Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Is Marketing Worthy? Is Sales Worthy?

There's a natural rivalry between marketing and sales, but both silos are (or ought to be) doing the same thing. Marketing might be a bit more focused on a consistent brand message and sales might be more focused on engaging specific prospects. But neither can succeed without the other. Too many in one of the silos want to take all the credit for successes and point at the other silo when there are failures. Better, by far, to go the whole journey together.

A few statistics:

The average tenure for a CMO is just 23 months according to the CMO Council.

The collateral produced by marketing almost never gets used in the field ... 50% to 80% according to the American Marketing Association is wasted and the figure is up to 90% wasted according to Frost & Sullivan.

The typical sales rep spends 40% of his or her time customizing or reworking brochures and presentations but most reps are not trained to do this well.

The ideal brand message has four components:
  1. What we do
  2. How we provide value
  3. How we do this uniquely
  4. Evidence to support the claim

This brand message should be delivered with clarity, with consistency across all touchpoints, and with relevance to deliver compelling motivation. And yet, according to the CMO Council, 75% of marketers indicate their companies cannot achieve this requirement.

What must change to improve the effectiveness of marketing messaging that is delivered in the field?

Start with a discovery session to learn what content and messaging that reps will actually use. Make sure everyone on the team knows exactly how your company provides value to customers ... value that customers will actually find valuable. Get this down to the elevator speech that everyone can buy into. Then make it easy to modify this messaging in the field while adhering to brand consistency. Make it easier for sales agents to get at the best matrix of content assets for use in a particular sales situation.

If we do this well, it will dramatically reduce the time that reps need to spend getting ready to engage and expand the time they spend in front of prospects. The content will get better, will get used. The value proposition will convince prospects they need to do business with you.

Or, we can all keep doing this the same as we are doing it today ... and have 50 - 90% of the effort wasted.


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