Collateral management has certainly come a long way.
In the days before the Internet became a reality, you had those physical shelves of physical pieces of collateral: brochures, catalogs, product guides, and on and on.
In swoops the Internet and corporations started taking that physical collateral and transformed it into digital collateral housed in a website.
This was cutting edge to aligning sales, service, marketing and IT departments 15 years ago. Today, at a minimum all corporations are at this same collateral management level.
While the ability to access digital collateral on a website, or some type of online portal is fine and good, it doesn’t even come close to the potential seen today.
If you consider all possible digital solutions for collateral management you’ll find a similar value trend in functionality capabilities and value for sales and marketing.
Traditional corporate website
As we said before, collateral management by corporations and SMEs of any scale should already have a website at the bare minimum. This is where a company simply dumps its digital collateral on the website for prospects and reps to find and use.
Online portal or web-based collaboration tool
This type of collateral management is where corporations would utilize a type of team collaboration and organization tool, like Microsoft SharePoint for example, or an internally developed online portal. There are multiple websites or locations now for digital collateral that are typically gated for the reps’ eyes only. Collateral can still be shared typically via email.
Here’s the problem…
When companies use a public-facing website, web-based portal or collaboration tool, reps in the field are forced to spend time trying to locate the right piece of digital collateral.
According to a recent article from KnowledgeTree, the average salesperson spends 35 hours per month creating or finding collateral.
The same article also reports 41 percent of salespeople don’t know which marketing collateral to use, how to use it, or when to use it.
That time and effort by your reps doesn’t add much value to your sales process.
Enterprise mobile software does add value
Remember the idea of physical shelves with physical collateral? Now imagine a world of categorized digital shelves containing organized digital collateral tailored to your sales process.
From your rep’s perspective, they know the digital collateral is available online somewhere, now they need to consider how much time and effort they want to spend trying to locate it.
While your websites and online collaboration hubs allow your reps in the field to search for the digital collateral, advanced search capabilities are limited.
Enterprise mobile software allows companies to categorize digital collateral by stage of the selling cycle, by product, by SKU number, and an array of other tailored categories specific to your sales process. It even allows companies to create separate apps for service technicians, training purposes or new employee on-boarding.
You have now added value to your organization by realigning sales, service, marketing and IT. You have now incorporated a solution that is customizable, scalable and streamlines your company’s collateral management methods.
Adding value does have its challenges
Enterprise mobile software coming on the scene has certainly been an astonishing game changer for large corporations and SMEs, however making the investment for this type of solution doesn’t make the addition of value automatic.
The challenge we’re seeing every day is organizations not being culturally prepared to make these necessary changes to their collateral management in order to capitalize on what enterprise mobile software can yield.
Nevertheless, reps in the field need efficient access to your digital collateral in order to stay relevant and compete.