Organizing and keeping all of your sales support content up-to-date can be challenging. Ensuring your content repository is easily accessible and searchable can be even more of a challenge.

In fact, sales reps spend on average 30 hours each month searching for and creating their own sales content (per RingDNA), which results in less time spent selling, more dispersion of non-Marketing-approved content, and an overall loss of credibility.

Marketers can reduce the dispersion of off-brand content and help their sales reps maximize selling time by housing their content in an effective and comprehensive content repository.

An effective content repository should...

  1. Seamlessly and efficiently store and integrate content. If your content is scattered throughout libraries, repositories, and sites, your sales reps will be hard-pressed to locate the specific pieces of collateral they need. The existence of multiple repositories increases the likelihood there are multiple versions of the same content floating around, which can lead to poor quality control and inconsistent messaging. On the other hand, having a single content repository or a way to search all repositories and sources simultaneously allows all users to access, update, and use what they need efficiently.
  2. Easily integrate all existing data sources into shareable materials. In addition to the challenge of searching for content, there is the challenge of updating existing content with new information. That challenge is especially magnified in large companies with thousands of pieces of sales and marketing collateral. Using a repository that integrates all existing data sources allows marketers to manage content from all sources and ensure quality control by updating, standardizing, or removing outdated or one-off materials. Furthermore, by connecting your data sources to your content repository, you can ensure that new information is automatically updated in all collateral.
  3. Give widespread access of Marketing-approved materials to sales users. When Marketing has a view of all available materials, it is much easier to organize, consolidate, and filter content into digestible segments for sales teams to access. Marketing can approve the right materials for the right users and personalize them with text and customized figures for each. Customization allows sales reps to find the exact collateral they need without having to ask the marketing team for something specific for each sales conversation.

With all of that in mind, you should have a relatively good sense of the quality of your company's own repository.

You can use the following steps to address any specific weaknesses or areas of improvement and optimize your company's content repository:

1. Look at the overall marketing content landscape

  • Does your team have visibility into every content repository, folder, and content source simultaneously?
  • Can you search and segment all marketing content in a way that is digestible for sales teams?

2. Assess the searchability of your repository

  • Do sales reps know where to go for the right content?
  • Is it organized in a way that sales reps intuitively function (by role, stage in sales cycle, industry, etc.)?
  • Can sales reps segment content by what is relevant to them in their specific selling situation?

3. Double-check your process for updating collateral

  • Whose responsibility is it to update collateral? Is it a specific team's or person's responsibility?
  • How often are updates necessary? What is the process? The answers to those questions will vary depending on industry; some companies have more rigorous and time-sensitive update mandates that occur more frequently.
  • How do you know what content is outdated? Do you know how and when outdated content is accessed?
  • Can you control which versions of collateral are in circulation?

4. Ensure access of Marketing-approved materials to sales users

  • Are you able to approve the right materials for the right users and personalize those materials with text and data relevant to specific sales conversations?
  • Do you have control over what sales reps can view, access, and personalize?
  • Can your sales reps access your repository from all devices (PC/browser, tablet, mobile phone, etc.)?

Answering those questions is a great way to start when deciding how to make the most out of your content repository.

The goal of the repository is to enable your marketing team to view all content through a single lens so that you can make the right content available to the right people. Achieving that goal will increase marketing efficiency, decrease the amount of unnecessary time dedicated to random acts of sales support (one-off presentation material, off-brand sales collateral, manual updates to content, etc.), and, most important, give Marketing visibility into and control over the content that sales teams can access.

Once your content repository is optimized, your marketing and sales teams will enjoy strategic alignment that allows sales reps to spend more time selling and, ultimately, increasing revenue.

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image of Daniel Rodriguez

Daniel Rodriguez is the VP of marketing at Seismic, an end-to-end sales enablement solution.

Twitter: @dlrdaniel

LinkedIn: Daniel Rodriguez