Sales Collateral Management is the process of creating, storing, and simplifying access to all the collateral that salespeople and marketing teams need. It enables salespeople to locate the right collateral at the right time, empowering them to sell with confidence.
Your enterprise might be working with any or all of these types of sales collateral:
- Product Documents
- Case Studies
- White Papers
- Customer Persona Documents
- Product Manuals & Buyer Guides
- Internal Training Videos & PowerPoint sales presentations
- Calling Scripts
- Email Templates
- Customer Testimonials (Text and Video)
- Strategy Documents
- Investment and Business Proposals
- Explainer Videos
- Brochures, flyers, and posters
- FAQ Sheets
- Marketing Strategy Documents
- And many more.
When your salespeople have a lot of material to sort through, finding the most updated and optimized sales collateral becomes challenging. A good sales collateral management system should eliminate all the barriers that come along with storing, accessing, and sharing collateral for sales representatives.
Working with companies like Hino, American Express, and Nike, we’ve found there are five factors to consider if you’re looking to build an effective sales collateral management system:
- It should be built to work with existing workflows and repositories so that you don’t have to switch over your current system completely (getting entire departments at enterprise organizations to change their software habits and workflows is extremely challenging).
- The sales collateral management system should help your sales reps find the latest version of any sales content whenever they want it without navigating a complex web of folders.
- The solution should provide data around which collateral is being used by reps and prospects and which collateral is most helpful in resolving pain points in the sales process.
- It should have both offline and online functionality, so if your sales reps are out of network coverage while on field sales, they don’t have to resort to statements like, “I’ll send this document to you later.” Being able to share collateral with customers on the spot helps reps close deals faster.
- The application should have a customizable interface to match your team’s workflow and branding, so it looks like the interface was built for you from scratch, and your sellers can easily see the files and sections most beneficial for them.
This post will show why these factors are essential and how Bigtincan (our sales collateral management software) excels in them all.
Note: Want to learn how Bigtincan can help improve the current sales collateral management system in your organization? Request a demo today.
Factor #1: Integration with All Major Cloud Repositories So Sales Reps Can Easily Find Collateral That Is Stored Anywhere
Why is this factor important?
When salespeople are searching for collateral or any sales related digital assets, they shouldn’t have to worry about these two questions:
- Where is the collateral I want to share with my client? Is it in Sharepoint? Is it in Dropbox? Google Drive? Box? OneDrive?
- Is it the latest version?
But in large organizations, it’s common for different teams or departments to use various cloud storage platforms. For example, a product doc could be in Google Drive, but the sales deck could be in Dropbox. So when a salesperson wants to find something specific, it can be challenging to remember where a particular file is stored.
To resolve this, most organizations spend time managing folders better. Many enterprises have 2-3 people as asset managers specially designated to handle all the collateral. Unfortunately, that doesn’t solve the problem because even if a folder system is meticulously managed (most are not) when a rep needs some collateral, they still will wonder, “Where can I find the email template? Is this the latest version?”
Plus, there is just so much content created at enterprise organizations with thousands of employees that navigating massive folder structures can be highly confusing and a waste of valuable time.
Instead, a good collateral management system should integrate with all these repositories and help sales reps find what they are searching for regardless of where it lives.
Bigtincan Aggregates Collateral from Multiple Repositories (the Files Can Still Live in Their Original Repositories)
Bigtincan integrates with all cloud storage solutions — Sharepoint, Box, Dropbox, SugarSync, Evernote, Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud, AmazonS3, and nearly any other repository that your organization might be using — so reps can find any sales collateral in any repository from a simple search through a single interface. This has three major benefits:
- Sales reps no longer have to hunt around different repositories to find files or ask each other via email threads or Slack messages. Instead, Bigtincan becomes a centralized platform where reps can find any and all files, regardless of where they live.
