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The Complete Sales Content Management Guide

Marissa Taffer|Updated Jun 10, 2024
a man and a woman are standing in front of a large screen .

Have you ever spent way too long working on a proposal or searching for the most recent pitch deck template? This all too common sales scenario should be a thing of the past, but it isn't in many sales organizations.

Enter sales content management. The modern way to prepare and store sales content. Having the right sales content management system puts the right content exactly where you need it - right at your fingertips.

Key Takeaways

  • A sales content management system can help sales teams organize, distribute, and personalize a high volume of content
  • The system should also have built-in analytics to help sales teams understand how their content is performing and optimize for the best content and messaging
  • It doesn't have to be overly complicated to implement a sales content management system as long as you follow a process

What is sales content management?

Sales content management is the process of creating, storing, organizing, and distributing content that sales teams use to sell their products or services. This content could be used internally, like sell sheets, playbooks, or battle cards, or it could be client-facing content, like one sheets, brochures, presentation decks, proposals, or agreements.

In many organizations, sales content management is a part of the sales enablement function. When done well, it can help shorten the time between an initial message and a closed deal. Sales content management can also help sellers find, personalize, and share relevant content with prospects at the right time in the sales cycle.

Why is sales content management critical for high-performing sales teams?

With only so many hours in the day to sell, putting sales content at your rep's fingertips is a competitive advantage. Lost time looking for content and manual processes to pull together documents might mean fewer deals closed. However, there are more benefits to sales content management for your sales team. Let's look at a few more reasons why investing in sales content management is a winning proposition.

Supporting each step of the sales process

One of the reasons why a sales content management system is critical for a high-performing team is that it can be used to support each and every step of the sales process.

In a sales team that supports different types of motions (SMB, midmarket, and enterprise), there is a lot of content to manage. Each asset might need to be tweaked for each motion. For example, the team may need three battle cards for each competitor they sell against, or the battle card library may differ for each motion. The team may face very different competitors when selling into SMBs than they do at the enterprise level. Keeping all of these cards organized and updated without a clear process and a system to share them is a huge undertaking.

Another place where sales content management is critical is with client-facing content, like proposals. Having a template for each motion, and maybe each type of sale is also a large volume of content to create, organize, and maintain. And once the seller chooses the right template, they'll need to customize it for their customer. We know that our customers demand a personalized experience and making it easier for sellers to personalize and distribute content is essential to a high-performing team.

Maybe less common (but also a game changer) is the ability to leverage a sales content management tool to create a deal room. This virtual space offers prospects one common link for all of the information shared by both parties over the course of the sales process.

Driving customer engagement

When driving customer engagement, having a sales CMS can give sellers the right content at the right time in the sales process. Having this power depends on having good data about the sales content in the library, but the more you use it, the better you know what works for your customers at each stage.

A few no-brainers when it comes to engaging content are having the ability to embed videos directly into sales content and adding interactive tools like an ROI calculator.

Uncovering buyer and deal insights

As we've alluded to in the previous section and will continue to discuss later in this article, sales content management systems can help you uncover buyer and deal insights if you've set up analytics and tracking on your content.

One of the most important insights you can get initially is whether or not your content is being opened. If a prospect, or worse, no one on the buying committee is opening your emails or proposal, that's a really good insight about where you stand - and a huge red flag. Having this information can help reps determine if they want to keep engaging with a prospect, or move on to someone who is sending clear buying signals.

And what do buying signals look like? They look like a prospect opening emails, clicking links and engaging their sales rep with questions as they move through the sales process.

Being able to get these insights from your content can help you better understand not only your buyer, but what your best and most profitable deals look like.

Supporting rep training and development

Now that you have all these buyer and deal insights, you can use them, along with all of the content in your system to help support your sales rep training and development.

This might look like sharing the most engaging pieces of content or having them review the most profitable proposals each quarter. You can also use your sales content management system to push out playbooks, battle cards, and other sales materials to be used internally.

Both of these tactics can help you to socialize learnings across the team so everyone is improving and outcomes are compounded across the full sales org

How to improve your sales content management process

As with any other tool in your tool box, your sales content management system is only as good as the process (or processes) it supports. Its not something you can set and forget. You might even want to revisit your sales content management process a few times a year to see if there are places where you can improve. To get you started, here are a few ideas:

Introduce a centralized content repository

If you don't have a sales CMS or other content management software yet, the first thing you might want to do to improve your process is introduce a centralized content repository. This could be as simple as a set of shared folders on your Google Drive or a content library of templates and documents that you create in Qwilr and share with all of your reps.

The complexity you need will depend largely on the makeup of your sales team, the complexity of your deals, and the maturity of your sales organization, so this advice is not necessarily one size fits all.

Regular review and update sales content

In the early days of developing your sales content management system, this task may be left up to an individual rep or small group of sales reps, but over time, that will change. It will move to the marketing team, more specifically, the team responsible for product marketing or even the sales enablement or sales operation team.

No matter who is charged with reviewing and updating sales content, its a critical part of the process, stale, outdated sales materials don't close deals! Or worse, sending out a sheet with old, outdated pricing can cause you to lose out on revenue or profit margin.

Leverage sales analytics to make improvements

We've talked a bit about analytics, but this is where it shines. You can leverage the data you're collecting from your analytics tools to make improvements. These aren't just guesses about what might work better but proven theories that you can implement into your process to make your sales content work harder for you.

When should you graduate to a sales content management system?

