Google Workspace, launched in 2006, offers productivity and collaboration tools such as Gmail, Calendar, Meet, Chat, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, and Drive. One of the most popular productivity suites, Google Workspace had 2.6 billion monthly active users and 6 million paying customers in 2020.
Google Drive, part of the Google Workspace bundle, is a cloud storage service that lets you create and share different types of content.
Who should use Google Drive?
Google Drive is a tool used by many. Students love Google Drive as it makes storing and sharing files super easy. They can collaborate on presentations or term projects and submit assignments for review using Google Drive. Plus, it is inexpensive and even free for qualified educational institutions.
Using Google Drive for content management makes perfect sense for bootstrapped startups with small marketing and sales teams. The platform is easy to use and compatible with most other sales or marketing software solutions. The data storage offered, even in the free version, is usually sufficient for their storage needs. Google recently increased the free use limit from 15 GB to 100 GB, making the platform even more attractive.
Businesses with a low volume of sales content assets may find Google Drive adequate for storing and sharing content internally. Being part of the Google Workspace bundle makes Google Drive an excellent tool for individual use and project collaborations.
As great as it sounds, Google Drive is not a catch-all solution for content management, especially for big organizations.
Google Drive might seem like an ideal sales content management system for marketing and enablement teams due to its ease of use. However, it is hard to distribute, maintain, and analyze the impact of sales enablement content on Google Drive.
As marketing and enablement teams try to scale their sales enablement library using Google Drive, they face the following challenges:
#1- Your sales team has a hard time finding the content they need
You have spent a lot of time and effort organizing your sales enablement content in Google Drive. The sales team can now access sales assets (such as datasheets, white papers, case studies, battlecards, and pricing sheets) in different folders.
However, there is no guarantee that your reps can find these different content assets in your Google Drive folders. To discover and use your collateral, your reps must know where to look for it or know how to search for it.
Unlike many other sales content management solutions, Google Drive cannot provide insights into what types of content your sales teams need. It is hard to build new content or update existing collateral if you don’t know what your reps are (not) finding or sharing in Google Drive.
#2 – Your reps don’t use your latest content
Marketing teams find it frustrating that reps use outdated content when interacting with buyers. Reps download sales content from Google Drive to their laptops. Thereafter, sellers will use locally stored content for several quarters without checking whether a newer version is available.
You cannot use Google Drive to find out if your reps are using brand-compliant content. Consequently, your sellers may share outdated messaging or incorrect product information. This could lead to prospects being confused about your capabilities, which could ultimately lead them to work with your competitor.
#3 – Reps are unable to find and share the most relevant content
A Forrester study reported that 57% of the content shared by reps was useless. To make matters worse, 66% of sellers provided buyers with too much information.
Each sales opportunity is unique. Reps can only close deals by learning about organizational priorities, product use cases, buyer personas, customer objections, and competitors involved in the opportunity.
Even though Google Drive is a solid content repository, it does not offer just-in-time guidance on what content your reps should share. Additionally, sellers will not get any content recommendations based on opportunity context analysis.
Prospects perceive reps who share generic content as less credible and trustworthy. Buyers will prefer working with reps who share content that addresses their pain points and demonstrate a clear understanding of their business priorities.
#4 – You don’t know what custom content your sellers are creating
Forrester estimates that sales reps spend 12 hours a month searching for and customizing sales collateral. Even though reps should personalize content for each opportunity, they shouldn’t create completely new content.
Reps may create content for a variety of reasons. Your rep cannot find any content that meets their buyer’s needs. Or, the content in your repository may not address their prospects’ concerns. Lastly, reps may struggle to find relevant content in your Google Drive portal.
It’s critical for marketing and enablement teams to understand why reps spend time creating content. Sadly, Google Drive won’t help you understand why sellers create their own collateral.
#5 – You don’t know which content is being shared at each stage of the buyer’s journey
Marketers create content that sales reps can use at various stages of the buying cycle. Early-stage content raises awareness, middle-stage content prompts consideration, and late-stage content drives conversion.
