Customers expect your sales team to have all the answers. Literally.
Thanks to the rise of inbound sales, today’s buyers expect your salespeople to act as trusted advisers during the sales cycle. Your prospects have done all the research they can do on their own before making contact with your sales team.
When they’re talking to a rep, customers are looking for answers to more complicated and individualized questions; answers they can’t find online. It’s the job of your team to have those answers at their fingertips, so they can provide the relevant, factual, and on-message information that will help them build trust with the customer.
Your team already has this knowledge, but where does it live? Is it in your CRM? Past proposals? Marketing materials?
For most teams, this answer varies wildly—which is a problem when your sales engineer is in the middle of a demo and needs a quick answer.
Enter the Reference Library.
What is a reference library?
A reference library is a carefully curated pool of knowledge and content your team can trust. It’s updated regularly, and designed to showcase the very best knowledge your team needs to close a deal.
Instead of re-using past RFP responses or proposal content, you can create and curate a whole library of content sales reps can use at a moment’s notice. This content is also intentional in that it is approved as your very best, gold-star content.
How does a sales content library work?
In a content library, reference content is categorized by subject matter and assigned to specific subject matter experts (SMEs) who own that specific content.
For instance, you may have a “Product Reference” tag assigned to the product manager. That way, as releases happen and the product evolves, the person who holds the knowledge (the SME) can update the relevant content. Then, the next time you have an RFP or questionnaire for that product, you can pull the most up-to-date content instead of relying on past responses that may or may not still be accurate.
If you use a sales content collaboration platform like Ombud, a whole host of functionality is also specific to this type of content. You can set custom expiration dates for every piece of content. Users have the ability to leave feedback, nominating content for inclusion in the reference library and flagging out-of-date content. These functions create a positive feedback loop to inform SMEs what information is being used most to support sales cycles. It also allows sales to hold SMEs accountable for updating their content promptly.
Why is a reference library a salesperson’s best friend?
- It helps build better relationships with SMEs.
Sales probably isn’t your SMEs’ day job. So engaging them every time you need their expertise for an RFP response is likely to cause friction. These individuals may have no idea how important the deal you’re currently working on is or understand the pipeline needs. By assigning them to a reference, you ensure you always have the correct content available to your team. And in turn, you’re protecting the SMEs’ valuable time by allowing them to update and maintain their content on their schedule, not the schedule of sales.
If you want more tips on engaging your SMEs in the sales process, check out our guide!
- It makes searching easy.
Less back and forth. Fewer last-minute requests. More knowledge enablement.
The content in your reference library is searchable from anywhere, not just when filling out an RFP. This means your sales team has access to this curated content at any time: on a demo, answering a question over email, or if you’re just curious.
- The very best knowledge is at your team’s fingertips.
Salespeople are resourceful, and in the absence of accurate and readily available content, they sometimes improvise. Can you afford to have less than stellar content or messaging being put in front of your best prospects? Enable your sales executives with reference content and increase overall confidence in your sales processes and responses.
Start making sales content creation a breeze
Your sales knowledge is one of your company’s most critical assets, but you can’t use it unless it’s organized.
With a sales content collaboration platform like Ombud, you can create, manage, and assign out Reference Libraries in a snap. The platform is purpose-built to manage content like this, and our flexible pricing structures make it easy to get your SMEs up and running.
Interested in learning more? Request your demo here.