Network Appliance

The Assignment:

Seneb was approached by a mid-sized high tech firm in Silicon Valley to better understand the marketing and sales organizations and to provide a detailed project plan for organizing existing content. The goal was to increase sales productivity by providing better access to critical information needed in support of the sales process. The project lasted 6 months.

The sales team was overwhelmed by the amount of disparate information available to them to support them in their sales process. Information was sprawled across an intranet with little indication as to the breadth, depth, quality and currency of any information. The sales team spent considerable time and effort attempting to locate relevant information in order to support them in their work, often emailing the entire sales force for simple answers that could easily be found in existing literature, if it could be located. Many sales people we spoke with had given up looking for information and either went without or relied heavily on what had already been found by others. This frustrated the marketing department, who diligently churned out content but was not in touch with the needs of the sales force: there was a fundamental disconnect between sales and marketing as to what was relevant, useful content and where it could consistently be found.

The Project:

Seneb, along with 2 other consultants, was brought in to better understand the content needs of the sales force and articulate a plan for organizing, prioritizing and articulating a content lifecycle that could be utilized by sales and executed by marketing. The project also required that a reasonable plan be articulated to provide constant communication between a busy sales team and marketing department regarding the effectiveness of existing content, which would be used to create future content.

As part of the project, we performed stakeholder interviews to better understand the business context of the project. A thorough content audit was performed in order to better understand the breadth and depth of content currently available on the company’s intranet. A content model was created that would support existing and future content within a structured system. We then spoke with a number of sales people (14) extensively to better understand how content is used as they performed their work duties. We created a mental model to visually show how sales people do their work. We articulated requirements for a sales portal, developed wireframes and usability tested them in order to ensure that they accurately met the needs of the sales force. We interviewed content creators to better understand how content is created and maintained within marketing, and suggestions for how to create better content were made.

The Outcome:

We provided specifications for the structure and content of a sales portal, including easy, intuitive access to all relevant product and services information were provide for the client, along with recommendations for how structure content within a content management system and how to define workflows to support content creators. We designed a single repository for all content relating to products and services. We also included a closed feedback loop within the specifications to provide two-way communication between sales and marketing regarding the relevance and usefulness of content.