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How Content Management is Driving the Future of Manufacturing Sales

Posted by Rebecca Spary on 10/3/17 11:00 AM

Manufacturers around the world are beginning to reach maturity in their digital initiatives. They’ve been embracing: smart technologies, the Industrial Internet of Thing (IIoT), virtual reality training, and other pioneering tools that improve their efficiency (KM World, 2016).

However, they’re still lagging behind many industries, such as pharma and finance, when it comes to the adopting content management solutions. Manufacturers are failing to recognize the many ways that effective content management can make their lives easier and their processes more efficient (Manufacturing Tomorrow, 2016).

Today we’re going to explain how content management is driving the future of manufacturing sales and marketing, and how you can adapt this tool to meet your needs.

How manufacturing can use enterprise content management solutions to drive their sales and marketing effots.png

The majority of today’s manufacturing organizations are known as “extended enterprises”, large webs of various sub-companies, employees, suppliers, resellers, and customers. These modern extended enterprises need the ability to share content and information. The best-in-class manufacturers are investing in technologies and tools that will help them to optimize their processes, improve communication, and facilitate collaboration throughout their entire organization (KM World, 2016).

 

Why do Manufacturing Companies need a Content Management Solution? 

Manufacturing firm’s produce a wide variety of content, such as product manuals, catalogues, sales sheets, and price lists, which must be organized and managed effectively. However, this is no easy task, employees within manufacturing firms often spend up to 30% of their time searching for the information that they need (KM World, 2016). Plus, it’s not just the content that they’re searching for but also the contextual richness surrounding the content. This means that they’re looking for supplementary information such as comments, preferences, customer attributes, content recommendations, and more.

An effective content management solution can help manufacturers to save time, improve accuracy, and reduce the costs involved in the content process, as well as provide them with a way to utilize the contextual richness to drive successful sales processes that will place the right content in front of the right customer at the right time (Vasont Systems).

Manufacturing employees spend up to 30 percent of their time searching for the information that they need.png

 

How does a Content Management Solution Help Manufacturers?

These are just a few examples of how a content management solution can be extremely valuable for a manufacturing organization. 

 

1. No More Data Overload

According to research by IDC, “90% of newly created data will take the form of unstructured information such as emails, documents and video. Big data adds to the content management challenge, making it bigger and more complex.” (KM World, 2016) 

An overwhelming amount of confusing data can stifle a company’s process, and forward-movement. When important information is trapped inside difficult-to-understand spreadsheets, behind department doors, and spread across various disconnected technologies, then it’s no good to anybody.

Instead what a content management can do is keep track and organize all of your content, customer, seller, and reseller data, in one platform. Easily determine which of your content-types is preferred by buyers, determine the top-performing asset for closing a deal, and align your content strategy with your customers sales stages and buyer journey.

Additionally, by hosting contextual data, such as comments and customer preferences, in the same platform, this data can be used to anticipate trends in product direction, customer usage, and content development.

Looking to dive deeper into your data, and gain actionable insights that will help you grow your business and sales? Then check out Unlocking Data Analytics Across Your Sales Process.

90% of newly created data will take the form of unstructured information such as emails documents and videos.png

 

2. No More Compliance or Certification Issues

Many manufacturing industries are subject to comprehensive regulatory requirements, and all of this regulatory information must be accessible, easily audited, and stored for a number of years.

With the help of a content management solution, manufacturers can be certain that all required records are organized properly and securely, while still be able to retrieve records instantly in the event of an audit. 

Furthermore, a manufacturing-designed CMS can improve your certification process. Almost every manufacturing industry has specific certification requirements, such as ISO certifications or individual employee certifications that ensure employees are qualified to work in a particular field.

A content management can be used to appropriately store all of necessary certification documents, so that they can be easily surrendered in the case of an audit, or customer inquiry. While also ensuring that this sensitive information is protected and secured, and that only authorized users have access. A CM solution can also keep track of the expiration dates for certifications and publish reminders for the company or employees to renew their certifications.

 

The burning question - should companies build their sales apps in-house or should they purchase ready-made solutions? WHUT Inc's white paper takes a comparative look into the benefits and disadvantages of both options.

 

3. No More Lost Training

Training is a necessary part of everyone’s job, and in manufacturing training is especially important. Manufacturers must train their employees, and resellers in the proper handling and use of products, materials, and tools. And this training must be updated regularly. 

A CM solution can store training materials, guides, and records of worker safety, materials and sales training, along with test results and scores. They can even create workflow reminders to alert employees and their managers when it’s time for refresher training.

Additionally, top-of-the-line content management platforms allow for the hosting of interactive training materials such as quizzes, calculators, webinars, and more. Interactive training has proven to increase long-term retention by up to 80% (KZO Innovations). Making your training programs more efficient and turning your employees into dedicated learners.

For more information about how to build a strong training strategy and advice on which training tools and technologies you should be investing in, check out our previous blog Spring Training: Revitalize Your Sales Training Strategy.

Interactive training has proven to increase long-term retention by up to 80%.png 

 

Interested in Learning More About Manufacturing Content Management? 

The right content management solution can bring your companies data, training, compliance, and sales to the next-level. It can ensure that employees across multiple departments are on the “same page”, with access to important content and information that they need, while facilitating cross-company communication. 

Reach out to one of our sales specialists today for a guided demo on how the WHUT sales content management platform was built specifically to fulfill the content needs of the manufacturing industry.

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Topics: Sales, Content Management, Manufacturing