A lack of alignment between sales and marketing is hurting sales reps, many of whom are being left out of the content development process and forced to create their own materials, finds Brainshark in survey results released today. 7 in 10 sales reps responding to the survey indicated that they get sales materials from marketing, but 42% of those say that they’re “rarely” or “never” have a hand in the development process. Overall, reps claimed to be creating from scratch about half of the materials they use.
Indeed, the leading “productivity-buster” for sales reps is having to devote time modifying existing materials, a challenge cited by 51% of respondents. About 4 in 10 said they also have to deal with out-of-date materials, while one-third frequently have difficulty even finding sales material. Close to 3 in 10 complain of materials not relevant to their prospects.
The results echo findings from earlier research by Corporate Visions, in which just one-third of B2B sales and marketing professionals described having a collaborative process for creating messaging that involves both sales and marketing. The remaining two-thirds said they operated in silos, with the accompanying risk that messaging will either fall flat with customers or will not be used by salespeople uncomfortable with a message they had no hand in shaping. Still, that may be changing: more recent survey results [download page] from Corporate Visions and Aberdeen Group indicate that “leading companies” are turning their attention to collaborative content creation, with 74% producing campaign themes and sales content with sales input, rather than in silos.
Meanwhile, the Brainshark survey also suggest that reps could benefit from more training: one-third said more product-related training would help, and close to 4 in 10 want more skills training to hone their approaches.
About the Data: Brainshark conducted an online survey in September 2013 among 416 sales professionals (199 sales reps; 217 sales managers) from companies of various sizes and across industries.