Your company can invest hundreds of thousands of dollars toward building your brand to have it destroyed by unruly sales teams. An unruly team being one that is disorderly and disruptive and does not embrace the following of practices set out by others. It can be a culture in a business developed through bad experiences or a sales leader’s lack of understanding of world-class marketing having not worked closely with one previously.
Sales teams disconnecting frequently from marketing
Successful marketing departments spend inordinate amounts of time on understanding your customers, their buying reasons, their priorities and encapsulating that information into well-branded collateral that has both eye appeal and communicates in a way that resonates with the audience. They create the tools and materials required to connect with the target audience in a meaningful way. This is the ‘brand’ of your business.
The brand is then taken to market through marketing campaigns and the sales effort. For many companies, there is an immediate divide between what marketing delivers and what sales deliver. This miscommunication can destroy brand value and understanding of buyers.
Marketing look for campaigns that build connections with potential customers and reinforces current customers. They look or should look, to create interaction with the brand on multiple levels engaging the target audience into a buying process that can operate in the short and longer-term. For larger valued contracts they nurture and educate those customers to the point of being sales-ready.
Regrettably, for many sales departments, they devalue marketing seeing it as just glossy images of products and services, maybe a cool website, catalogues or brochures that can be handed to customers. They don’t see it contributing directly to business development unless it is special offers being sent to the market to attract immediate sales. Sales often have a narrow view of what will work and that undermines the brand and an unruly sales team can do considerable damage if not managed.
The missing focus or connection is the wording and messaging that builds the customers understanding of the business and the products on offer. The messaging and content that is purposefully written in a way that customers like to buy.
How to Destroy a Brand
An unruly sales team are those that are left to their own devices in how they present and communicate with the customers. They are enabled by their management to create their own way of talking about products and services and to interpret those offers in different ways. That communication in conversations, sales proposals and other in the worst case, their own homemade marketing materials and presentations.
There is no collective thinking of what sales collateral is required, how to steer the sales process through an aligned process with marketing and importantly no monitoring of what salespeople are doing in the field and sending to customers.
The challenge and detrimental effect for the company is this behaviour is disconnecting the customer from what they initially were drawn to through marketing activities, and customers quickly fall out of the pipeline.
Reasons for lost sales opportunities
The most damaging of all things with this unruly sales team behaviour of sales and creating mixed messages is the desire and the companies tolerance, of sales to create their own marketing materials.
We have all seen it. That piece of marketing collateral created by a salesperson on the fly that shows a sales team going rogue. The use of an old company logo, dated images, images copied from a google search pasted into a PowerPoint presentation, non-compliant product and services description. The lack of any regard for font usage, brand colours, or approved copy (that marketing worked so hard on) glaringly obvious in these homemade presentation materials, sales proposals and email presentations.
In the context of customer experience, this kind of disjointed material creates a massive disconnect for the customer and decays their confidence in the brand. These materials are left with the customers creating a new brand in their view of the company. Often an unprofessional and confusing message that shouts more about features and benefits than customer problems – solutions. This leads directly to lost sales revenue, damaged brand and often the door closing on great opportunities.
The indirect cost being that of salary expense as a salesperson is sitting at a desk creating their sales piece. If managed correctly, they would be communicating their requirements to their management and having it professionally produced and available for all other team members to use. A bank of approved materials created for all sales to utilise.
Achieving a Brand Connection
By giving sales access to approved materials, with some room for customisation to account for personalisation, localisation, and any other “isation” they need, you are essentially freeing them to do what they do best: sell.
Consistent messaging is essential for reinforcing your brand in the minds of customers and allowing the sales process to move forward. It must be a seamless experience from marketing through sales for the customer. Every marketing campaign and sales communication should reflect what the customers wants and needs while staying on message with what your brand has come to be known for.
The result will be a unified brand experience that doesn’t change, regardless of where customers encounter your business through the marketing campaigns or sales team.
If you are planning to align marketing and sales, please contact the office to discuss how we can assist you.
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