Study: Collaboration Issues Hinder Message Development & Brand Mangement
November 8, 2012
A number of B2B companies struggle with developing a collaborative marketing strategy that involves marketing, sales and upper management. In turn, these hardships hinder the creation of strong brand messages, according to a new study by Corporate Visions.
One-third of respondents (33 percent) noted their businesses had message creation processes that were non-collaborative and politically charged or no procedure at all. Meanwhile, another one-third did operate in an environment that was open to collaboration between sales and marketing teams. The remaining 33 percent of respondents had only a semi-collaborative message creation process.
Even more shocking is the fact that field sales reps – those people who tend to be closest to the customer and the ones executing campaigns – tend to be the least involved in the development of brand messages. Only 37 percent of the companies observed for the study involve field sales agents in messaging activities. On the flipside, management and marketing associates play a heavy role in establishing a brand.
“By operating in distinct silos, marketing runs the risk of creating messages that will fail to effectively reach customers, and by extension, that salespeople are not comfortable delivering or will not use,” the research notes. “Because field sales representatives are essential to ensuring that relevant messages are delivered to customers, these statistics – which indicate that they are rarely involved in the creation process – are alarming.”
Aligning Marketing and Sales
In many businesses, marketing and sales tend to be at odds with one another. Despite each department playing pivotal roles in the success of the other, they often operate in silos.
This can have a pronounced impact on brand-related issues. For example, sales may need content tailored to a specific client, but marketing isn’t always able to create that message in time. This lengthy response time puts sales in the awkward position of either creating their own content and jeopardizing brand messaging or presenting clients with brand-compliant material that isn’t relevant to their needs.
Companies need to deploy a strategy that aligns the two departments and implements a collaborative message creation process. Fortunately, there are a number of ways businesses can do this. Regardless of whether they use new technology, such as sales enablement and distributed marketing automation platforms, or another tactic, it’s pivotal that businesses bring their sales and marketing teams together.