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40352724_MDid you know sales teams rarely use the marketing content provided to them? That’s right. They only use about 10% of the marketing materials handed over to them internally.

Does that shock you? I’m sure you put a lot of effort into your marketing content and probably have your own marketing team. If you don’t have a marketing team, you really should through new hires or contracting marketing services. However, just because the content is created doesn’t mean it is being used as it should be. Instead sales reps often spend 30 hours a month searching for and creating their own sales material. This almost seems redundant when it doesn’t have to be. You may wonder how can you change this so your marketing materials are used as they should be and your sales reps are focusing on sales not creating material. It can be done by following some tips:

Coordinate meetings between your sales rep and marketing department. It is important they have open discussions about what works and what doesn’t as well as what the sales reps wish they had. Marketing can also talk through how and why things are created as well as the importance of timelines in creating materials. Now both sides may feel this is a waste of time; but it isn’t!

All three departments — sales, marketing and executives — want your team to be successful. It just means coordinating efforts to make sure all departments are literally on the same page. Through these conversations you can talk further about how to target the desired audience, create marketing materials and stay within budgets. All three are doable; it just takes a team effort. It is also important to remember this won’t happen overnight. It may take some time as discussions are had, plans are made and drafts are created.

As the types of marketing content can vary, these meetings will also help the various departments understand that marketing goes beyond a brochure and a website. It also comes down to how content is written and shared as well as the timing and purpose of campaigns whether by email, mail or social media. Let’s not forget marketing can help review the simplest of things such as that email signature line to verify important information and links are included or making sure the website links for sales reps are updated properly.

Marketing efforts aren’t just for the external sales process. They are also beneficial for internal usage. This includes training, scripts, data and publications. Through this, each department can better understand how they ultimately work together as they plan and implement marketing content with the sales reps and even celebrate the team’s successes. When the content doesn’t work as hoped, the marketing department will also be able to help reframe content for those leads that don’t end in sales. Throughout it all, the sales reps are also communicating what they are noticing in their own interactions with leads, and they can ultimately focus on what they know best: making the sale.

As you can see, this process of collaboration with marketing and the sales reps isn’t a one-time occurrence. It also doesn’t end after a campaign is conducted or a brochure is printed. Instead it should be a regular part of conversations for planning and content creation. The two departments should work together as they both want the same end result of closing the deal. It may reminding them at times they are a team working toward the same goal.

Both of these departments may already feel overwhelmed and wonder how they will find time for such an initiative. Likewise your marketing team may feel they are barely creating what is already needed. As a result, you may need to evaluate your resources and determine if additional personal, or even interns, could be of assistance to handle some of the team’s regular responsibilities. It also means making this a priority from the executive level down. If these personnel know and see that upper management is willing to set aside time and priorities for this to occur, they will follow that lead. This also means encouraging sales and marketing access to each other’s information and meetings. Consider having a rep from each department in overall meetings if they aren’t included already. Both departments should also have open access to each other’s meetings.

All of this can easily be accessible through technological resources and making sure both sides understand how to use the technology as well as what each is allowed to view and/or edit. It is also why both departments should understand how the sales software works. Our software helps you through this sales process and can incorporate your marketing team as well. Together we will assist you in developing metric-driven case studies and business presentations that prove the financial impact of your solution. We look forward to talking with you further about this when you call us at 800-993-6579 or email us at info@zebrafi.com. We know this shift in bringing these departments together may take some time as they navigate how to work together successfully, but we also know that the result will be more successful sales celebrated by both your sales reps and marketing team.

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