The market landscape is always changing, and decision makers change with it.
Your leads are always out there, getting smarter and more informed by the day. At any time, they could raise an objection in your sales process you’ve never heard before. To stay one step ahead of their needs and concerns, you need updated sales collateral.
Sales collateral using the latest data and value propositions is more likely to connect with your leads and inspire a sale. Outdated collateral sows confusion, making you look behind the times compared to your market rivals. During the Decision phase of the buyer journey, this is key.
Of course, sales collateral doesn’t go out of date overnight.
Under normal circumstances, collateral might stay in service for months or even years with only minor updates. Sooner or later, though, a piecemeal approach is no longer enough: You have to dive in deep, peel back the layers, and go for a complete refresh.
But when, exactly, does sales collateral cross that line?
These are the signs indicating that your sales collateral needs an update:
1. Too Much Time Has Passed.
One of the most important (and obvious) things to do is stay alert. Track when the last update to any piece of collateral was and detail what that update included.
If it’s been six months since you checked out a certain piece of sales enablement content, it’s time to revisit it again with fresh eyes. Odds are something has changed. Keep track of all your aging sales content in a spreadsheet to get a bird's eye view of everything.
2. Related Sales Collateral Has Changed.
You’ll often start updating one bit of collateral only to realize the changes cascade over others. This can create a domino effect where you find yourself needing to update a whole cluster of content.
You will want to hold off on updating every piece, but fight that urge. It's always better to just do it now, all at once. Otherwise, you'll be facing an even bigger job down the road.
3. Related Buyer Personas Have Changed.
After chewing on feedback from your sales team and the latest market research, your marketing team should periodically update its buyer personas. Any time that happens, it’s crucial to review sales enablement collateral to ensure it still speaks to your ideal customers.
For example, if you enhanced your buyer personas' pain points, determine what those additions were. Then, you can build more content focused on addressing those specific obstacles your personas are facing.
4. The Sales Team Reports New Objections.
Sales pros are out there every day talking to leads. They are almost always the first ones to see a new twist in lead thinking, especially a new type of objection.
When they feed this information back to the marketing team, it should be reflected in collateral ASAP. If you get into the habit of waiting, your sales team could be missing out on plenty of closing opportunities.
5. Your Analytics Data Is Changing.
Broad patterns in user activity on your website are slower to change, but they can be just as revealing. Keep your finger on the pulse of analytics as users trend away from certain content pieces and toward others.
This helps you see how to best equip sales experts with collateral. And it can also inform future pieces of collateral. You'll want to try to deliver the same amount of value with new content.
6. You’ve Got Post-Sale Feedback.
After the sales process is complete, your newly minted customers can still give you valuable insights. In particular, it’s a good idea to pay attention to their assessment of why they chose you over a competitor.
Always seek out feedback from your new customers to better understand their path they took to closing. This speaks to brand strengths you can highlight in your collateral.
7. Your CRM Data Reveals Patterns.
By combining your web analytics and CRM data, you can get an even clearer picture of what leads do throughout the buyer journey. Prioritize content that comes before any long delays in the process, as well as pieces of content that are regularly consulted just before contacting you.
While much of your web content is evergreen, your sales collateral is a different story. It needs to be watched even more closely if it’s going to contribute to that all-important moment an agreement is on the table. These seven signals will keep it on track over time.