The threshold for needing a content management system will probably come as soon as you have more than three reps. At three or fewer reps, you can likely use Google Drive, but as you introduce more people, it becomes harder to wrangle. At this point, you'll want a system that can help you keep track of the latest and greatest versions of your content and provide some data about what is working across the team.

That said, you can graduate to a sales content management system as soon as you feel you have the time and resources to devote to setting up and maintaining a sales content management system.

Is it difficult to introduce a sales content management solution?

Like most things in sales, the answer to this question is... it depends! Some sales content management solutions are user friendly right out of the box and others can take some time and effort to set up.

At Qwilr, we make it very easy to get started with sales content management. A sales rep or an ops leader can set things up themselves and start to upskill the rest of the team. Compared to other sales content management systems, we can have you up and running almost 30% faster than anyone else. Per data analyzed on we come in at 15 days compared to 21-100+ for other solutions.

How to implement a sales content management solution

Ready to get started? You must follow six basic steps to bring a sales content management solution into your organization.

#1: Define objectives & requirements

Before choosing your solution, think broadly. Define your objectives and requirements and think about the amount and variety of content you will need to manage. You might also consider thinking about factors like how many users will need to be supported, and where and when they will log into the system.

#2: Evaluate and select a solution

The objectives and requirements you listed in Step 1 will help you with this next step, which is to evaluate your options and select a solution. You can start by eliminating any solutions that don't meet your requirements. So for example, let's say your requirements include:

  • Under $50/user/month
  • Mobile friendly interface
  • Ability to automate workflows
  • Integrates with Pipedrive and Quickbooks
  • Can support creating templates with video and interactive elements

You can easily knock out any solutions that don't meet all of these requirements. If you find that leaves you with no options, you may wish to revisit your comprehensive list of requirements. Can you come up in your budget? Are there ways to get around a missing integration? You want to get as close to perfect as you can here, so while some compromise might be necessary, try not to push it too far.

Ideally, you can narrow your search to the two or three top options and compare and evaluate those deeply. If you have the time and resources consider a short trial of each of your top choices. To make this easy, at Qwilr we offer a 14-day free trial.

#3: Identify stakeholders and plan the implementation

Now that you have your chosen solution, its time to think about how you'll implement it.

Start by selecting a group of stakeholders. This group might include someone from your sales enablement team (if you're big enough to have one), a marketer, a sales rep, a sales leader, and a sales admin.

This group should go through any onboarding sequence or training the tool provides and start setting up some content for the initial rollout. If you can, have them start testing out the tool in their workflows as a small test group or pilot to get some early success under their belts and course correct where necessary. This way, it's easier to roll the tool out to the broader group.

#4: Implement the sales content management solution

Bring the broader team together to show them how the solution works AND your expectations for how they use it. Are there things they can still create themselves, or are they required to use the templates in the system? How much can they customize each piece of content without needing any additional approval?

The more consistently people use the tool, the better your sales content analytics data will be. At this phase, articulating expectations around consistent use is critical for successful adoption.

#5: Migrate existing content

Now that the team is starting to use the new sales content management solution, you want to ensure you've migrated all existing content and that this is where any new content will live.

You can do a content audit as you migrate content and archive any out-of-date content. Remember to update all content you import so that sellers can access only the latest and greatest content.

#6: Monitor and optimize

This final step in your process is more of an ongoing step. Continue to monitor use and address any noncompliance quickly and efficiently. You will also continually optimize your content for better and better results. Having analytics on every piece of content will help you see what changes you need to make. You also want to review all of your content regularly to make sure your offers, pricing and even competitor info are up to date.

Final Thoughts

Having the right sales content management system and the right process for using it can transform your sales process by helping your teams work more seamlessly, your prospects become more engaged, and your win rates ultimately increase.

Whether you're just getting started with sales content management systems or looking for ways to improve the use of your current tool, we hope this article offered you some good food for thought.

If you're looking for an easy-to-implement and robust sales content management system, we're here to support you every step of the way. From our 14-day free trial to our large template library and speedy and thorough support team, we'll have you up and running in no time!

About the author

Marissa Taffer, Founder & President of M. Taffer Consulting

Marissa Taffer|Founder & President of M. Taffer Consulting

Marissa Taffer is the Founder & President of M. Taffer Consulting. She brings over 15 years of sales and marketing experience across various industries to a broad range of clients.

Frequently asked questions

Sales content management is the process of creating, storing, organizing, and distributing content that sales teams use to sell their products or services. This content could be used internally, like sell sheets, playbooks, or battle cards, or it could be client-facing content, like one sheets, brochures, presentation decks, proposals, or agreements.

The best way to manage sales content is by using software specifically designed for this purpose. A sales content management system will house all sales content and provide data on its usage and effectiveness.

Sales content management is critical as it helps sales teams organize, distribute, and personalize a high volume of content. It supports each step of the sales process, drives customer engagement, uncovers buyer and deal insights, and supports rep training and development.

Improvements can be made by introducing a centralized content repository, regularly reviewing and updating sales content, and leveraging sales analytics to make improvements.

The need for a content management system usually arises when you have more than three reps. However, you can graduate to a sales content management system as soon as you feel you have the time and resources to devote to setting up and maintaining it.

Implementation involves defining objectives & requirements, evaluating and selecting a solution, identifying stakeholders and planning the implementation, implementing the solution, migrating existing content, and monitoring and optimizing the system.