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Think about the requirements placed on modern sales representatives. They have to do far more than work through a list of cold leads, make phone calls, and deliver sales pitches. They’re responsible for combing through leads, identifying the best opportunities, and engaging with not one individual but an entire buying team.

Conducting a content audit may not sound like a pleasurable activity, but it’s a worthwhile process that will save your marketing and sales teams hours and hours of valuable time. Here are four positive outcomes that can be achieved through this process.

1) Address key challenges for sales representatives.

Sales representatives today are expected to tailor their presentations and collateral to each specific prospect or opportunity and find the right marketing materials to suit the selling scenario. This is easier said than done, as sales collateral is often spread out among a multitude of repositories, making it difficult to identify the most recent or effective materials for various scenarios. In fact, at Docurated, our research shows that 68% of organizations make use of five or more repositories, making the task of sourcing the right content a time-consuming process for sales representatives.

A content audit solves salespeople's content challenges by:

  • Providing a clear picture of the organization’s marketing and sales assets.
  • Enabling the identification and disposal or archiving of outdated materials.
  • Facilitating the organization of content through categorization and centralized storage.
  • Assessing current content workflows and identifying strengths and weaknesses.

In essence, a content audit provides the foundation for implementing new, more functional content management systems and processes. You can’t move forward without understanding where you’re starting from. A content audit clarifies your current situation, which in turn reveals the path to a more efficient strategy.

2) Understand the difference between marketing and sales content.

To facilitate an effective sales enablement process, it’s important to understand the key differences between sales content and marketing content. Content should not be exclusively provided by marketing teams, nor should sales representatives be expected to simply build off content designed for marketing purposes.

Marketing content is designed for raising awareness and nurturing leads. Sales content, on the other hand, is designed to address specific buyer personas during the later stages of the buying cycle. Marketing and sales content should be clearly differentiated, yet carefully aligned to provide a smooth and consistent flow throughout the buyer’s journey.

The primary goal of marketing content is to attract qualified leads to fill the sales funnel. This requires targeted content that draws the right kind of leads to the organization, while further tailored content nurtures qualified leads to the point of buying-readiness. Sales content is even more focused and targeted to specific buyer personas, as leads reaching the end stages of the buying cycle require more personalized, customized content that addresses specific objections and pain points.

If you discover your company is skewing too heavily toward one type of content, strive to strike a better balance in your content production processes. In addition, ensure that each type of content is clearly delineated and stored in places that are easy for either salespeople or marketers to access.

3) Align content with the buyer’s journey.

Beyond differentiating between marketing content and sales content, a content audit clarifies collateral designed for specific touchpoints and stages throughout the buyer’s journey. By identifying all existing content within your organization and effectively categorizing or tagging content, sales representatives are able to readily identify the most appropriate content for specific selling scenarios.

When content is readily accessible and clearly identified, sales representatives spend substantially less time searching for the most relevant content, or worse, recreating assets that already exist somewhere within your organization. When these time-sucking tasks are eliminated, sales representatives are able to focus more time on closing deals and generating revenue.

4) Streamline content workflows for fast-growing sales teams.

In fast-growing sales teams, it’s critical to provide sales representatives with the tools and training they need to do their jobs both efficiently and effectively. But the volume of new content created by organizations isn’t slowing down; in fact, it will continue to grow exponentially as your team grows.

After an initial content discovery and audit process, it’s important to implement tools that are adaptive to the changing workflows common in fast-growing sales teams. Tools that integrate with existing workflows and enable content sourcing from any repository provide ease-of-use for fast-growing teams and eliminate the need for ongoing, manual tagging and uploading.

A content audit helps growing sales teams realize goals and save substantial amounts of time sourcing tailored content. This essential first step in making content accessible for your sales organization also streamlines the onboarding process for new team members, and equips reps to close more deals. 

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Originally published Feb 18, 2015 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017

Topics:

Sales Collateral