- All departments and teams can continue using their old shared repositories and Bigtincan will still index it and make it easy to access via search. You don’t need to ask hundreds or thousands of employees to change their existing workflows. You don’t have to say, “This is our new Google Drive folder. And all documents should be created and saved here.” Instead, you can let your team create documents where they want to, and Bigtincan will still make them easy to locate.
- The organization doesn’t have to worry about reps saving outdated local copies of key presentations or marketing collateral on their own computers. This is a common problem in enterprise sales management platforms caused by the fact that reps get tired of not being able to find the files they want. But, when reps save their own copies of key presentations or other documents, the organization loses the ability to ensure that all reps are using the latest, updated, on-brand version of each document.
Bigtincan’s ability to find the latest version easily removes the need for reps to save their own copy — they can always find the latest version via Bigtincan.
Let’s Look at a Case Study of One of Our Clients: Hino
Hino is a commercial truck manufacturer. They sell and distribute trucks throughout the world. Hino was facing two problems without a collateral management system. First, all their marketing collateral was in different places, and nothing was centralized. Second, it hampered the ability of salespeople and service teams to get the information they wanted in the latest version.
Bigtincan was able to solve both the problems for Hino with its ability to unify all its collateral on a single platform. Now Hino has around 6,000+ users on Bigtincan from sales teams, parts teams, and their dealership networks.
Factor #2: Powerful, Full-Text, Smart Search So Reps Can Find Collateral in Seconds without Browsing Hundreds of Folders
Sales reps often have difficulty finding the most updated version of the collateral they are looking for to send to their potential customers. Enterprise-level sales teams can’t waste time going through hundreds of folders in multiple repositories.
With Bigtincan’s AI-powered search, sellers don’t have to hunt through countless levels of folders to find the sales content they need and can respond to buyers’ queries quickly.
Bigtincan’s Search & Suggest Comes with Several Features
- Bigtincan has a powerful AI Search that provides useful collateral suggestions, not just an exact search result for a query. For example, if you search for ‘Bigtincan Case Study V1.0’, Bigtincan will suggest ‘Bigtincan Case Study 2.0 ’ if it exists.
- Bigtincan’s search feature pulls results from all text inside any file, not just the filename. Meaning, if you have digitized some documents as PDF, Bigtincan’s Search will also be able to search the contents of the PDFs.
- Bigtincan’s search works offline on any device. This means when salespeople are in a hotel or a coffee shop with spotty internet signals, they can still find the collateral they need.
Because Bigtincan’s search looks through all files in all repositories, identifies the latest versions, and does a full-text search, you don’t have to manually organize files and keep adding metadata, like the file’s author, published date, category, last update date, and more. You spend less time tagging files and more time selling to prospects and building trust.
Factor #3: Functions Identically Online or Offline and on Any Device (Phone, Tablet, or Desktop)
Offline and mobile access to the sales CRM is an essential feature for a modern sales organization.
Usually, content management systems are made for desktops and then adapted for mobile usage. However, a true content management system will have seamless access regardless of internet connection, which can happen only when the system is built mobile-first.
Let’s say your sales reps have a meeting in a basement factory of a prospective customer where there’s poor internet signal. How can the sales rep then find what they need?
- Should they get out of the basement and search for the file?
- Should they risk losing the customer’s attention by resorting to sending the document at a later time?
- Salespeople can access any digital asset offline on any device, including the AI-powered search feature. Administrators can also track when and how the collateral was used offline. So if a seller keeps using an outdated file, the administrator can see that and inform the seller to use the updated one. This helps make sales enablement effective.
- If a sales rep does any work offline, it automatically syncs when there’s an internet connection.
- All files and folders are saved to mobile for use whenever necessary. So even when the sales reps are not at their desks, they can have what they need within seconds.
- Bigtincan’s AI works on a multi-factor algorithm that pushes unused files back to the cloud. This in turn, frees up space in limited mobile storage capacity to store collateral that’s most relevant.
