What is a Sales Content Management System?
March 1, 2023
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A sales content management system (CMS) platform helps the sales enablement team, marketing, and other teams organize high-value content assets, so they’re easy to find.
Sales reps use these assets to answer customer questions, show how your product or service meets their needs, and overcome objections. The right content helps the buyer see the benefits of your solution.
Sales reps have an average of 1,400 assets to choose from during the sales process. But so many types of content can limit the impact of each piece. As a result, sales reps struggle with information overload, redundancy, and poor asset management.
When you have the right sales content management system, however, you can organize sales assets, ensure you aren’t recreating content you already have, and more. In addition to making the most of your sales enablement content, a sales CMS can help your reps feel ready for anything they may encounter during the sales cycle.
Why is a sales CMS important?
Making a sale in today’s marketplace requires the right content, whether it’s case studies, videos, one-pagers, infographics, or other information.
However, this process relies on your sales reps finding the right materials at the right time. Unfortunately, 65 percent of sales reps say they can’t find meaningful content to share with leads and prospects, and even more don’t use sales materials because they are out-of-date, irrelevant, or too hard to customize for the buyer’s needs.
In short, sales content management allows your company to store, manage, and organize content that sales reps use to promote your products and services.
Benefits of a sales CMS
One of the biggest advantages of a sales CMS is that it sets your reps up for success. When they have the right materials during the sales process, they come off as professional consultants rather than pushy salespeople.
The necessary materials are vital since B2B buyers want more content at every level. Among B2B buyers, 55 percent say they rely more on content for buying decisions than in years past, and B2B content consumption has increased by nine percent.
There are a variety of other benefits to a sales CMS as well.
Shorter sales cycles
When your sales reps can find the right information, they can move prospects through the sales process quickly.
On the other hand, if they have outdated assets or, worse, don’t use the content you create, the sales process will take longer, and the close rate will be significantly lower.
Better sales rep productivity
One study found that sales reps use up to 440 hours each year looking for the right content for prospects. That’s 20 percent of their working hours.
Imagine giving your reps a 20 percent improvement in productivity—that’s what an effective content management system can do.
Improvements in sales enablement
It’s not just reps who benefit from a sales CMS—your enablement team does as well. With the right tool, you can help guide content strategy to match the sales team’s needs, avoid duplicate work, and ensure outdated content and misinformation are not shared with prospects.
Keeping everything up-to-date in a sales CMS saves you time, money, and headaches.
A sales CMS vs. an LMS
Both a CMS and a learning management system (LMS) store vital information for your sales teams but have different focuses.
- A CMS generally has externally focused information—sales materials to share directly with prospective customers
- An LMS is generally focused on your company. It includes learning modules on ideal customers and needs, career development for current team members, and sales best practices that reps can use to improve their results. Many companies also use their LMS to create customer education and certification programs to improve customer retention and help users get the most out of their investments.
A sales CMS paired with an all-in-one learning platform that can help with your training needs helps you to support your sales teams in two ways: with excellent support and training and with the right sales assets for prospects.
Integration between the two systems lets you embed assets into training courses, instruct sales teams on how to use the sales assets appropriately and at what stage in the sales cycle, run knowledge checks, and test pitches.
sales CMS vs. a sales CRM: what’s the difference?
A sales customer relationship management (CRM) tool allows your company to track leads and prospects, know where they are in the sales process, send email marketing, and more.
On the other hand, a CMS is where you place materials that are helpful for reps during the sales process. You can store and organize your content, so it’s easy to find and use at the right time.
A CRM is occasionally called a CMS when the acronym means customer management system, but a CRM and a content management system are very different.
Read more: 3 Sales Enablement Tools Your Team Needs
Do I need a CMS or a CRM?
Because a CMS and CRM have different functions, you should use both. For example, it’s essential to store information from leads and customers, track interactions, and understand where leads are in the sales cycle.
However, you also need to ensure that your sales materials are up-to-date, organized, and easy for sales reps to find when necessary. When sales reps don’t have to rely on their inboxes or Google Drive to store materials, they’ll be much more likely to use the right assets at the right time.
Types of sales content for your sales CMS
What types of content do you want to store and organize in your content management system? There are many answers, and you might be tempted to say, “All of it!”
However, it’s helpful to think about the kinds of content that help your sales reps the most when interacting with customers:
- Case studies
- White papers and eBooks
- Email content templates
- Customer success stories
These types of sales enablement content should be stored and organized in your sales CMS.
How do you use a sales CMS?
At a high level, a sales CMS is designed to help you organize your sales content so your reps can easily find what they need. It also helps your sales enablement team understand what content already exists so you can work on updates and new materials effectively.
Make sure all content has a clear goal
The content in your sales CMS should work as hard as your sales reps do, which means each piece has a clear purpose and goal. These goals will be related to where the lead is in the sales process and what’s necessary to move them forward.
Demand Gen’s 2022 Content Preferences report found that buyers were only interested in spending 5 to 30 minutes on content, so consider that as you build your sales materials.
Identify the target audience of each sales asset
Many companies have multiple target audiences, and your sales reps need to know exactly what content to use for which prospects. If your sales team has to dig through a lot of irrelevant content, they likely won’t use it at all.
Your sales CMS can make it easy to divide content by lead type so your sales team will have no problem finding exactly what they need without having to rework content intended for an entirely different audience.
Categorize sales materials based on the sales stage
Along with organizing content by lead, be sure to categorize your sales assets based on what part of the sales process they apply to. For example, you might have folders for each stage, so a sales rep only needs to open that folder to find everything relevant to that sales stage.
Have content that could serve multiple purposes? Some CMSes let you tag multiple stage labels for a single asset. Doing this takes the guesswork out for your reps.
Measure the results of sales content
Finally, you’ll want to ensure that all sales content is effective. You can talk to sales reps, measure results when specific assets are used, and get customer feedback to find out which materials matter most in their decisions.
These results can help you update or improve sales assets as needed. Or, you might discover one asset simply isn’t doing what you anticipated, and it needs to be removed from the process.
Update and create new content as needed
Your sales content is never done—there is always more content to create, update, and improve.
By understanding where in the sales process you need more support vs. what pieces are doing well, you can determine where to focus your efforts.
Giving your sales team the content they need to succeed
Forrester found that 65 percent of content created by a B2B organization isn’t used because it’s either unfindable or unusable.
Don’t let your sales enablement content go to waste. Instead, get the tools you need to help your sales reps excel. A sales CMS and an all-in-one learning platform can help your reps be well-equipped and well-trained so they have the best chance to help your business grow.
Ready to learn more about how WorkRamp can help you equip your sales team with training to drive revenue performance and close more deals? Contact us for a free, personalized demo.
Complete the form for a custom demo.
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Anna SpoonerFreelance Writer
Anna Spooner is a digital strategist and marketer with over 11 years of experience. She writes content for various industries, including SaaS, medical and personal insurance, healthcare, education, marketing, and business. She enjoys the process of putting words around a company’s vision and is an expert at making complex ideas approachable and encouraging an audience to take action.
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