Now that you know the importance of a product information binder for your sales team and how to get started gathering the material, your next challenges are to distribute the information and get Sales to use it first, instead of calling you.
Distributing the Information
Most important – how does your sales team relate best to reference information? And in what medium do they spend most of their time? Sales teams in manycompanies are often hanging out in a CRM system like SalesForce.com or Siebel. If they’re already trained to spend most of their time in an online tool, then try to get all your product binder content included in that online tool.
Failing that, there are hosted sales portals that will deliver your content securely, for your own sales team as well as channel partners. Check out sites like sharemethods.com, synegy.com, and direxxismarketing.com as examples (not an endorsement!).
Putting the content online somewhere provides easy access for sales people around the globe, and makes it easy to ensure that your sales team has access to the most up-to-date version of your pricing, messaging, demo scripts, FAQs, and collateral.
But there are still lots of sales teams that aren’t online, and they need the information delivered in physical form. Thus the origin of the “Product Information Binder“, which now sometimes arrives on a CD as a compromise.
However you deliver it, this centralized reference for all your product information will save you time and interruptions. But only if your sales force actually uses it!
Getting Sales To Look It Up First
Can’t tell you how many times we’ve created elegant product info centers, only to hear “I never look there… “. Why? Well, you do need to keep the information up to date. And organize it well. If you do both of those things and still can’t get Sales to use it, try a contest. Sales folks are nothing if not competitive. Leverage this trait with a <your product name> scavenger hunt, for product facts that you know are in the portal, CRM, or binder. Prizes for the first three to collect all the correct answers and provide the source of the information!
But don’t forget to call your sales folks anyway… you both need to share info about the current market conditions, and they need to know they’re appreciated!
What tools do you use to get your product information into the hands of your sales teams? And how do you get them to actually use it?