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Sales enablement: How to enable your sales team to produce on-brand content

May 04, 2020

How you can get your A-players to be brand champions

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. 

Improving the collaboration between sales and marketing – it can be done 

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. 

Unlock their inspiration & knowledge 

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. 

Tapping into coworkers’ intrinsic inspiration for strengthening your brand

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. 

Unlocking their understanding of the value of great marketing content

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. 

  • One way that I or people I worked with have used successfully in the past is simply to make a point of regularly naming leads that were the results of marketing efforts. There is little that triggers salespeople's attention than great brand names that become clients. As it should. 
     
  • Another way is to make sure that marketing and sales teams are more aligned by having them literally sit together in a marketing/sales team meeting regularly – although not too regularly. Once a month is about enough to discuss the shared goalwhich is irrevocably there of course, and to make collaboration on it and results from that collaboration tangible. 
     
  • One of the best ways I know to get marketing & sales teams excited about collaborating is to have a clear and communicative marketing & sales dashboard – this could be an excel sheet or something much more sophisticated and interactive. 
     
    The aim of such a dashboard is to show monthly and yearly goals for both teams, separately and as a whole, to show the connection between them, and to track progress. Pro tip: use a funnel view as the main view – this is one of the easiest ways to show how many views lead to how many clicks, opt-ins, MQLs and finally deals. 

Unlocking their latent knowledge and inspiration about your field

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? 

  • You can start by creating a one-off or more long-term employee advocacy program. Create an event, and make sure you make the following case above anything else: every one of your employees has something of value to share about the field that you work in. You just need to unlock it and get it out, and marketing can help. 
     
  • Interview them. Create a template or standard for interviewing your sales or other colleagues and conduct interviews regularly. I suggest using a structure with three questions, and one standard format – be it in written form, video or audio – or all of the above – which your audiences will easily recognize as being what it's about and as a logical addition to your brand and content. 
     
  • Give them templates for blogs/video/infographic creation, according to your brand guidelines. A Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform like Lytho is a great place to store these, and to ensure your templates are always used in the exact right way. Templates in a DAM platform are generally a great way to help stay on-brand.  

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. 

Support and facilitate using your marketing & branding knowledge and skills 

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. 

  • Create and roll-out internal marketing campaigns, getting people excited about using the right brand assets for staying on brand, and/or for contributing to the creation of killer content.  
  • Use your marketing and branding skills & knowledge to inspire your coworkers about the importance of it. 
  • Use your marketing, branding and design knowledge to create the templates your coworkers need to create content that communicates effectively, looks great and is always on-brand.
  • Share your knowledge proactively by creating trainings and workshops for your coworkers on how to use templates and create effective content. I once created a blog template & a writing training that together reaped so many great stories me and my whole team were amazed!
  • Be sure to do the final check: have a copywriter check an article written by another coworker; have the graphic marketer do one last check-up on graphic designs, and have the CMO or head of brand chime in on a campaign before it's launched. Quality matters.
  • Integrate the content your coworkers create into your existing marketing & branding efforts and campaigns, to ensure maximum visibility and maximum ROI for your coworkers’ efforts. Nothing beats a colleague beaming with pride because his or her blog or video racked up X thousand views or because their whitepaper or webinar got your organization a brilliant lead! 

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.  

Make everything 10easier with a smart DAM platform 

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: 

  • Using one source for all content 
    Instead of scattering your content over different tools, a DAM gathers all your marketing content in one place. This is also why a DAM platform is the most logical place for the templates you create and make available to your salespeople and other teams.
  • Creating your own designs  
    With a DAM that incorporates ‘Create & Publish’ functionalities, everyone is a designer. Predefined templates make it easy to create advertorials, websites or brochures  - but also presentations and quotations for sales – all within your content huband always on-brand.

  • Saving up to 70% of your time  
    Advanced search options and easier feedback processes within DAM systems such as Lytho allow you to automate repetitive tasks and spend time on what matters. 

Want to learn more about the benefits of a DAM system to your brand management efforts? 

  • To learn more about the added value of a DAM system for managing your brand, download our whitepaper “Improve your Marketing Performance with DAM.” 
  • To learn more about the Lytho DAM platform and its core capabilities, click here or go right ahead and book a demo with us. It's free and online, and takes up no more than about 20 minutes.

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