Kellen Richter, Customer Success Manager
Kellen's been a CSM at Outreach for the past 3 years, where she's worked with a variety of large and mid-size customers. Before her life at Outreach, she worked in sales for the recruiting industry. Quickly she realized having a passion for sales and being a great salesperson didn't always equate. She now works with customers to help them implement sales strategies. In her free time, she enjoys traveling. She recently came back from a sabbatical where she visited 22 countries.
Content is at the core of everything a salesperson does. It’s how prospects perceive us and is the deciding factor of whether they reply. At Outreach, we like to stress the importance of writing the correct messaging to represent your business. You can spend hours crafting the perfect message, only to have it go to waste when reps can't find it. With this in mind, keeping your content organized and up-to-date has likely crossed your mind from time to time. And if it hasn’t, there’s no time like the present. Whether you’ve been an Outreach customer for two months or two years, having organized content will prove vital to your bottom line.
When thinking about organizing content, my mind goes straight to, well, shopping. And in the content world, there are really only two types of stores - thrift stores and department stores.
Think about it. Imagine yourself walking into a thrift store, the entire place is filled with racks of clothing. There’s, at best, a bare minimum level of organization; pants on one side and shirts on another. Sure, the thrift store is cheap, but you have to be willing to go rack-by-rack until you find what you need. Now, picture yourself walking into a department store. You’re immediately greeted with signs telling you where everything is, the shoe department is on floor 3, men’s suits are on floor 2, etc. The organization is flawless. With ease, you follow the signs and arrive at your section to find all of the items are organized by color, size, and style. Finding the exact item you came for is quick and painless.
Now, think about the current state of your team's “content store.” Is it more of a thrift store or department store? More of a thrift store, right? Look, no judgment, I’m all about thrift stores...I’m from Seattle after all (queue “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore). That said, there’s a time and place for thrift shopping, but my 9-to-5 isn’t one of them. By organizing your content and making it easy to find, you’ll save reps at least 30 minutes a day, help improve prospect conversion rates, and significantly reduce new rep ramp time. Sound good? Let’s talk about how to organize your collections, Marie Kondo style!
Create a Standard Naming Convention
The first step in transforming your thrift shop into a well-organized department store is to set the foundation. In other words, think about how you want the floors and aisles categorized. Will shoes be on a different floor than clothes? Will you separate men's and women's clothing? How will you label these sections? Defining a clean and uniform naming convention across all content types - sequences, templates, and snippets - will set this foundation.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting a naming convention:
- Select a max of three attributes to call out. When deciding which attributes to call out, put yourself in your reps’ shoes. What do they look at on the prospect page when determining what messaging will be best received? Some popular attributes to include are:
- Lead Source
- Deal Stage
- Company Size
- Geographic Location
- Determine the formatting of your attributes. In what order do you want your attributes listed in your naming convention? For example, your naming convention might look something like this: Industry - Persona - Lead Source. Whatever attributes and format you choose, stay consistent moving forward.
Now that you’ve designed the general layout of your store, you’re on your way to being the next best department store in town. Nordstroms, step aside!
Assign Content to the Correct Teams
Remember, content’s only useful when your reps can actually find it. Since you’re creating a department store of content, step two is to ensure there are easy-to-read signs directing reps to the correct “section” of the store. Luckily enough, Outreach has a specific feature for you to do just that. Creating content collections allows you to organize content into folders specific to the territory and/or job function of the intended team.
Here are the steps to take when creating your collections:
- Create your teams in Outreach. Before you can fully take advantage of your content collections, you must create your teams in Outreach.
- Develop a naming convention using one, max two, attributes. Just like you created a naming convention for your content types, use the same process here. Once again, think like a rep. What folders would make the most sense to them? I recommend using similar attributes to what you previously used, Industry - Persona - Lead Source. Which attribute from this list are your reps most likely to look at first when trying to find the appropriate messaging?
Pro Tip: If you have a global team, choose one or two attributes related to the content and a third attribute identifying the geographic location of your teams. Remember, keeping attributes to a minimum will reduce clutter and enable reps to find content faster.
- Create your content collections and assign them to your teams. Once you’ve settled on a naming convention, choose the content types associated with the collection and then assign your teams.
Pro Tip: Only assign content types to your collection that you plan to build content for. In other words, if you assign a collection to templates and sequences, make sure you have content to include from each.
- Assign content to your content collections. Assign your best pieces of content to your newly created collections. Forgetting this crucial step would be like sending shoppers to a section of your store with empty racks.
Alright, now you have a beautifully organized department store, but what’s next? It’s time to let your reps know about the grand opening!
Enable Your Teams to Use the Content
Without announcing your grand opening, your content will be useless. I mean, if you don’t tell people about your brand new department store, you’ll be left with just an empty, well-categorized store. That’s not what we want. Your last step is to enable your teams to find the content that’s relevant to them.
Before content collections, reps finding their way through your content store was tough. Relevant content was most likely found from a keyword search, scrolling through a long list of chaos, or purely by chance. They were stumbling through a disorganized thrift shop with no signs to guide their way. Now, there’s order, structure, guidance. Selecting the correct messaging to send to a prospect is as easy as choosing from a dropdown list of perfectly crafted content collections. Once the appropriate collection is chosen, they’re handed an array of relevant content to choose from.
Here are some tips to ensure you get the word out:
- Do a quick demo of the new and improved process. Join each of your team’s meetings and walk them through the quick 5-minute process.
- Inform your reps via email. Include a short video demo and a high-level description/use case of each content collection.
- Create a feedback loop. Giving reps an easy way to provide feedback on your newly crafted collections will keep them engaged and increase adoption.
Congratulations! You’ve done it. You’ve transformed your chaotic thrift store into a sparkly new department store. Sit back and watch your shoppers, I mean reps, enjoy themselves. With this new level of organization, you can expect some great things. Namely, a reduction in new rep ramp time, a decrease in time spent searching for messaging, and increased conversion rates with the right message being delivered to your prospects. That said, your store will still need some upkeep from time to time. So keep an eye on it and update your racks with the most in fashion items of the season. And if you need a little more guidance crafting the perfect message for your prospects, I recommend taking our Content Strategy 2.0 Course to make next quarter your best one yet!
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