Sales Content Management Software Overview
What are Sales Content Tools?
Sales content tools help organizations store, create, and/or manage the content used by reps during sales cycles. Most sales content software includes a centralized sales content repository with an advanced search, analytics around content usage and content performance, and built-in best practices—which are often surfaced as content recommendations or smart content. These recommendations may be based on rules established by Sales or Marketing leaders or based on predictive analytics models that use content performance, sales performance data, and buyer journey data to predict the best-fit content for a particular situation. Some sales content tools also include content personalization and performance tracking tools.
These tools may also be called sales enablement, sales content management systems, or sales asset management systems. Sales content management tools are frequently used to align marketing and sales messaging, maintain brand consistency, collaborate on sales content, and deliver content (such as presentations, white papers, case studies, etc.) to prospects during the sales cycle.
Some sales content software is designed around Marketing-led content creation—assets are fed by marketers into a central database for their sales teams to send out—whereas other products include Sales content creation kits for reps to quickly whiteboard concepts for prospects or produce branded presentations, proposals, etc. Relatedly, sales content tools often include features for content collaboration, approval workflows, updating content, content file sharing, etc. These functionalities are especially useful and important for large enterprises in which branding politics are more complex and messaging is more tightly controlled.
Sales Content, Sales Enablement, and Sales Acceleration
Sales content is usually a big part of an organization’s sales enablement strategy, so sometimes the buzzword “sales enablement” is used as a synonym for sales content management software. This can be a bit confusing since the term also describes sales management practices and tools that support sales effectiveness by equipping salespeople with the information, assets, technology, and best practices needed to sell better. In thought leadership articles and best practices tips, the latter definition is usually at play; in product-specific marketing materials, “sales enablement” usually translates to sales content software.
The terms “sales acceleration,” “sales productivity,” and “sales automation” are also used to describe sales content management tools. Features like advanced document search, CRM integration, and automatic branding can be considered time-saving elements aimed at increasing the efficiency of sales reps. In this sense, sales content software is a sort of productivity tool, but with a focus on the substance of the sales conversation rather than just the goal of automating administrative tasks.
Key Benefits of Sales Content Software
Increased sales rep productivity, since the sales content tool helps eliminate wasted time searching for or re-creating content.
Decreased onboarding time and an accelerated sales cycle, due to content recommendations and automated on-the-job coaching.
Improved sales rep effectiveness by using content that is targeted and proven to work (based on previous use cases and prospect engagement/sales results).
Alignment of sales and marketing teams, as the platform facilitates communication between departments and promotes current and consistent messaging.
Sales Content Tools Features
- Centralized sales content repository: Organized system for storing sales content, i.e. assets salespeople can use in conversations with prospects.
- Sales content reporting & analytics: Tracks content usage (which content is used by which salespeople and when) and/or content performance (engagement, ROI, how content works in different situations).
- Branded sales content: Content in the repository is created by, updated by, and/or approved by marketing, so that assets available to and pushed to sales are always on-brand.
- Sales content kits / personalized content: Allows salespeople to manually or semi-automatically create content for particular opportunities (for example, proposals, presentations, whiteboarding, etc.)
- Mobile sales content: Sales content is mobile-optimized and can be accessed by salespeople via their mobile devices.
- Content recommendations – Content engine feeds recommended content to salespeople based on the details of the prospect/opportunity. These built-in best practices provide automatic on-the-job training, coaching, and/or general guidance.
- Advanced content search: Salespeople can easily search for and find specific, relevant content. Search goes beyond just the title of the asset/document.
- Sales content integration to Salesforce: – content fed into SF records, esp relevant to productivity and automation/recommendations. Recommend content “in context.” In context for sales reps means in SF.
- Sales partner management: The software makes content available to indirect sales teams with controlled access; marketers/sales managers can distribute up-to-date messages and info to partners.
- Sales content collaboration: Includes the ability to collaborate on sales content, with file sharing, oversight, approval workflows, comments, versioning/editing, etc.
Sales Content Management Software Comparison
Businesses interested in purchasing a sales content management tool should first consider these three key factors:
Marketing vs. sales led: are you looking for a sales content management tool that will primarily be managed by the marketing team or sales team? In most cases, this distinction is not black and white, but buyers should pre-determine whether Marketing and/or Sales plans to lead sales content creation to assess which software option will work best for their use case.
User-friendliness: how easy to use are the sales content management systems you’re considering purchasing? As most sales leaders know, it can be difficult to persuade your whole sales team to adopt a new technology and start using it—especially if they already have tools or systems they’re used to using. Ease of use is therefore a very important component of any new sales tool you plan on introducing to your team. A tool that has a small learning curve and is simple to use stands a much better chance of being adopted by all sales reps. Free trials are a great way to get a feel for how user-friendly a product truly is.
Cost of the tool: are you looking for an enterprise-level sales content management tool or a more basic tool mainly to organize existing sales assets and enablement materials? Simpler tools that mainly serve as a sales content repository will be less expensive or even free (for up to a certain amount of storage). On the other hand, more advanced tools will be more expensive but will offer a wider range of features, such as content authoring and performance analytics.
Frequently Asked Questions
According to end-user feedback on TrustRadius, the top-rated sales content management product is Highspot.
However, there are several other sales tools to checkout on TrustRadius’ sales content management software page. Potential buyers of Highspot often compare it with products like Seismic, Showpad, and MS SharePoint.
More expensive sales content management systems can cost upwards of multiple thousands of dollars per year, while more basic products will likely be available for under $100 per user per month.
Most sales content management software vendors do not include pricing information on their website. However, interested buyers can contact the vendor for more pricing information.