Why Asset Management in Salesforce Fails

It’s 8:45 a.m. on a cloudy Wednesday morning. You’re about to hop on a crucial sales call, and your team is on tenterhooks, waiting to see if you move this account to the next stage. You decide to refresh your memory with the sales playbook.

You click on the Files tab, hit the “Shared With Me” link, click on “Sales Playbook” and… you get a screen that says “Processing File. You can continue working. Your file preview will display here when it’s ready.”

This goes on for ten minutes.

You give up and hop on the call feeling frustrated and flustered. The prospect asks you a question that you don’t quite know how to answer, and by the end of the call, the prospect sounds cooler and less interested than before. They make noises about following up in a month, but you have that sinking feeling in your gut.

Mad at Salesforce files...or just watched the new episode of Game of Thrones?

This is the sad reality of accessing your playbook on Salesforce.

Rule #1 for sales assets is that they need to be accessible.
Rule #2 for sales assets is they need to be accessible.

Why? For one basic reason: human memory is fallible. The ability to recall information falls off rapidly without review and recall practice, and sellers are no different. Putting support materials and marketing content within easy reach of the sellers, right within their workflow, goes a long way towards fixing the accessibility issue. And in that way, Salesforce files gets it right—the files are there for the taking.

Except making the files available is only part of the battle when it comes to accessibility. Two other factors play a big part: the files need to display on the multitudes of different devices, including mobile, and the files need to be findable.

That’s where Salesforce files fail to work. They have a file preview utility, but it doesn’t work well on mobile, and it occasionally takes a long time to generate a preview. You can also download the files, but some formats are awkward at best on phones, such as PPTs and spreadsheets.

Furthermore, it’s very difficult to organize the files sensibly on Salesforce, which means it can quickly become cluttered and difficult to navigate. If the sales rep can’t find something within the first page or within the first search or two, you are well on your way to a digital graveyard, and reps who resort to using a file they’d saved on their hard drive Lord only knows when, or worse, just winging it. Sales reps already waste 7 hours a week searching for relevant content as it is.

An ideal solution for delivering sales enablement content would be a tool that integrates with Salesforce, but is able to display the content on any device without a bulky preview utility bogging it down. A system that provides predictive content recommendations based on data such as sales stage, transaction type, and prospect information—Guided Selling, for example—provides even greater utility to the seller, and has the ability to increase their effectiveness even more.

In conclusion, uploading your files to Salesforce might solve some problems, but it might pave the way for a whole host of others. People say “half of success is showing up,” and that’s true for sales assets, too: half of its success is just having it there, ready to be used—but half isn’t enough. You need to make the files usable and easy to find, too.