Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sales does not use our Marketing Assets

There is hardly any CMO not having complained about this. It is nothing new but in today's economic environment, this can be a serious threat to their career. Marketing programs in college often don't focus on inter-departmental relationships. Yet strong communication and efficiency across departments can have numerous positive outcomes. On the other side, poor or non-existent relations between a sales and marketing team can mean leaving quality assets untapped.Producing assets that are not used is a waste of money. My conservative estimate is that this waste could easily amount to 10% of the marketing investment in people and programs. This is probably not a wise thing to do when CMOs are increasingly held accountable by CEOs about their contribution they make to the business

In my Masterclass “Why do Salespeople Make Little Use of Marketing Assets” on August 20, 2009 at 11 a.m. US Eastern, 4 p.m. UK, 17:00 CET, I will discuss why this is, and what can be done to increase usage. The slides used for this Masterclass  can now be found here.

You might wonder why a consultant focusing on sales effectiveness cares about this and what recommendations he can make to solve this marketing issue.

I am interested in the question for the the same reason why also CSO's (Chief Sales Officers) should be concerned. Not using marketing assets negatively impacts sales effectiveness. It is not that sales would not need such materials. One reason for not using them is simply because they are not aware of what is available and how it could forward their sales campaign. So they might create something on the fly. If sales people are aware of the assets, they find that these often do not fit with the need of the salesperson for a particular sales call. Salespeople spend time to create or adapt those assets to their needs which is time not spend with the customers. We are speaking about several hours per week.

My personal experience about this misalignment between sales and marketing comes from coaching strategic key account teams. Very often, when I ask the question whether they have considered Marketing as a resource they can leverage for the formulation and execution of their key account plans, I get a a blank stare or I draw a laughter.

As a former head of a solution practice in a boutique consulting firm, it was in my remit to create marketing assets. Through this, I gained some practical experience how to create them so that sales people made use of them. That is also when I started to use the term Marketing Assets instead of Marketing Collateral. This might seems dwelling in semantics.
To me however it is the symptom of a mind set.
If you are interested in a methodologically sound but pragmatic approach to help bridging some of the marketing and sales divide, you can join me

In my Masterclass “Why do Salespeople Make Little Use of Marketing Assets” on August 20, 2009 at 11 a.m. US Eastern, 4 p.m. UK, 17:00 CET. Readers of this blog can register for free.


  1. Great observation, Christian. I have always seen a disconnect between sales and marketing, and it would be a great idea for them to get on the same page. I have to imagine that this drives CEOs nuts, and is a huge waste on productivity.

  2. Thanks this post..
    keep writing your blog will be more attractive. To Your Success!


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