Without offline and mobile functionality, salespeople may have difficulty accessing marketing materials in remote locations with no-coverage areas.
The following chart show the results of recent customer survey comparing Bigtincan to competitors:
Factor #4: Sellers Can See Which Collateral Prospects Are Engaging with the Most
Your organization would be ahead of the competition if your sales collateral management system satisfies just the three factors above: (1) It can surface files that live anywhere. (2) Reps can find the correct version of files from search without browsing large folder-in-folder webs. (3) 100% of features work identically offline, and on any device.
But another key factor of effective sales collateral management is the ability for sales teams to see data on which collateral is being used the most, specifically:
- Which collateral are buyers engaging with the most.
- Which collateral is bringing in the most deals.
- Which collateral are reps using the most.
One product category in the sales software space that helps do this is Digital Sales Rooms (DSRs). A digital sales room is a customer-facing portal where a sales team can store all digital assets that a particular prospect needs and share the assets with them with one simple link. It helps avoid the endless email chains with different attachments scattered in different emails.
Getting Data on What Collateral Prospects Are Using
DSRs provide data on how the prospects are engaging with the sales collateral (something you can’t do if all assets are sent to the prospect as email attachments).
Specifically, in Bigtincan, you can measure the below data for each document:
- Total views of a document,
- Total time spent on browsing the document,
- Specific pages or slide views,
- Total time spent on each section,
- Which file was opened at what time,
- And more.
As described in-depth in this article, Bigtincan is often used by our customers as a DSR which provides the sales team with detailed stats on what content is viewed by whom and how often. It can also be used to tie back specific pieces of content or collateral to deal close rate.
This usage data can also help reps reach out at the right time or with the right content.
For example, if multiple members on the buyers’ side are opening up a pricing deck but haven’t reached back out to the sales team for a day or two, the sales team knows they were in some kind of price consideration phase and can send a timely email asking if they have any questions or, if appropriate, offer to discuss custom pricing.
Finally, managers can also see which piece of sales collateral is being used the most by reps. This can make sales collateral creation more efficient and keeps the sales cycle on track. Marketing and sales enablement teams can avoid spending time creating collateral that reps barely use. It can also be used to find potential patterns in the collateral your star reps use. If your top-performing sellers keep using certain marketing materials that lower-performing reps don’t use, this can be turned into a learning opportunity.
Factor #5: Customizable Interface to Match Your Team’s Workflow
Another key feature of an effective sales collateral management system is that it is designed to help reps find the exact sales content they need fast in a white-labeled and familiar-looking interface. Unlike simple cloud repositories like Google Drive or Dropbox, which are largely just folder systems with a search function, the interface for Bigtincan can be completely customized to your company’s brand and usage requirements.
This means that even before sales reps have to search for any digital assets like email templates, case studies, or data sheets, the homepage of Bigtincan for your organization or specific department can be designed to show the files and sections that are the most useful to your employees.
- Employees in a finance department may need to process a lot of contracts or other official documents, so their Bigtincan homepage may be most useful with a search field and a running list of their most commonly used or most recent contracts.
- Retail sales employees (who work in a brick and mortar store) may find an interface that shows a running feed of the latest product information and announcements to be most useful.
- Sellers of medical technology likely need easy access to their large product catalog organized by product category (examples below).
Above, we have three examples of customized interfaces that match the organization’s workflow. The first image shows different products and offerings of a healthcare company. The second one helps you browse through the manufacturing brochure. And the third one shows various promotions of a retail organization. You can imagine how the top image for a health products company could be used by its sales reps to easily flip through product catalogs while sitting side by side with potential customers.
Bigtincan’s team can create and maintain this customization, so your organization’s development or IT resources don’t need to be used.
Here’s how customers rate Bigtincan’s customization abilities compared to competitors:
If you’re ready to see how Bigtincan can help your enterprise with collateral management, request a demo, where we’ll discuss how we can customize Bigtincan for your team’s needs.