Content has always been a key to sales productivity – imagine the world of the sales person without the right materials to present and share with their customers – its not a pretty thing to contemplate.
But creating lots of content alone isn’t enough to achieve the results we really want from the sales team – more sales cycles, improved win rates, better customer interaction, and peer learning from successful colleagues only comes from ensuring that the sales team can easily access compelling, customizable content addressing every phase of the sales process.
Achieving those goals requires a new way of thinking. This article lays out the top 5 ways that you can improve how your field sales team works with content to achieve improved win rates, and you can drive the real world productivity of sales people, no matter what industry or market they serve.
No 5 – Using content for integrated teamwork and collaboration
Sales is all about collaboration and teamwork. Adding sales content into the mix makes sense as our No 5 top way to improve sales productivity. The ideal scenario is to enable sales people to customize marketing presentations and materials to match their selling style – making the content their own without compromising messaging and branding — and encouraging them to share their ideas with their colleagues. Making this approach really shine is about taking advantage of the way sales people work today – and how they are constantly engaging with their smartphones and tablets. Integrating content editing, sharing and even text and video chat into an easy-to-use system that allows the salesperson to use content within authorized boundaries will encourage sales teams to focus on collaboration and teamwork to improve how they win deals.
Collaboration goes beyond selling: smart Marketing teams measure what their Sales counterparts use, how they use it, and use these metrics to continually refine the materials they provide. Sales teams get the tools they need; Marketing maximizes their value add.
No 4 – Putting Content in Context for the sales person
Have you ever heard the sales team saying that they have too much content, and they just can’t find the right information when they need it? Well then its time for our No 4 top way to improve sales productivity – putting content in context of work. Instead of just providing the sales team with access to a series of shared files on a network drive (or worse, from presentation binders), consider putting the sales content in a smart bundle with other key materials to support the sales cycle – essentially everything a sales person needs to drive a sale from first contact to closure. For example, package presentations useful for each personae involved in the sales cycle along with data sheets, customer testimonial and demonstration videos, white papers, and case studies into a single smart bundle for each industry, use case, etc. Include the capability to email this content directly from within the bundle and sales productivity will skyrocket. Putting content in context of work makes it easier for the salesperson to find the content they need, consistent with positioning and messaging the company is communicating to the market. Your sales teams will spend far less time on call preparation, and free them to focus on the specific needs of their prospects.
No 3 – Push, not pull-based content
Sales people are busy and don’t want to waste time searching and surfing for the right content to use with their customers. No 3 on our list of the best ways to improve sales productivity using content is to move to a push-based content delivery system. These next generation systems can be tuned to understand the role of the sales person–what products they sell, what meetings they have coming up, and what type of device they are using– and automatically push out the content they need. As importantly, push-based systems enable Marketing to efficiently replace outdated materials with new content, ensuring your teams are always current.
No 2 – Give sales people content access inside the CRM
CRM systems are both the most used, and often the most hated, software tools that salespeople have to use everyday. And whilst they are using CRM for customer call planning and record keeping, it would be a huge productivity boost if they could access content right from the CRM, including the ability to share with their customers or present using a remote web sharing system. The CRM could log the content they used, reducing time required for call reporting, and speed preparation for the next sales call. Sales enablement teams can now automate the provision of the right content (including intelligent content recommendations) to the sales person right inside their CRM tool. Sales people can share, present, engage, and more with their customers without having to look through different web portals and intranets – its all right where they need it right inside the CRM– which is what makes improving access to content inside the CRM our No 2 in the list of ways to improve sales productivity.
No 1 – Make presentations and content sharing easy
We all know that sales people love giving great, powerful and interactive presentations to their customers. Complex concepts become easy to explain, interactivity enables the sales conversation to flow with the customer’s interest, and the professionalism of the presentation is light years ahead of static PowerPoint decks and rigid PDFs. However, it’s imperative that the interactives work. No one wants to discover, just as they kick off their presentation on a mobile device and find that the cool animations, fonts and other features don’t work properly. Similarly, inside sales people are more effective if they can leverage the same content on their office computers – presenting over video conferencing. So our No 1 way to drive sales productivity is to use tools that run on both mobile devices and computers – tools that allow sales teams to deliver powerful presentations using rich, multimedia content that just works the way the content was designed to work. This dual platform approach enables inside sales reps and direct sales teams to leverage the same materials – delivering consistent prospect experiences and enabling a smooth handoff and amping the power of teamwork. Well-implemented, interactive sales bundles delivered into the capable hands of your sales teams, shareable across platforms, can significantly improve win rates, and ultimately, your company’s success.
These 5 simple concepts have the potential to significantly improve your sales teams’ productivity—free their time for more selling, inspiring their prospects, and ultimately, help them win more deals. Ready to learn more about how you can achieve these goals? The bigtincan team would be delighted to talk to you: Contact Us.