Sales Content Management Criteria

 In All Things Productivity, Blog

Today’s sales rep is faced with an increasingly difficult challenge. Each day reps enter into new and unique selling situations with any number of variables to consider including deal stage, stakeholders, industry vertical, financial terms, and competitor positioning. Reps must work harder than ever to build consensus among a growing number of stakeholders to close the deal.

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As difficult as it sounds, reps do have one thing in their favor. Companies have been steadily increasing their investment in content to help reps tell the story that closes the deal. Unfortunately, the increase in content production created a situation where it became extremely difficult for reps to find content as older systems struggled to cope with the sheer volume of content being stored.

With such an obvious need for innovation in the sales content management space, a number of vendors threw their hat into the ring claiming that their solution alone could solve all content difficulties. In many cases, these systems were no more suited to today’s content landscape than their predecessors.

To help you choose the solution that meets the needs of the modern sales rep, we put together a content management criteria against which you can measure the effectiveness of each solution.

Decision Criteria Requirement Description Benefits
Architectural Criteria Fully integrates with existing repositories and systems. Any solution must fully and automatically sync with all existing repositories and content. Keep content where it lives today without moving it, tagging it, or re-permissioning it. A viable solution will automatically sync with existing infrastructure requiring no workflow change. Dramatically reduces time to value and implementation time.
Fully leverages existing assets and investments without a forklift rip and replace.
Minimizes implementation risk, as existing infrastructure remains in place should the new solution not work.
Automatically indexes, categorizes, and analyzes all existing content assets. The solution should have the intelligence to automatically index and categorize existing content assets without any human intervention. Reduces admin and deployment time and overall total cost of ownership.
Zero manual tagging or uploading required. The solution should not require admins to manually upload and tag content for it to be made available to end-users. All content repositories should be automatically indexed and made available for search. Makes all existing corporate content available for use. Reduces admin and deployment time and overall total cost of ownership.
Automatically analyzes content relevance based on freshness and usage analytics. Query deserves freshness. Content relevance and “seeding” within the system should be based on content usage and relevance signals such as when the content was created. The system will check to see what content is new. When a user is researching a specific topic new or fresh content is given a boost in search results.
Easily scales as the volume of content, categories and users grows. The system should provide instant utility with no additional infrastructure investments. As new content is created it should be automatically added to the system.
All major content repositories should be supported.
Existing silos are indexed and the content hosted within them is made accessible to the organization. Existing infrastructure investments get a new lease of life – no need to rip and replace.
No additional maintenance required It should not be necessary to dedicate a resource to maintaining the system. Reduces total cost of ownership
Minimal administration required System deployment time should take hours/days not weeks/months. Dramatically reduces time to value and implementation time.
Easily embedded into other applications like portals and intranets An API that allows to embed the full content management experience within systems such as Intranets, Wikis, Microsoft SharePoint sites, Content Management Systems, Workflow Tools. We don’t have to support another website.
There is little energy and time spent training users to alter their workflow, habits, or experience.
Signal based content analytics Content relevance and “seeding” within the system should be based on usage and relevance signals. Signal examples being views, clicks, downloads, re-use, modifications, creator, etc….
The solution must capture the data and signals from ALL content repositories.
Accelerates time to value and ROI.
Understanding signals and relevance down to the page and object level within a document allows the system to present the exact asset within a document the user is looking for, as opposed to a link to the entire document.
No ongoing manual upload of content required Solution should be able to sync content with content creator’s PC – specific folders as determined by the content creator. Minimize additional steps to make content available increases adoption and completeness of the record.
Leverage existing security processes Solution should integrate with Active Directory and/or utilize the underlining repository’s security model for content permissions and access level. Eliminate the need to manually maintain security in the new solution to eliminate overhead/cost and ensure consistency/accuracy.
Support SSO Solution should utilize Single SignOn. Eliminate the need for users to remember another password to eliminate barriers to adoption.
Functional Requirements Ability to mashup different pages of content from multiple file formats to create new content. The solution should be file type agnostic. Ability to normalize content, no matter what the source, to a preferred file type.
Ability to surface and extract objects and logos from pages, and the ability to extract a complete page. Solution must provide the ability for users to extract content and copy objects for use in the creation of new content or for sharing internally and externally. Huge reduction in the time spend creating/re-creating content.
Track external engagement with content by recipients. The system needs to provide a way to track recipient interactions with content that is sent to them. Get a real-time notification any time a recipient opens sent content. See how time is spent on the content in page-by-page detail.
Automatic Version Management A solution must be cognizant of various content versions and have the intelligence to display the correct versions in the right context. Eliminate the confusion for end users regarding which version of the content to use.
Automatic de-duplication of content The solution must de-duplicate content from across various sources. Eliminate noise and make the retrieval of content accurate.
No content structure required The solution should be able to operate without any sort of hierarchical folder structure in the underlying repository. Reduces time and cost to implement since the existing repositories don’t need to be organized and cleaned up prior to deploying the new solution.
Simple and easy to use Intuitive and easy to use requiring no training. Simplicity of use is critical as this is a key driver of adoption, utilization, and ultimately the inputs.
Analytics: type of usage Solution should provide reports on how content is being used. Validate the value of content.
Analytics: end user usage Solution should provide reports on who is using which content most. Understand areas of most active usage to focus on additional content creation.
Analytics: search trends Solution should provide reports on what content end users are searching for. Understand what end users are looking for to drive future content creation decisions.
Analytics: content utilization Solution should provide reports on which content is never used and which content is used the most at the document and page level. Reduce funding on content that’s never used and increase funding on content that’s mostly used. Focus resources on type of content utilized the most.

 

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