Marketing Collateral: One Place It's Okay to Be Pushy

Updated: January 01, 2012

Sales Process Inventory Checklist

This checklist will help in guiding the discussion on which technology is appropriate to benefit the sales organization. Carefully consider the realities of your sales team and processes as they are today - not as you would like them to be. By assessing your current sales paradigm, you can invest in the tools, platforms and technologies that will be adopted by sales, integrated with your marketing efforts and ultimately generate a positive ROI and user experience for your company as a whole.

  1. Does your sales team utilize an existing sales methodology? (e.g. Ziglar, Sandler)
  2. Does your sales team use CRM?
  3. See #2 and answer again focusing on the word "use" - honestly.
  4. If the answers to #2 & #3 are really yes, proceed to #5.
  5. Does your sales team use collateral, presentations and customer references in their sales cycle?
  6. If yes, how do they access those materials today?
  7. How does sales receive NEW sales assets to use in their sales conversations?
  8. What does sales use to send collateral and references to their prospects? (e.g. send from within CRM, Outlook email with 5 attachments, etc.)
  9. When does sales become aware of their prospects engagement with the materials they've sent? (If ever?)
  10. Does sales have a way to offer feedback on the assets being created (i.e. their helpfulness or usefulness in helping sales close deals?)
  11. If yes to #10, does marketing receive that feedback and have the opportunity to act on it?
  12. Do prospects have a way to rate the effectiveness of marketing materials and/or presentations, references, sales assets, etc. being sent to them?
  13. Does marketing have a quantitative metric by which to measure prospect engagement with the materials and tools?

Common Pitfalls in the "Typical" Enterprise Sales Process

What the inventory checklist starts to illuminate are the best practices of efficient, effective sales processes for most enterprise organizations. The key ideas are centered upon accessibility, but more than that - PUSHING content to sales and making it remarkably easy to incorporate into their sales communications is the biggest "ah-ha". What's more, enabling sales to give feedback on the collateral so that they ultimately get the tool set they feel they need to sell is a big win. Another kicker is actually giving prospects a way to voice their thoughts on the helpfulness of the assets in making their decision.

6 Ways to PUSH Content to Sales

Twitter

Some organizations have a sales-only Twitter account from which they can send tweets to sales to update them with the latest tools. They can also share successes of using certain tools, share tips for usage and more. Because Twitter is ubiquitous in terms of awareness and accessibility for sales, they can easily get a free Twitter account and follow the "sales tool network" also known as the marketing team.

Challenges to Twitter include the capacity and uptime of the application and the noise of the tool. There is so much going on at any given moment, sales can easily get distracted there.

LinkedIn Group

If your sales team tends to spend a good deal of time on LinkedIn, a great strategy for reaching out to them and piquing their interest is through an internal members-only group. They can get daily alerts on activity, discussions and new assets on their LinkedIn accounts - and even get them on the go with mobile apps from LinkedIn.

Internal Landing Page/Blog with RSS feed

Sales teams are spending more time on the web accessing prospect information and conducting day-to-day business, so it only makes sense to have a dedicated web page or blog with your company's latest and greatest marketing materials. This gives them quick and easy access, and becomes a one-stop-shop for them to quickly and easily access the tools they need and get on their way.

Yammer

Somewhat similar to Twitter is the enterprise social networking and micro-blogging platform Yammer. Yammer enables you to alert sales when existing marketing collateral is updated or upload and share new documents through short, real-time messages. Internal conversations among communities created in Yammer allow members of the marketing and sales teams to share insights about what assets work well for prospect selling situations and where improvements need to be made.

Mobile/SMS Alerts

With everyone carrying a smart phone, some sales organizations prefer a ubiquitous technology like SMS rather than a social or professional platform. Again, sticking with the notion that you have to make it as easy as possible, text messages alerting sales of new assets may be the simplest and most widely adopted way of getting the news out.

Automation Technology Platforms

Sales force automation platforms like RO|Enablement help do this as well with their functionality. With RO|Enablement, you can immediately see within the asset library which items are new, which are the highest rated and which are your favorites. That's a helpful "triple threat" for sales because they can choose from their old stand-by tools, the new, fresh content and the most popular assets.

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