Many Marketing teams have taken the giant leap and implemented a Content Management System (CMS), Digital Asset Management (DAM), or Product Information Management (PIM) to solve the issue of organizing content.

With these powerful software platforms, all your videos, PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, spec sheets, CAD drawings, etc… are all arranged, organized, tagged, and findable.

Ah, you can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Unfortunately, despite the proliferation of CMS, DAM, and PIM most Marketers still get 6-10 emails per day asking for sales  collateral from reps in the field.

Wasn’t the CMS, DAM, or PIM supposed to solve this problem too?

Yes and no.

CMS, DAM, and PIM are great tools for people sitting at their desk working on and organizing documents. These tools are not great for people on the road who need one or two key documents swimming in an ocean of collateral, requiring them to be online, and logged in.

In other words, a CMS, DAM, or PIM are all designed by the marketer, not the field sales team.

Yes, some of those systems have search, web portal, and or limited offline capabilities, but as a whole, they are not designed for the field rep who is jumping from his car to meetings with unreliable internet. As well, do you really want your dealers having access to all your collateral not knowing who they will show it to?

While CMS, DAM, and PIM are great for marketing teams, they have their shortcomings when it comes to connecting collateral with field sales teams. Those shortcomings can be summarized in three key categories;

  • Offline access
  • Findability
  • Measuring collateral effectiveness

If you have a CMS, DAM, or PIM, and wrestle with getting your collateral out to your field team and figuring out what is working and what isn’t, then read on.

Offline Access

The number one issue that field teams run into is offline access.

Yes, iPads, iPhones, Androids, and tablets have WiFi and wireless connectivity, however, they have their limitations.

At a Trade show, at government or military facilities, out on a farm, in a high rise building, connectivity can be a major issue.

No salesperson wants to be sitting watching the pinwheel spin as their device attempts to connect to the internet and slowly pull up the relevant information.

At the end of the day, nothing beats having collateral pre-loaded on your device.

However once pre-loaded, unless your reps are OCD and super organized, they are likely to think, “it’s easier to call Leslie or Sam in marketing than to search my computer.

This leads to the next emergent issue that comes up when you deploy a CMS, DAM, or PIM.

Findability

The power of a CMS, DAM, or PIM is the ability to organize and collate collateral. The limitation of that power is when it comes to being able to find that collateral quickly.

One marketing manager we spoke with from a large life science company laughed and said, “My team knows that when they put collateral in DropBox it is completely unfindable!”

Yes, you can tag content, however, the pandemic issue we found is that most organizations don’t have a set tagging convention so different system administrators use different rules. Sometimes those rules are complementary, however, most times the rules used by one administrator are different for others.

This lack of tagging organization is only compounded when people leave and new employees take over, applying their own rules. As you can imagine, headaches and confusion ensue.

Compounding this is when collateral is updated and tagged differently from the original making version control an issue as well.

All this leads to the one issue that no CMS, DAM, or PIM has been able to solve that would help marketers become hyper-effective with their collateral.

Measuring Collateral Effectiveness

We’ve all heard the stat that sales use less than 35% of the collateral provided by marketing.

That’s a ton of wasted work, right?

When we talk to marketers, this is one of the top 3 things that make them want to pull their hair out, is not being able to find out what reps are using, what is working, and what isn’t. This information is found at ad hoc at best, after deals close, likely from lips of the closing rep, “hey thanks for that sheet!”.

As everyone knows, marketers love their metrics, so not having any metrics on collateral effectiveness means once they produce a piece of content, it is dropped into a black hole, never to be heard of again.

Being able to track what type and format of collateral reps are using in the field that they like, that resonates with their prospects would be a huge boon to marketers everywhere.

Why?

It would provide them with vital insights into their target demographics so they can lean in on areas that work, wean off areas that don’t, and really support their field sales teams so the reps can crush their number every single month.

While your CMS, DAM, and PIM help you out a ton in marketing, how can you make your CMS, DAM, or PIM work for your sales teams?

Solutions

There are typically 3 solutions that companies implement to bridge the gap between their marketing collateral platform and their sales teams.

They are ~

  • a website,
  • a portal, or
  • an app

Each of these has their inherent pros and cons. The next article deals with them so you can decide which one would work better for you.