Creating one piece of sales collateral should not be too much of a problem, but what about 100 unique assets? 1,000? How do you ensure consistency of collateral for a product line that changes every quarter? Content creation is an important component of sales support and needs to be addressed as an ongoing project motivated to constantly improve results. This is a long-term campaign, not just making deadlines for this month’s new releases.
Look at it from an even larger perspective: for the enterprise, improving content creation is a significant matter that can improve overall competitiveness. A recent survey found that, combining internal resource costs and external vendors, enterprises spend an average of $17.5 million annually on content. Creating efficiencies means spending less, making more, and making it faster.
Producing Sales Enablement Content
Content creation should be viewed as an opportunity for continuous improvement. To us, these four best practices are imperative to efficient content production. Implement these with your team to start recognizing better returns on your own content expenditures.
1. Define workflows
Define in advance the appropriate workflows: who is responsible for creating a piece of content? Who needs to approve that item? Who has final say before it is published? And who is responsible for updating it in the future? Having clear definition and documentation of the project owners and approvers is vital to a healthy content system.
A valuable rule of thumb: the smaller the approving team, the faster and cheaper the content creation. Encourage delegation of reviews to a few select people who understand the project requirements.
2. Define success and document it
To know when a document is done, state its requirements in advance. Having a clear definition of done gives content creators and reviewers a yardstick to measure their work. Make this definition a written document, not just a verbal agreement.
Understand what KPIs are most important for your business and ensure that the right tracking is in place from the very start. You’ll need to know which content is resonating best with your intended target audiences to help you create better content in the future.
3. Implement Version and Change Management Early
Change is a certainty, so be sure to implement version control and change management. Think now about how to reduce the cost of making next year’s version of the document. Perhaps most importantly, you can ensure that the whole team knows with certainty which version is the most up-to-date.
4. Centralize Content Development and Storage
A well-designed central platform ties the whole content development process together. It can provide a simple path to reviewing and approving, store both the document and the conversations around it, and manage versions in a place that the entire team can access what they need. A centralized management system means never again having to sift through long email threads looking for that one attachment (then hoping it’s the updated version once you find it).
Commit to Content Creation
For a business that relies on sales teams for revenue, training and support tools need to be the best they can be. That means spot-on sales enablement content that is readily at hand for the sales person, wherever they may be. If not, sales people are relying on out-of-date information and prospects are not getting the best message they can about your product.
Sales enablement content offers the enterprise huge opportunity. Getting the best content out at the right time can make a difference — a difference that will show up on the quarterly reports.