Research giant IDC says that 80% of the content that marketing generates isn’t used by the sales team – and the percentage is even higher in complex distributed marketing and multi-channel environments.
In addition, customers tell researchers at Forrester that sales reps aren’t prepared for their initial meeting 50% of the time.
Last, but hardly least, sales people surveyed by Gartner say that marketing leaves them guessing about what customers want to know at least 50% of the time.
Clearly, there’s a massive disconnect going on within many distributed marketing organizations, or the primary technology research firms wouldn’t each be reporting findings like that.
When there’s a distributed marketing disconnect like that, everyone wastes time, the sales cycle gets longer, and negative customer experiences increase. So how do we solve the problem and connect all the dots?
First by rethinking the boundaries, and tearing down the walls between sales and marketing. Both groups have the same goal (effective lead generation, qualification, and follow-through leading to sales and revenue).
Second by talking to each other more, and sharing more information that provides insight into the sales pipeline and what materials are working (and being used), and what isn’t.
The most efficient way to do this is with a distributed marketing platform that connects all the dots along the marketing and sales chain – from brand management and regulatory compliance through creative and corporate marketing all the way to the local agent or sales rep. A distributed marketing platform with a comprehensive set of capabilities should include access management, asset management, dynamic content assembly, campaign management, reporting and measurement.
The primary benefits of a single distributed marketing infrastructure designed for corporate and local marketing, and for sales at all levels, include:
- Global access and transparency for all marketing assets
- Workflow automation and optimization
- Flexible integration with partners and vendors
- Faster time to market
- “Pull” delivery of marketing assets on demand
- Automated tracking and reporting for each message comparison
In a system that tracks and measures every marketing message offered to sales, it soon becomes glaringly obvious which ones the sales people are using – and which ones work. Typically, a company that adopts a true distributed marketing solution finds that both sales and marketing revise their thinking – and the way they work together – as they bridge the gaps between the two groups, and built a knowledge base of actionable market data.
What products do you use to connect the dots in your distributed marketing organization? Did it improve your revenue? A little — or a lot?