Avoid the Endless Loop of Docs that Sales Ignores

Avoid the Endless Loop of Docs that Sales Ignores

“I created a one-pager 6 months back—and an AE just requested it to be created again. They had no idea this document existed.”

This is something we hear far too often when marketers talk about content usage internally. When you add shared drives and terrible content management systems to the mix, that problem only gets worse with time.

If you want to create a system that stops your content from going into the endless abyss of your shared drive, this guide is for you.

In this article, you’ll learn more about:

  • How to develop and use engaging sales materials effectively.
  • The importance of leveraging sales enablement platforms for efficiency.
  • Strategies to avoid common pitfalls in sales enablement and ensure consistent messaging.

What’s stopping your sales reps from accessing marketing collateral?

Before we understand what you can do about this issue, let’s look at the root causes of it:

They don’t know these content assets exist

There’s a good chance you’re dropping your content assets into a drive folder - only for your reps to ignore them completely. Many teams send an email or Slack message asking their reps to check them out without offering further guidance or nudges.

Also, if you’re creating content without help from sales teams, they might not know that you’re working on something useful for them.

There’s a clear disconnect in how both teams collaborate, leading to assets collecting dust over time.

They’re not inclined to share the assets

There are many reasons why your sales team isn’t using the content you’ve created. Some of them include:

  • It’s not tailored to their client’s needs
  • It’s too generic and offers surface-level information
  • It doesn’t position the product/service accurately
  • It’s too outdated, rendering it useless to them

For instance,Grace Baldwin, a copywriter for product marketers, says that it’s common for reps to change documents on the fly.

“I worked in-house at tech companies for five years, and we always had to make sure that docs were up to date with relevant messaging. Sales teams are in constant contact with customers, often changing documents on the fly. It’s awesome that sales teams have so much access to the market, but if they don’t share their insights with the rest of the team, it’s really easy for there to be messaging misalignment.”

In this case, outdated messaging meant that sales reps had to spend time modifying the document. While some might do it, others rely on documents they already use.

They’re not sure how to use the assets

Even if the content’s value is obvious, deploying the asset is another issue. Reps have no idea why something was created—especially if it was requested by someone else on their team or without their input.

They have no context on why this was needed, making it difficult for them to use it.

Natalie Marcotullio, head of growth and operations at Navattic, recommends telling reps exactly where the documents are. She also tells them which use case or persona it’s meant for so that they know what to do with it.

6 sales enablement strategies to create and empower sales teams

Here are six strategies to help your reps get the most out of what you create:

1. Create light training materials at first

Don’t just upload the collateral and forget about it. Enable your reps. Send a video showing them how to use it or offer a step-by-step training guide.

For example, do the following:

  • Tell them which scenarios warrant the use of a particular collateral
  • Tag the documents using descriptors like format, buyer persona, industry, etc.
  • Ask them to role-play potential sales conversations
  • Shadow them in sales calls and identify opportunities for usage

Charlie Southwell, a marketing strategist, stands by the shadowing tip. He explains:

“I’ve been shadowing our sales team one day a month and being able to spot opportunities or remind them of areas that we can support them more effectively if we collaborate. I ask them to add questions from prospects to our shared documents so that we can build out better answers and resources that support them. So if we see questions getting added, we know they are using it.”

2. Facilitate regular training sessions internally

Alternatively, you can host training sessions with your sales teams regularly. Do this monthly or quarterly so that they know which assets have been added and what to do with them.

Here are a few things you can do in these sessions:

  • Ask the sales champion to conduct a role-playing session
  • Conduct Q&A sessions where sellers can field their questions
  • Cross-question sellers to see if they recall collateral to which they have access
  • Give them sales playbooks that guide them on usage

Sean Mackay, an account executive at JLL Technologies and a sales/digital marketing agency founder, recommends creating a dynamic internal playbook.

“The playbook is meticulously designed to be both informative and practical, providing our team with structured scripts, insightful case studies, and a thorough FAQ section—you know, the ones that can stop a BDR/AE in their tracks!” says Mackay.

“It’s a living document that we continuously refine through collaborative workshops held monthly. We ask all BDRs to note anything that throws them off track, questions prospects ask about the product that they haven’t been able to respond to and any times that the prospect doesn’t understand what the product does or how it would help them once it’s been explained.”

3. Make content that sales reps will actually use

The simplest way to create content reps want is to ask them what they want. It doesn’t have to get more complicated than that.

