After your marketing team goes through the process of identifying what content your should produce, it's time to find the best way to get that content to your sales team. Here's 5 steps to build and sustain a cost-effective program for delivering sales content.
- Identify critical knowledge and content
The first step is to understand what content you have available and what continent needs to be developed. Start by conducting an audit of your current sales content and Survey your sales reps and sales managers to determine what continent is missing, outdated, or ineffective. Using a content matrix with rows showing buyer personas and columns showing stages in your sales methodology, map your existing content. The gaps in the matrix will show you what content is missing.
Also survey your sales reps to find out what sales knowledge is lacking in areas such as products, messaging, and competitive positioning.
Use the critical selling content model and compare it to your findings from your audit to come up with a plan for developing new content or updating existing content.
A successful content program requires the ability to measure success, so establishing key measurements to ensure you are working toward the right goals is important. Of course, there are two primary goals of a content program: lowering costs and improving performance. Be clear how you plan to measure these in regards to your business. You will also need to establish benchmarks for your metrics.
Some considerations are:
- Time to Market of critical content
- Time individuals spend searching for content
- Total cost of content development
- Sales communication Cycles
- Communications effectiveness
Having benchmarked your current state, you are then in a position to effectively measure the impact your program will have by examining the results and comparing against well-established goals. Some examples of goals that require content measurements are:
- Reduce content production cost by 20%
- Improve content effectiveness so that an opportunity moves from qualification to discovery 10% faster
- Use of an ROI calculator increases ASP by 25%
- Establish Content and Governance Models
Next, you'll need to create a cross-functional team and assign responsibility for building the support system and managing it. You also need to decide on content workflows and approvals, including who approves at what stage of content development (from idea stage to first draft to final draft to final approval).
To make content easier to create and reuse, create a content model. Break up content into key elements such as text abstracts, text copy, images, video, and other entities so they can be reassembled, updated, and reused to create content quickly and consistently.
- Design Operations and Consumptions Flow
Next, establish a publishing process. Content curators will follow this model and manage content through each of these steps. At this time, you should also consider how technology can be applied to manage these steps. With this process in mind, you can begin to map how content will be delivered and to whom. Take into consideration your sales methodology and your organization to determine who has access to what content at what stage of the sales cycle, or in the case of some sales training material, at what stage of the sales reps’ experience level. Now you have enough information and requirements to make an assessment of Sales Enablement technologies.
- Establish a Resourcing Model
Next, establish communities of practice by identifying the subject matter experts in your organization. You should also include trusted partners and third parties with the right expertise. Help them contribute content effectively by incorporating them into your content publishing process. Ideally, your sales enablement technology will have the right collaboration features to streamline communications and workflow management.
At this stage of planning, you'll also identify a resource responsible for overseeing and managing the performance support program. This person will be the “air traffic controller”, making decisions based on goals and guidance from the cross functional team on content priorities, and how and when content announcements go out to the sales rep. Whether you call this person Content King, Sales Knowledge Manager, Sales Content Manager, or a more general title, he or she will be the hub of all the sales content including the central point for subject matter experts, sales content creators, and the sales reps - the consumers of the content.
- Implement for Adoption
You're now ready to implement your solution. Establish a centralized content office to manage implementation, including a project plan and schedule, as well as communications and training for content creators, subject matter experts, and the consumers of your content - the sales reps.
To build content for the support system, establish editorial and maintenance schedules. Plan and schedule operational reviews with your cross functional team.
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