When revenue is down or a campaign doesn’t perform as expected, it’s not uncommon for the Blame Game to commence. Sales blames, marketing, marketing blames sales—you see where this is going. Sales might say, “they didn’t give us the resources we need!” And marketing cries out, “they aren’t using the resources we gave them!” So, what’s the deal? How do we stop the finger pointing? Three words: Bridge. The. Gap.
Bridging the gap means building thoughtful sales enablement. It’s not enough to build a marketing campaign—you have to foster involvement. And to do so, you must keep four things in mind.
#1: Add a Personal Touch
At Haute Rock Creative, we’re big on gifts. In an increasingly digital world, prospects and clients are used to receiving emails and whitepapers, PDFs and PNGs. Why not give them something more tangible to tie together your integrated marketing campaign? And why not take it a step further by sending those gifts from your sales representatives so they are the face of your campaign? This not only involves your sales reps, but also gives them a talking point to kick start the conversation.
#2: Plan for Their Participation
Even if you don’t send a gift, you should always factor in the way that sales will interact with your campaign. Make sure they’re informed—create guides that breakdown each piece of the campaign. For larger campaigns, schedule kick-off meetings so you can answer questions and gather feedback in real-time.
No matter how you communicate the information, make sure you’re providing detailed instructions. If you want your sales team to send targets to a landing page, for instance, give them the URL and write sample emails they can use as a jumping-off point. Provide ideas for ways they can use various campaign content.
#3: Deliver the Information in a Different Way
Guides and kick-off meetings are both great options for running down a campaign with sales, but larger teams might benefit from more advanced methods. At Haute Rock Creative, one of our top clients creates several video and podcast series to keep their sales force engaged and educated on marketing goals and efforts. They offer these resources in an easy-to-use app, and each one provides a quick fix of high-value information. Sometimes a 3-5-minute conversation with a top sales executive delivered in the form of a podcast is more digestible than an email or PowerPoint presentation with the same information.
We can’t stress this enough—you’ve gotta communicate. Don’t make assumptions about what your sales department knows about your campaign or how they use the materials you’re providing. Help sales help you. Ask them questions. Ask them to ask you questions. Gather feedback frequently. Then, listen. Try not to get defensive.
The bottom line is that sales reps won’t use resources that they don’t understand, and they definitely won’t use a resource they don’t feel they need. You need their feedback so you can find gaps in the content you’re providing, then fill those gaps so that your campaigns can be more effective. And you need to do it frequently—markets change rapidly, and challenges are constantly evolving, so check in regularly to make sure that sales and marketing are always on the same page.
About Haute Rock Creative
Haute Rock Creative delivers swift, strategic, on-target marketing and creative productions via multiple points of digital and physical interaction—all integrated into a singular aesthetic vision. To learn more about how we can close the loop between sales and marketing with expert sales enablement, contact us today.