There are two ways to do that: Set up an internal request form or create a feedback loop internally.

For instance, the survey form can include fields like:

  • Title of the piece
  • Short description
  • Industry or buyer persona
  • Potential revenue
  • Purpose of the piece
  • Content Format

That way, your team can pull in requests from the form submissions and build the content calendar accordingly.


You could also ask them what they want via email or Slack.

Southwell says, “Asking weekly, what are the most common questions and challenges they are having and ensuring that your documents cover off messaging and extra resources that help progressing lead nurturing in those areas. It’s even better if you make them add those questions into the doc directly because then you know they are collaborating on the doc with you to help them answer the question they have.”


4. Appoint a sales champion to implement the initiative

Nobody likes being told how to do their job—especially from another department. There’s potential for friction in this process, so appoint a sales champion to get the message across.

Ideally, a top performer that other reps look up to. This person can act as a bridge between sales and marketing teams — and help disseminate important marketing collateral.

Involve them in your training sessions and also get them to review content usage regularly. It’ll ensure that reps use the content you give them without hesitation.

5. Ask sales reps how they plan on using the content

When you send a new collateral or before you work on a content request, ask sales reps how they plan on using the content.

Do they want to use it during cold outreach?

Do they want to send a personalized microsite to an active lead?

Do they want supporting collateral for sales calls?

This will help you create something that they need. For example, if they need more information on product features, a one-pager or feature sheet is more fitting than a use case e-book.

Involve them in the content creation process so reps feel invested and more inclined to use them.

6. Use sales enablement platforms to manage content

Baldwin says, “Sales will only use your collateral if it’s easy to find. Create a single source of truth for all of your collateral, and communicate frequently about when you’re updating documentation.”

For instance, a sales content tool tool like Content Camel could help you organize everything in one place. You can categorize content based on:

  • Industry
  • Funnel stage
  • Asset use
  • Content Format
  • Geographical region
  • Product/service

Additionally, you can track usage using the Analytics feature that lets you identify the most used assets, most shared assets, and most active users (reps). Combine this data with sales call recordings to identify the most successful assets in terms of engagement and conversion.


Mistakes to avoid creating content management systems internally

You’re going to face a few blockers while implementing these strategies. Here are a few mistakes to avoid in the process:

Create digestible content to prevent information overload

Don’t create text-heavy documents that are difficult to get through. Make sure they’re easy to read and digest. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Use more whitespace
  • Include more images or videos
  • Avoid large text blocks
  • Split paragraphs
  • Highlight important text (bold or italics)
  • Use branded design
  • Focus on one topic

It makes the document more readable and saves reps time digesting key information.

Make use of asynchronous tools to minimize meeting time

While training might require one-on-one time, that doesn’t mean everything else does. Conduct regular check-ins asynchronously via tools like email or Slack.

For instance, Navattic has a dedicated #shoutouts channel where sales reps highlight content they like or use. That’s a much lower lift for them compared to a meeting.

You can also use content management tools to monitor content usage and engagement. This removes the need for direct feedback from reps.

Implement standardized product messaging frameworks

Without an internal messaging framework, it’ll be hard for all your reps to frame conversations around the product/service the same way.

Use a sales playbook, as mentioned by Mackay, or have a short one-pager with dos and don’ts about your product/service. This will help them stay on brand in any conversation while communicating your company’s value.

Monitor content usage and create a feedback loop with reps

A content analytics tool will show you quantitative data on usage and engagement. But in most cases, you’ll need more than that to gauge usefulness.

Allow sales reps to provide feedback on aspects such as:

  • Marketing positioning
  • Response to pitches
  • Reasons for conversion
  • New competitive intel

You can use the “Notes” section within Content Camel. Regularly review this section to see what’s working and what’s not so that you can refine the content accordingly.

Empower your reps with the right docs when they need it

As long as sales and marketing teams work on different systems and processes, it’ll be hard to create real alignment between them. Over time, that issue trickles into every aspect of your content creation process as reps find no use in what’s being created.

To avoid creating an endless loop of documents that sales ignore, involve them from the get-go. Use a content management system and collaborate with them before, during, and after the creation process so that everything you create helps them sell more and sell well.

You don’t just create internal alignment but build a foundation for growth by speaking to real issues prospects have.

If you’re ready to improve your content management processes, sign up to Content Camel for free today.