It gets more and more clear each day that marketing content fuels sales organizations. As buyers come to expect more of a personalized overall experience from companies during each encounter, companies are expected to deliver on all aspects of content. This includes email correspondence, blog posts, website pages, and sales collateral. But what happens when that content becomes outdated due to data changes, branding updates, or messaging overhauls? These necessary changes typically require time-consuming manual efforts from marketing or sales teams. This doesn’t even take into consideration the personalization of collateral for singular sales conversations. Manual updates and customization are not only inefficient and tedious, but also risky. There are a number of challenges associated with creating dynamic and personalized collateral, and these require numerous sacrifices from sales and marketing teams:
- Inefficient marketing output: Creating personalized collateral for each and every sales conversation and manually updating all data points in collateral for internal use is time-consuming. Marketing spends most of its time performing “random acts of sales support,” putting out fires when sales needs something completed, and generally wastes time altering content each time something needs updating. This leaves little time for other marketing activities.
- Inconsistent marketing materials: If marketing isn’t able to put out sales’ fires and update all collateral in time for each client meeting, sales reps must create or edit their own presentations. This is risking message and brand inconsistency, and has both teams spending an inordinate amount of time creating one-off collateral. It is never known which version is the “right” one, meaning outdated, off-brand and off-message content may be shared without anyone knowing. According to IDC’s Global Document Processes survey, 72% of business leaders agree that improving document processes would increase customer satisfaction and/or increase brand value.
- Ineffective sales conversations: Sales reps are either stuck with generalized content they must use for every conversation, or are wasting time waiting for marketing or creating their own collateral. This means there is less time being spent actually selling, which can lead to longer sales cycles. When sales doesn’t have the exact materials it needs to have the best conversations and meetings with potential clients, reps may not seem effective or trustworthy. According to Forrester, 78% of executive buyers claim salespeople don’t have relevant examples or case studies to share with them. One-size-fits-all presentations don’t resonate with customers in this age of customization; buyers are expecting a personalized buying experience during the entire sales cycle. Making sure collateral reflects that can be a challenge with manual updating and personalization capabilities.
How can companies reduce the time and effort sacrificed by marketing and sales teams in the name of creating personalized, dynamic collateral? Our newest guide below can help.