process works best if the team is clear that sales has full amnesty from sharing decks in the past that may not have looked … that great.

  4. Analyze asset needs by sales cycle and buyer’s journey. This helps ensure that assets exist to support the key activities that all sales rep personas undertake.

  5. Define a standard set of assets that must be created for each of your company’s offerings. Base the standard on insights from sellers about what is most impactful in helping them prepare for customer interactions and which is most impactful for helping move buyers along their journey.

  6. Create standard templates for each asset. Standards include not only look and layout, but also content consistency. For example, all competitive battlecards should be designed with the same information in one location so reps can easily find what they’re looking for.

  7. Pay special attention to templates for customer-facing PowerPoint documents. They must be created based on a single template, so sales reps can easily merge slides from multiple presentations into a single deck without having to reformat fonts and layouts.

  8. Ensure all customer-facing templates allow for customization and co-branding by reps and partners. For example, allow partners to add their logo and specific offering components. However, this must also go hand-in-hand with creators’ ability to lock down certain elements, at the slide level, to maintain brand consistency.

  9. Teach the sales team what is available in the standard set of assets, and how to effectively customize and leverage them with customers. This includes insights on how to use assets in different phases of the buyer’s journey. For example, customer case studies can be used throughout the journey, but the talk track for sales reps should emphasize the problems solved early in the buyer’s journey, the solutions used to solve the problem in the middle of the journey, and the ROI customers received from the solution late in the buyer’s journey.

  10. Create strictly enforced tagging taxonomy and storage standards to ensure all assets can be found. Consider designating a content manager who is responsible for tagging and posting. Take this responsibility away from content creators/owners who often want to put their content everywhere – even where not relevant.

  11. Collect and analyze utilization, engagement, feedback and impact data. This should be used to continually refine asset requirements and improve asset effectiveness.

  12. Keep only relevant, actively used content. After reviewing all the utilization and feedback data, remove outdated, non-utilized and non-impactful content.

The average b-to-b sales organization has 1,376 sales assets that are stored in roughly 6.5 locations. Are you ensuring your sales reps are able to use all of the content that is available to them and know where to find it?

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Nancy Maluso

Nancy Maluso is Senior Research Director, Sales Enablement Strategies at SiriusDecisions. Nancy is a seasoned practitioner with more than 20 years of experience in sales leadership, sales enablement and product management, along with marketing roles at organizations of all sizes. Follow Nancy on Twitter @nmaluso1.

Sales Enablement: Planning Guide 2020

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