Many of us have worked for organizations where there’s so much sales and marketing activity that effective use of SharePoint Services was a condition of survival. And without it, there would be chaos and disorder – all killers of productivity!
If your organization has an Office365 subscription, you already own SharePoint, and its low cost and productivity-boosting benefits make it the smartest option available to consolidate functionality (that’s often inefficiently spread across several systems).
So how can a Microsoft SharePoint Implementation help your Sales & Marketing teams? Here are 4 ways Sales and Marketing departments use SharePoint to help their teams sell more, get more from marketing investments and operate more effectively.
The first 3 are commonly used as part of a SharePoint intranet site, but our SharePoint Consulting team developed the 4th one on their own - to make our own sales reps lives easier!
1: Sales & Marketing Repository
You knows what happens when there isn’t a central repository for the latest approved version of every marketing brochure, presentation template, sales contract, catalog, etc.? Old versions tend live on in perpetuity on the hard drives of your sales team waiting to be dusted off and used over and over.
Pointing everyone to a shared drive is ineffective too. If you’re going to invest in your sales and marketing collateral and presentations, you need to ensure the assets produced are used as intended to maximize return. SharePoint allows you to organize, update, access, announce changes to, and provide instructions for use of each piece of content. Your brand will improve, your team will have more time to sell and you’ll never again see your logo from 20 years ago appear in a proposal.
2: Master Marketing Calendar
Many organizations lack awareness of what campaigns and events are underway, when they launch, what activities are outstanding, who’s responsible, and when resources are available. Deadlines get missed, business units overlap efforts and prospects get pummeled with too many messages. Sound Familiar?
A “Master Marketing Calendar”, a feature within SharePoint Services, is a single place for all marketing-related dates and deadlines. Everyone can see it from their browser and it integrates seamlessly (and bi-directionally) with Outlook itself, so anyone can “synchronize” a copy of this calendar into their Outlook client. If you have rights to update (some will have read-only access) you can make changes, assign tasks, and reserve resources via the master calendar in your Outlook client or from your browser on SharePoint. Everyone in the company gets an updated calendar and tasks in their Outlook client automatically. Everyone now has complete visibility and can sell more efficiently!
3: Customer & Partner Portals
SharePoint Services offer the ability to set up project team sites, customer and business partner portals, workflows, and automated functions that allow your sales, marketing, and delivery teams to work and communicate in virtual conference rooms in a manner that’s way more intimate and engaging than email. Sales and marketing Directors love the idea of having a place where they can collaborate on projects with customers and business partners. It’s not just about productivity, it’s “engagement”.
Looking for a way to be more productive and differentiate from competitors? SharePoint has a killer app for this that elevates interactions with customers and partners in a way that makes your organization stand out.
4: Salesforce SharePoint Integration UI/UX
Salesforce is the market leading cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool and you can integrate its user interface (UI) with SharePoint to create an amazing and powerful user experience (UX). There are connectors on the market that allow this on some level but many find them lacking in key areas. We’ve done the work to integrate SharePoint libraries, Enterprise Search, and Workflows into a Salesforce web page as “widgets,” in a robust and secure manner via our ShareINTEGRATE™ solution. Sales teams who rely on Salesforce to be productive and efficient can leverage some of the strengths of SharePoint without ever having to actually leave their Salesforce web pages to get SharePoint hosted content.
This integrated UI/UX saves sales executives hours per day and helps improve Salesforce and sales process adoption.There is also a significant cost savings when storing content in SharePoint instead of Salesforce, which has been a huge draw for small & large Salesforce installations alike.
Efficiency is Key
These are just a few simple ways that you can utilize the SharePoint instance you already own to become more efficient and have your sales team spend more time selling!
If you are interested in seeing how you can utilize SharePoint more effectively for your organization, or see how the Salesforce SharePoint integration works (and how to set it up for your team), contact us today to request a demo.
What other ways have you used SharePoint Services to become more efficient on the sales and marketing side of the business? Drop us a comment!