What Sales Asset Management Solutions Don’t Understand About Content Performance

May 10, 2017 by Alex Yamamoto

Sales enablement is such a cross-functional role that when evaluating sales enablement solutions there are often many stakeholders that want to get involved. One key stakeholder is the product marketing team, who wants to ensure the content they create (case studies, white papers, etc) is being used by the sales team. As a result, a way to measure the effectiveness of the content you send to prospects is often high on the list of requirements for your sales enablement solution. A whole category of solutions under the sales asset management umbrella are built to exclusively serve this purpose.

But your sales enablement team is also creating content like competitive battle cards, overcoming objections, messaging & positioning statements and other internal sales knowledge that your sales team is leveraging as well. Isn’t measuring the success of this type of content important too? This tension between the needs of product marketing and sales enablement often results in purchasing a solution that only fulfills one team’s requirements.

To truly understand the effectiveness of all your sales knowledge and marketing content and drive alignment between sales enablement and product marketing, it’s important to find a modern sales enablement solution that takes into account both types of content your teams create. Here’s why:

Your sales knowledge is more than just marketing assets

When we say sales asset management we mean solutions that take document storage a step further and allow you to manage and organize your sales assets, curate unique content portals to prospects, and track their engagement in granular detail. But sales enablement is much more than just the sales assets you present and send to prospects. It involves just as much internal knowledge on sales processes, competitors, objection handling, and product FAQ’s, as it does on external content like your case studies and white papers. So, while some of these features are valuable, we believe these solutions are primarily built to solve marketing problems, not sales problems.

Solutions in this category help to answer questions like:

  • Is the sales team using the content our product marketing team creates?
  • Do prospects engage with the marketing content my team creates?

But your sales enablement team doesn’t necessarily only care about those questions. What they are looking for is a solution that provides a fast, simple, and reliable way for reps to find accurate sales knowledge. Sales asset management solutions are focused on the needs of product marketers, but your sales enablement solution needs to focus on the needs of your sales team too.

Usage of sales knowledge has an impact on actionable business outcomes

The impact of this narrow asset-only view on sales enablement is most clearly felt when looking at the lack of actionable business analytics that solutions focused on asset management provide. While they can tell you exactly how many seconds a prospect looked at a pricing slide in your deck and can claim to tell you how that piece of content lead to a closed deal, it still does not paint a clear picture. For example, the prospect may have been on that pricing slide for so long because they were confused by your pricing, calculating the cost based on their specific user count, or they just took a coffee break! Turns out, on the next call your sales rep expertly diffused an objection regarding the feature set in differently priced editions of your product, but your sales asset management solution can’t track that.

In fact, many asset management solutions require your reps to do unnatural acts to track content performance like send the email through their service. That means they have to leave their workflow when following up with your prospects via email and find the appropriate piece of content so it can be tracked properly. As a result, you may not even be tracking content performance at all if your reps aren’t adopting your asset management solution! Even more critically, these solutions are file based, which means only PDF’s and slide decks can be tracked, not your links from more top-of-the-funnel content like blog posts, case studies on your website, or videos. In today’s world, more and more of your marketing content actually lives on your website. Can you really gain insights into the effectiveness of your content if you are only accounting for such a small piece of the pie?

Sales asset management solutions totally miss intention (the why) and instead focus on the what (the specific slide), which leaves you with more questions than answers. What about some of these other questions: What sales knowledge; such as messaging, common objections, product, and security details has been used by reps to close deals? Where are the gaps in my enablement strategy? How can analyzing the sales knowledge my reps are using most be leveraged by our marketing team to create useful assets? All of these questions point to analytics that provide tangible metrics on business outcomes, something your sales asset management solution won’t be able to provide.

A holistic analytics strategy can drive product marketing - sales enablement alignment

While product marketing and sales enablement may have different priorities, there is surely common ground that can be reached when it comes to content performance. Here’s a question both sets of teams probably want answered:

“What knowledge and assets are resonating most with prospects, at each particular stage? And how can I leverage these usage statistics to create better marketing assets and to better enable our sales team?”

Simply put, measuring content performance becomes much more valuable when you can analyze all the sales knowledge and content your sales team uses. That means your sales enablement solution should be the central repository for all of your sales knowledge: internal content created by sales enablement, external-facing assets created by product marketing, blog posts from the content team, and everything else in-between.

To ensure rep adoption, find an enablement solution that lives in your rep’s workflow so that they can easily find and track content they are sending to prospects. Just as important, make sure your reps can trust the content they are sending is always up-to-date. Trust and adoption go hand in hand. Another reason why content portals are often not adopted is because the assets reps find are consistently out-of-date. As a result, reps will continually go outside your asset management solution to find content meaning you can no longer track its effectiveness.

While understanding what content and knowledge is used by your sales team is great, tying that knowledge back to the specific stage in the buyer’s journey is what’s most valuable. Imagine finding out that knowledge around your Slack integration is consistently moving prospects down the funnel and leading to closed deals.

From this data, you can create a nicely designed one-pager on your Slack integration to give to your reps so they can send it to your prospects after an initial call. For your SDR’s prospecting you can push them to target companies who use Slack. Finally, you can inform your marketing team about this and suggest they create new demand generation campaigns surrounding your integration with Slack. With better insights into the specific knowledge and content that is resonating best with your prospects, you can better enable your sales team by creating relevant material for them across the entire buyer’s journey, and for internal use at your organization as well.

The end result, is tighter alignment amongst your sales enablement and product marketing team. Previously, you were piecing together separate strategies as a result of using data from different softwares. Having a single source of truth for measuring content performance will ensure both teams have a comprehensive and consistent strategy toward building internal sales knowledge and external assets across the sales funnel.

Want to learn more about how Guru does content performance? Check out how we take the guesswork out of your content strategy.