Just one-third of business-to-business (B2B) companies report involving field sales representatives in messaging and tool creation, according to [pdf] October 2012 findings from Corporate Visions. Marketing management personnel (75%) are the most likely to be involved, followed by product managers and sales management (60%) and marketing associates (54%), while C-level executives (27%) mostly stay uninvolved.
The researchers conclude that this signals a lack of collaboration between sales and marketing teams and a lost opportunity. Field sales representatives – who are infrequently involved in the creation process – are also responsible for last-mile message delivery to customers, and therefore have first-hand knowledge of what resonates and what sells.
Two Thirds Lack Consistent Collaborative Process
Just 33% of respondents describe having a collaborative process for creating messaging that involves both sales and marketing. Another third reports that their process is non-collaborative, politically charged or non-existent, while the remaining third reports having a process that is semi-collaborative. Thus, two-thirds of respondents operate in silos, with the 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.
In fact, a previous report from Corporate Visions found 65% of B2B respondents believing that their sales teams use less than half of the demand generation content produced by the marketing department. The latest survey results suggest that a lack of comfort with that content may be a factor.
Just 3% Have A Repeatable Process
Only 3% of respondents to Corporate Visions’ Q3 survey report that their companies have a repeatable process for creating content, messages and tools (e.g., first identifying the customer’s goals, pinpointing how these goals are at risk, identifying which solutions or services meet those needs, building cross-functional teams). Fully 61% of respondents describe only sometimes – or never – using a repeatable process, suggesting that content and messaging is at risk of being inconsistent or simply not addressing customers’ pain points.
About the Data: Corporate Visions polled more than 730 business-to-business (B2B) sales and marketing professionals worldwide.