If you’re in sales or marketing, you’re probably familiar with the shift that’s taken place in selling over the past 3-5 years. Dubbed as “The Modern Sale”, the buying cycle has shifted to be a much more complex and intensive decision-making process than ever before.
An important side effect of this shift is the Content-Driven Sale, leading to a massive explosion in sales content, and the need for sales staff to be adequately equipped to find and share the right content at the right moment. Content-driven deals necessitate not only more content, but specific content, where each document is applicable in a different scenario. It’s not just leaving a meeting and sending a use case, it’s sending a use case for a specific industry, delivered in a specific format, and speaking to a specific persona.
What is Contextual Search?
Contextual Search: The ability to put search results into the ‘context’ of what the user is looking for. Sales Enablement is a great application for contextual search because sales reps will often search the same term but have different needs – with little time to search through dozens of documents to find the right asset.
Unfortunately, traditional tools have failed to keep up and serve sales and marketing teams effectively, leading to teams pointing fingers and blaming each other for either not using or not supplying the right content. In this piece, we’ll examine some reasons traditional tools don’t quite cut it, and why a platform that offers contextual search is the best solution for sales and marketing teams that need a content solution.
The Old School
For years, information was stored across organizations in two major ways: folders and wikis. You are probably familiar with these – nearly every organization utilizes one or both of these storage methods. However, neither of these toolsets are really adequate for the kinds of use cases that sales and marketing teams need today. Here’s why:
Folder systems (Google Drive, Sharepoint, OneDrive) are great for storage, but require teams to store their content in a single way and access it, in the same way, every time.
- For instance, if I need to find a pdf case study in the financial services industry, I may have to go to Use Cases -> Retail -> Retail Case Study.pdf
- If there are great case studies in slightly different industries that have been added or relevant material in folders I didn’t navigate to, I may never find them
- Updates and additions to content are effectively lost to many salespeople, and this requires weekly ‘updates’ where marketing shares all of their new content with sales… which almost never gets the attention it deserves
Wiki Tools (Atlassian, Internal Wikis) are amazing tools for education and learning but suffer when it comes to quickly finding and sharing singular pieces of content
- Because items are frequently mistagged or contain a lot of free-form text, it can take a long time to locate an individual item
- Exact searches can lead to dozens of pages, leading down a rabbit hole for singular pieces of content
So – if traditional tools aren’t particularly helpful at guiding sales reps to effective content… what actually works?
Introducing Contextual Search
At Enablix, we’ve been tackling the problem of sales quickly finding relevant content for years with our differentiated contextual search capability. Our Visual Search layout not only helps reps find what they’re looking for, but it guides them to content whether they knew it existed or not.
Example: Let’s say I want to find a customer story, but I’m not entirely sure what we have, or what it is – check out the video below on how visual search makes this easier:
Visual Search combines the best of metadata-based systems where flat tagging gives direction (but often yields too many results) and folder-based systems where the structure is pre-determined by the team creating content. And on top of our search ability, the fact that administrators can see failed searches and common search queries allows them to know what content to make in the future – paying dividends outside of the search itself.
We believe that relevant content is only going to become more important to the Modern Sales Cycle, and our visual search feature supporting our contextual search is just a piece of what allows us to enable sellers to be more effective with their time. If you or your team spends too much time searching for content and like the idea of finding more relevant content even faster, see the platform yourself.