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As a marketer, the dream is to collaborate with your sales team to set them up with the sweetest on-brand content and assets possible. In reality – for any number of reasons, your sales team will end up creating their own content. How do you make sure they stay on-brand and have all additional assets needed to close deals? And is it even possible to go beyond that?
Collaborating with your sales team can be a dream or a nightmare, or something in between.
In the nightmare scenario, it's incredibly difficult to get your sales team to use the brand as it is meant to be used; to use the correct and up-to-date logo's, color schemes and templates for sales documents like quotations or for presentations. How many times have you discovered someone using logo variants or fonts your marketing team retired ages ago? How's that for coming across as a professional business?
Of course, this doesn't apply solely to people who happen to work in sales. I remember working at an organization with not much more than 140 people, and seeing at least 140 different styles of presentations.
In the dream scenario, your sales colleagues are some of your brand's most valuable employee advocates. Not only do they understand the value of building out marketing and staying consistent in branding. Brand advocates on your sales team realize that with their unique knowledge of customer needs and your organization's capabilities, they are the people best qualified to create (marketing) content that can really add a lot of value.
Value, that is, for your organization, for you as a marketing & sales team, and most importantly for your existing and potential customers or clients.
The dream can become a reality. I've seen it happen. Now, far be it from me to give you the end-all-cure-all to get from point A. to point B. or from nightmare to dream. However, here are some principles and practical tips that I'm sure will help you along the line of smoothening out your collaboration with your sales coworkers, and in enabling them to become thought leaders in your field.
Strengthening your brand by enabling your coworkers is one of the most satisfying things you can ever do as a marketer. And it doesn't even need to be that hard.
The first thing you must do is to unlock your coworkers’ innate inspiration and knowledge. This refers to knowledge or inspiration around customer needs (market), your brand identity & capabilities, but also knowledge about the necessity and inspiration for great marketing & branding.
Having your coworkers inspired to do what they can to strengthen your brand, starts from within. It's in the match between your organization's DNA and your every individual coworkers’ DNA, and the tangibility of the connection between them. And in regularly explaining to them what the value of a brand is.
Read more about what lies at the core of a brand, here.
Make the connection between every individual professional and the brand DNA visible, and show them what they can contribute. This should really help in getting them on board and excited to use the knowledge, support, templates and assets you will then provide to help them stay on-brand in all sales content they produce.
If your further aim is to get your sales coworkers inspired to contribute to marketing content, it is imperative to make the value of marketing efforts impossible to ignore. You can do this in a multitude of ways.
It's easy to poke fun at salespeople. They care about what car they get to drive. They're flashy, talkative, and very commercially driven. Who can blame them? It gets them their jobs - they're selected for these admittedly stereotypical traits – and it gets their jobs done.
Marketing helps make sure your company has a future. Sales helps make sure your company survives today.
But make no mistake – often unbeknownst to even themselves, through years of experience in talking to people in a certain industry or field and talking about the same sets of problems, they gain invaluable insights and knowledge.
As is often the case – we barely realize how valuable the knowledge that we take for granted or think of as basic ourselves, can be to others. Every single one of us has dealt with a problem and found a solution for it, where we could save others having to go through the exact same trouble as we did by simply telling them about the solution we found.
How can you nudge your sales coworkers to start creating killer marketing content?
Next to these, what you'll want to do as a marketing team is to support and facilitate your coworkers with the knowledge, skills and tools that you have available.
When starting to inspire your coworkers – sales or otherwise – to unlock their knowledge and contribute to your brand, make sure you apply the knowledge and skills you have available in your marketing team.
That is to say that the idea about the latent knowledge that we all possess and don't even really realize, applies to you and me just as much.
Now, once you've done all of this, or even just some of it, I'm sure you'll start seeing results. But to 10X your results and to consolidate them – be sure to be smart and efficient, and automate everything that can be automated.
No one likes to do repetitive tasks that a machine can do just as well or better. Your sales team and other coworkers may be a lot of things, but at the end of the day - they're people, too.
Especially for marketing teams who are collaborating remotely with each other, their internal and external marketing ecosystem and other internal and external stakeholders, a Digital Asset Management platform like Lytho can add a lot of value. Applied strategically, you will be sure to get the most value out of your brand and the related assets by using a DAM system.
A few things a Digital Asset Management system can help you achieve are:
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