The single most important objective for anyone in sales should be to add value to the organization. The sales force is the tip of the spear, ensure they can hunt! The less time they spend searching for, creating or updating marketing materials translates to more time to contribute to the bottom line.
In an IDC study, it was found that 40% of sales reps time is spent creating and customizing marketing materials.
Sharing marketing materials with clients, personalizing direct mail pieces for prospects, and ordering branded appreciation gifts for new clients can take a lot of time, taking the focus away from selling.
This is part two of a multi-part series discussing what marketing and sales can do to stay synced and run a sales enablement program that drives more revenue.
Part 2: Let sales sell. 5 observations to get your sales force selling more and marketing less
Part 3: Pour the foundation. 8 tricks to streamline your entire marketing supply chain
Sales enablement, marketing supply chains, whatever you call it. Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips the sales force with the ability to have valuable conversations. Sales enablement is getting the right information to the right sellers at the right time and place.
Problem is, sometimes sales can’t find marketing assets, they are in the wrong format, or are too difficult to customize. This forces sales to deviate from selling and spend time searching, creating and updating marketing assets (which could also be detrimental for brand standards).
The following 5 observations will help you put marketing materials into the hands of your sales team, so they can spend less time marketing and more time driving revenue.
1.Provide the sales force a central marketing repository that plays nice with ALL marketing assets.
In a short survey, we found that 41% of marketing assets requests are done manually, via email, phone or personally.
Having to wait for marketing to email you the marketing flyer that you requested two weeks ago, wasting time looking for a logo in the right format, or filling out large spreadsheets with all the promotional items you need for the next tradeshow can eat up precious hours of a sales rep’s day.
The sales team needs a centralized marketing repository where they can easily find digital files, personalize marketing materials, order branded promotional and apparel merchandise, all without having to get marketing or purchasing involved.
2.Spend less time onboarding sales reps and get them selling sooner
Having to wait weeks or months for a new sales rep to generate revenue is something no business can change. What you can improve is the process and speed at which your new sales warriors can access and receive the tools they need to go to war.
Sync up sales and marketing from day one. Have training materials, forms, stationery, sales tools and marketing collateral all available under a single repository so new team members can hit the ground running.
3.Allow sales to break through clutter and make a personal impression on every client
Get personal, empower reps to personalize marketing materials with messages and creative that best resonate with their targets.
For many marketing departments the thought of allowing the sales team (or anyone else for that matter), modify the marketing assets they have worked so hard to craft, is absolutely terrifying. But on the other side of the coin, marketing usually has a plate that stays pretty full, and don’t really have the time to be constantly fielding manual requests for modifications.
Comprehensive marketing asset management platforms (or marketing resource platforms) can help you out when you’re torn between giving your end users flexibility and freedom while ensuring things don’t run amuck.
4.Deliver a user experience that is phenomenal and efficient
Ignoring all of the complex business rules, approval processes and brand protection concerns really and truly, at the end of the day, the end user experience is vital. Is it easy? Is it fast? Is it intuitive? Is it pretty? These should be the questions you start with. Ultimately it will be your sales team that has to adopt and accept whatever you put in place.
If your sales teams have to work through too many platforms, steps or manually processes in order to get business cards, you may want to review the process. More importantly, if you are bouncing the end user across multiple sites, multiple logins or different processes for your marketing catalog, it can easily become frustrating. Nobody wins, the sales team doesn’t get the tools they need and the marketing assets, which are worked on so hard by marketing, go unutilized.
5.Turn on autopilot while keeping total control of your brand, budget and inventory
Making sure an army of sales reps can get to the marketing assets they need, easily, from anywhere they operate is one thing. Making sure they comply with branding and other corporate guidelines is where things get interesting.
A) Marketing needs to be able to enforce granular business rules so that the brand, budget and inventory stay aligned with organizational goals.
B) Organizations need a systemic approach to control what sales reps can access, what marketing products they can order, what creative elements they can modify and so on.
C) Ensuring any order or material requests flow through the proper approval channels and ultimately to the correct partner for fulfillment.
So marketing can easily get assets to sales and sales can easily locate digital assets, personalize marketing materials and order promotional merchandise. Awesome! But hold on, what is missing? Sure digital assets can be downloaded right there and then, but what about print, promotional and apparel assets? All these assets need to get produced and fulfilled by multiple parties.
In the next article, we will discuss how you can streamline your marketing supply chain so that marketing stay on top of marketing and sales stays on top of sales. Stay tuned.