THE SALES ENGINE BLOG

Content libraries aren't a solution – they're a good start

A number of our customers maintain a content library of previous good answers and standard
content to plug in and re-use on future bids. These stock responses can be great for saving time
and even as educational material for future bids, but they are not, by any stretch, magic depositories
of complete bid solutions. Indeed they come with a massive health warning attached.

The underlying problem is that it is easy for a business to approve the use of a centralised repository,
as it is either low cost or can be done almost for free within the existing IT infrastructure via a server
or Sharepoint. But if the business isn't willing to invest in the headcount for someone to maintain
this asset then it will age quickly until it hits the point where people stop using it as it is easier to go
to their last bid rather than the repository.

We love to see a well maintained and robust library used well and see them as a great time saver in the early phases of a bid. They can be used to place-hold and inspire content writers when everything is still coming together.

But boilerplate answers in a final response will stand-out a mile and risk losing you vital points in the scoring process. Therefore, we suggest two golden rules of content libraries which will save you from bid failure:

You must ALWAYS edit the stock content to tailor it to your current prospects. You never know where it might mention an old client's name, or hold information which is off at an odd tangent for your current responses. No bid is exactly the same, and your content should reflect this.

  1. Focus on good content management processes to keep this library up to date, otherwise it is a diminishing benefit. The older content is, the less relevant it will be to your response. Technology and businesses shift constantly and evolve to a point where an answer from only six months ago could be redundant. If your content is recycled for too long then it will end up looking particularly weak.

  2. Focus on good content management processes to keep this library up to date, otherwise it is a diminishing benefit. The older content is, the less relevant it will be to your response. Technology and businesses shift constantly and evolve to a point where an answer from only six months ago could be redundant. If your content is recycled for too long then it will end up looking particularly weak.
Being able to access standard and approved content can help you get the ball rolling on a bid, but the time this saves in the early phase should be invested into honing, refining and improving each answer so that it resonates perfectly with your prospect. Only then will you have a winning submission.

< blog index