by Andrew Dornon, Analyst
At many firms with mature sales enablement or training organizations, the team has worked over the years to build out a lot of content and collateral that helps sales reps sell better or faster. However, there is a tipping point, when the difficulty of creating additional content exceeds the value of doing so. That tipping point is imperceptible when it happens, and often only becomes apparent years later. When even the enablement team is confused by different questioning models, sales methodologies and acronyms, you’ll know that something must be done.
What to Do
Distill all existing sales enablement and training content down to only the most relevant with a content review. Find what really works for salespeople and get rid of the rest. It’s a challenging task because much of the content is useful. The key to an effective content review is to clearly focus on the goals of the sales force today and the most critical actions they must take to inspire buying.
How Do I Do It?
- Define the organizational goals and no more than 6 essential topics with critical stakeholders. Depending on your go-to market strategy and sales process, these 6 topics could be buyers, actions that move customers forward in the buying process, or industries, etc. This provides clear criteria to judge all content on.
- If there is not one place content is stored, collect it in a central location to make it easily accessible.
- Sort existing pieces. Divide the content into 7 categories— 6 for the critical sales actions (defined in step 1) and then one category for mandatory administrative documentation that you can’t get rid of. There will also be an additional grouping of content that files all extraneous or outdated information and administrivia—this will formally be called Archived Content. During the sorting process, bring in whichever influencers and experts you need buy-in from, so that the output, and ultimately sorted result gets approved.
- Filter out everything but the essentials. If there are more than 100 pieces of content across your 7 categories, you will need to archive the least impactful content. Even 100 pieces of content is a lot to manage for the average sales rep, but it’s a start. Pay close attention as you sort – if there are notable gaps in a certain category, you can begin to focus new efforts there.
- Ensure your content is usable. The last and most important step is to make sure your enablement content makes salespeople’s lives better. This likely means reworking some of the existing assets to make them more general, acquiring or building a central source of collateral (one that tracks usage and effectiveness is especially recommended), and an ongoing (or at least quarterly) process of content curation, so that your collateral never becomes unmanageable and requires another big content review.
We’ve all been in a place where we have all the information in the world, except the one sales proposal we need. A well-structured content review will keep the essentials – the content that really drives sales – front and center.