Marketers might be clear about the stage-specific relevance of their content. It may surprise marketers to find sales reps sharing ROI calculators (late-stage content) after an initial prospect meeting.
If you integrate your CRM instance and object settings with your sales content management system, you can monitor how reps share content throughout an opportunity’s lifecycle.
A basic Salesforce integration can be set up with Google Drive. The limited integration will not help you understand how reps share content at different stages of the sales process.
#6 – You do not know if buyers find your content engaging
Content for sales enablement is ultimately aimed at customers. You won’t be able to see how buyers interact with your content with Google Drive like you would in other sales content management systems.
You cannot see how many prospects have viewed your content in Google Drive. Additionally, you won’t know how much time they spent viewing collateral or how many pages they read. Also, you will not be able to determine if a prospect downloaded or shared content.
Content engagement metrics (such as views, shares, or downloads) are valuable buying intent signals. Reps who don’t know how buyers interact with your content are at a serious disadvantage when trying to figure out the next step in the sales process.
#7 – You can’t deliver content in a rep’s workflow
You might pat yourself on the back for building a fabulous content repository, but your reps don’t work out of Google Drive.
Sellers live in their email, calendar, and CRM. When you ask reps to leave their flow of work to sift through your sales library, you’re slowing them down.
The Idea Lab at Cornell University found that 43% of respondents felt they were spending too much time switching between tools.
In addition, reps will waste time searching and discovering content in your repository. By delivering relevant content directly in your rep’s inbox, calendar, or CRM, you not only increase their productivity, but also ensure faster responses to customer questions.
Marketing and enablement teams have to critically assess if Google Drive increases rep success when used as a sales content management platform or an enablement solution. Even though Google Drive is a great cloud storage solution, it was never designed for sellers who need access to relevant content as they work.
Your reps will not be able to build meaningful customer relationships without capabilities such as just-in-time access to content and buyer engagement analytics. See how your reps can benefit by switching from Google Drive to a just-in-time enablement platform like GTM Buddy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Google Drive a content management system?
Google Drive, a free cloud-based storage service, is a content management system of sorts. However, it’s capabilities are fairly limited when compared to other CMS solutions available in the market. So, while users can store files and share them with others, unlike many other CMS solutions, we don’t get any metrics that tell us how viewers are engaging with the shared content.
Can Google Drive be used for knowledge management?
Yes, Google Drive can be used for knowledge management. It offers an easy-to-use inteface to create, organize and share information or knowledge across an organization. However, it has certain limitations. For example, it is not easy to access this knowledge when needed, especially in large teams with a high volume of content assets spread across countless files and folders.
Is Google Drive safe to use?
Yes. There’s a basic level of encryption on all content you upload on Google Drive. You are also protected against threats like spam, phishing and malware to some degree. However, more sophisticated attacks or human error can lead to your data getting leaked.
What are some best practices for using Google Drive?
Here are a few things to remember when using Google Drive:
- File naming: Finding content on Google Drive is not easy. It helps if you name your files and folders in a way that lets a user understand what the content within that file/folder is and how they may use it. For example, naming a file ‘LinkedIn Ad_1x1_WinterCampaign_v3.2_12-01-23’ is better than calling it ‘New LI Ad.
- File sharing: Be mindful of the access level you grant when sharing files or folders. You can grant editor, commenter, or viewer access. When in doubt, choose commenter access, as it allows recipients to provide feedback without modifying your files.
- While it is best to share files instead of entire folders, it may be convenient to share a folder instead of a file in some cases. You should, however, review all the files in the folder before sharing them in order to prevent sensitive information from leaking.
- Audits: Give collaborators only temporary access to a folder to prevent files from being exposed for longer than necessary. As a best practice, conduct regular audits of your Google Drive to see if you need to revoke access or change the level of access to any file or folder.