We’ve all heard the term “time is money”, but a recent study by IDC has proven it. It found that by saving a single enterprise rep 60 minutes of prep time per week a company could realize additional revenue generation of $300,000 or more per rep! In a company with just 10 reps, that’s $3 million each year. If you’ve got 100 reps, that’s a whopping $300MM per year!
We would all like to see this kind of drastic impact, but the question is how to trim sales preparation time for every rep by an entire hour.
Two words: Technology and Content
Allow us to explain.
According to CEB, 87% of training content is forgotten within weeks. As a result, sales reps are left scrambling for information and resources to support them in their roles. This often leads them to use outdated content or even creating content of their own.
In fact, a recent study by the CMO Council found that instead of selling, sales people spend upwards of 40% of their time creating their own messaging and tools.
Basically, sales people don’t remember everything they were taught in training sessions and they don’t know where to find the resources they need to be successful. So they spend a lot of valuable time that they could be selling working to find or create content. This is a problem. A $300,000 per rep per year problem.
Lucky for us, technology can help solve the problem. Combined with a solid content strategy, the $300,000 per rep per year problem isn’t a problem at all. It’s an opportunity.
Technology is everywhere and has become an integral part of virtually every aspect of our lives. And it’s no secret that, for many of us, mobile technology has become a must-have, not a want. A Mobility at Work study by CDW found that half of all adults in the U.S. today access the Internet with a mobile device. And 94% of mobile device users agree that their use of mobile devices for work has made them more efficient.
How does this information align with your content strategy? Whether it’s content for sales, marketing or training and development, is it managed with mobile technology? Or are you still manually delivering new content and updates? Maybe you’re sending emails when new content is available or perhaps you upload revised files to a central server in hopes that your sales reps will access it regularly. Or it could be that you haven’t yet found a way to leverage technology that works for you so your content is still printed and filed in the office.
Whatever your current situation may be, if you have yet to implement a mobile content strategy, doing so now will dramatically impact the effectiveness, efficiency, and usage of your content and, therefore, your company’s overall sales force productivity. Imagine the empowerment and support your sales reps will experience when given access to all of the sales, marketing and training content they could possibly need – all right from their smartphones or tablets. And think of the confidence they would have in knowing that it’s all accurate and current every time they access it.
Yes, technology makes it all possible. Here are some key features to consider as part of a mobile technology solution for content management.
Without a mobile solution, getting new content to sales reps could look something like this:
1. Finalize the piece of content.
2. Make it available to your reps, either by uploading it to a centralized server, emailing them the file, or even sending them printed copies.
3. Send out a notification to your reps that the new or revised content is now available and ask them to please discontinue use of any other versions of it, as they are outdated.
4. Notice there is a typo in the content you just sent out and start the process all over again.
If your content management process looks at all like this, you know how frustrating it can be. And not just for you as you try to manage it, but also for your sales reps who always seem to be fumbling for the most current version of the content they need.
In contrast, a mobile app for content management enables immediate delivery of sales, marketing and training content directly to the sales reps that need it. The moment a piece of content is finalized, it can be pushed out to the smartphones, tablets and computers of your reps, along with a notification that new resources are available. And when you notice a typo or need to make an update? No sweat. Just modify the content and push out the revised version.
Mobile apps for content management can also solve the problem of continued use of outdated content. Because the content is all accessed through the app, instead of being emailed or uploaded and likely saved to a rep’s desktop, you can expire old content and ensure that only the most current, accurate content is available. Both you and your reps will be able to work more confidently knowing everyone is operating with the right resources.
Have you ever run into challenges in getting the attention of your sales reps? Keeping them engaged when trying to communicate with them about new or updated content can be tough. They are, after all, most focused on selling. They don’t want to worry about content. They just want to have access to what they need when they need it and they don’t want to think about it.
But how are you supposed to decrease prep time by an hour for every rep if you can’t get them to think about the content you created to help them be more successful?
Simple. Don’t make them think about it.
A mobile content management app can allow for individualized content consumption. This means that a rep using such an app would have the ability to be fed only the information they choose to receive. They can set their preferences to receive the content topics and formats that they are most interested in. Then, while they will still have full access to the entire content library, they will only be notified of that which is most relevant to them. And, viola, neither of you has to think about it.
Another challenge faced by content managers is obtaining feedback. It can feel virtually impossible to get those who use your content to report back about how it’s working for them. Again, sales reps are there to sell. They don’t want to think about content. And asking reps to spend any time providing feedback certainly isn’t going to help you cut that hour from their prep time.
Fortunately, technology has an answer here, too. It’s possible to build feedback channels into a mobile content management app. And they work because they are 100% effortless for the sales reps, yet provide you with valuable information about the effectiveness and usage of the content. Here’s how: Built properly, an app can track each time a piece of content is accessed and by whom. It can also track which categories, topics, and forms of content are used most often. All of this information is gathered as the sales reps simply go out and use the content. They don’t need to proactively do a thing to help you understand how the content is working.
Sales reps tend to trust and respect each other, as they can empathize with each other and they understand first-hand the challenges that come with the role. They are likely to turn to each other for advice, so why not use technology to help them do it?
A mobile app can provide a community space for sales reps to converse with each other about the content. This feature is incredibly valuable for individuals who tend to spend a lot of time “in the field”, leaving them fairly disconnected from their peers.
A community feature in a mobile content management app is a win/win. Your reps get the information they need from each other to be more successful and you get to observe their comments about the content as valuable, candid feedback.
All of this is just a sample of the power technology can have when applied to supporting and equipping your sales reps. But it’s only half the equation. The other half is content. To reach optimal sales force productivity and realize that $300,000 in additional revenue per sales rep each year, you must leverage technology to facilitate a solid content strategy.
Deliver the Right Content
The feedback received from the mobile app about content usage should be one of the two greatest sources of information for content development. In addition to information generated internally about new product launches, news and announcements, it’s all you need to ensure you are making the right content available to your reps.
If you observe, for example, that many of the reps have elected to receive content about widgets and that the pieces available are being used quite a bit, you may want to provide more content about Widgets and also ensure that the content currently available is as up-to-date and thorough as possible.
Or perhaps the feedback tells you reps are visiting the interactive tutorials on the latest generation of Gadgets and they aren’t scoring so well on the quizzes, perhaps it would be a good idea to provide more Gadget training content.
By using the feedback received from the app as the main tributary into your stream of content creation, you are sure to continuously provide a steady flow of content that is relevant and timely for your reps.
Iterate to Improve
Again, it’s of critical importance to use the feedback provided by the app to improve content and release fresh iterations that will serve your reps even better.
Going back to examples, imagine seeing in the community area of the app that the reps have been conversing with each other about a training course you recently released. Apparently they think the information is relevant and the interface is great, but it just takes too long to go through the course. Based on this observation, you visit the data collected about that course and see that a rather high percentage of those who start it leave without completing it.
The app empowers you with this knowledge and allows you to iterate quickly. In this situation, maybe you could produce a shorter version of the course or break it up into smaller pieces. The technology enables you to be responsive with your content and attentive to your reps so they can be more successful.
The solution to the $300,000 per rep per year problem is a power combo of technology and content. Together, they can become a mobile content management strategy that will whittle down sales rep prep time by making the right content easily accessible anytime they need it. Equipped with the right mobile tools, they can go out and spend their time selling with confidence knowing they have the freshest content always available at their fingertips.
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