By Megan Virtanen (@MichiFinn12)
In this digital world where all too often content can easily become too much of a good thing, context around your content is everything.
This is especially true in sales, where reps are challenged to keep up with shifting market dynamics, product features, competitors, and buyer requirements. To be knowledgeable and audible despite these changing conditions, giving sellers a pile of supporting content isn’t helpful; they need guidance on when and how to use the great content that is available to them. And let me note that content doesn’t just mean assets or documents – the definition of an asset goes well beyond that. It includes coaching, messaging, training reinforcement, even people resources like subject matter experts (SMEs) that can provide content with context.
So when it comes to equipping sellers with the resources to engage with buyers, context is as important as the content itself.
The dichotomy of Sales Asset Management
Delivering content with context may seem tricky, but fortunately, Sales Asset Management solutions can help.
Now, what exactly are Sales Asset Management solutions? According to SiriusDecisions, Sales Asset Management (SAM) solutions help sales reps create, manage, package and distribute content. They outline it in two ways: core and advanced.
4 components of Core SAM solutions:
1. Content management and distribution: makes it easy for your marketing and content teams to manage and distribute content. For your sellers, it provides the ability to find content and identify what works (by bookmarking, or liking content) and then sharing relevant content with prospects and customers appropriately either through email, your CRM, or SAM solution.
2. Sales content preparation: allows sellers to locate, prep and catalog content while in meeting or when sending an email
3. Content presentation: gives sellers a variety of delivery options to share content with buyers (mobile, portals, emails, etc.)
4. Reporting and analytics: provides a view into content usage, activity, and impact so content teams know what resources to create (and sales knows what’s working and what’s not)
Benefits of Advanced SAM solutions
If you’re thinking, ok, I already have all of that in place, I’m good, right? Are you? The real question you should be asking is: are your sellers both efficient and effective?
Content can provide efficiency, but content WITH context is what drives effectiveness. Different from a core sales asset management model, an advanced SAM model is where the balance of efficiency and effectiveness magic happens. It’s prescriptively providing sellers what they need within their given selling scenario.
For example, you can have a seller who uses all the content available to them, but doesn’t necessarily have the skills to get the job done. On the flip side, you might have a seller with great skills but no infrastructure in place to support him or her, limiting your ability to scale your sales asset management initiatives.
With an Advanced SAM model, sellers are automatically served up the sales content, the coaching, & the resources they need to advance a sale based upon a specific situation, whether it’s sales stage, industry, persona, product, or any other key-driver.
While a core SAM differs from an advanced SAM model, there is no right or wrong direction; the direction you take is dependent on the needs and structure of your organization.
As you consider whether you need a core SAM or an advanced SAM, remember that just housing and accessing content is not enough. It’s knowing how to use it to engage with your buyers that will actually drive the outcome and ultimately the revenue for your business.
Content with context is your new mantra.
Whether you’re just getting started with sales asset management initiatives or if you’re looking to elevate your existing sales asset management processes, think holistically. A piece of technology is not going to solve your unused content problem. Technology is only the foundation. Establishing seller efficiency and effectiveness around the technology, or what we like to call “guided selling” is what is going to bring success to your organization.
For more tips on how to optimize your sales content, check out this recent discussion between SAVO Group and SiriusDecisions.
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