It’s every marketer’s nightmare: A piece of sales collateral is created by a sales rep. It could have been done on the fly. Or it’s something they plotted and planned for a long time.
And it’s horrifying.
- Maybe it includes a company logo that hasn’t been used in years.
- Or it features clip art — or a photo that’s been used on a competitor’s website.
- Or, god forbid, it makes a claim that could get your business into serious legal trouble.
While some collateral created by sales reps could be viewed as merely funny or embarrassing, it might also have very serious consequences for your business. Here are three BIG problems you could face if your salespeople develop and use their own collateral with prospects and clients.
1. Legal challenges
This is a big issue in highly-regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services, especially at a time when rules are changing.
It doesn’t matter if the content is created by a company or one of its representatives: The business is responsible if it misrepresents its products and services or presents wrong, misleading or non-compliant information. This could result in large fines, legal penalties, and regulatory agency sanctions. Add to this the cost for legal support and damage to a firm’s reputation.
Think about it this way: A simple PowerPoint slide created by a sales rep on the fly could have a significant negative impact on your business and it’s long-term prospects.
2. Brand issues
Your brand is your company’s most valuable asset. It’s been built up, bit by bit, perception by perception, over time. The images you use, the logo you choose, colors you select, tone, messaging and other factors all add up to a singular image of your organization. It gives people in your target audience a clear picture of what your business does, it’s value to consumers and how it’s different from your competitors.
As consumers experience your brand over time, consistent interactions with it build trust. A high level of trust makes it more likely they’ll make an initial purchase and continue doing business with your firm over time.
Most salespeople don’t understand the power of a brand to build trust with consumers and to help close deals. When they create their own content, they don’t “get” the value of proper logo usage, appropriate imagery and consistent messaging. They don’t understand that inconsistencies aren’t just about tacky design or bad messaging. They can permanently destroy the trust potential buyers have in your business.
3. Wasted time
According to the American Marketing Association, salespeople spend, on average, about 30 hours each month creating their own sales materials. Another study found that reps spend an additional eight hours every week just searching for the sales tools and forms they need for their meetings.
That’s a lot of time NOT selling!
Think about the impact to the bottom line of your business if each of your reps could spend almost two additional days per week working with prospects and clients rather than creating and managing collateral.
Sales enablement is the perfect solution for organizations that want to gain control over salespeople who create their own content. It’s not just a process, procedure or technology. It’s actually a discipline meant to build efficiencies into what marketing and sales teams do best. In other words, it helps marketers develop the content salespeople want and need and makes it easy for reps to find and use it. It also helps monitor content usage, making it possible to determine the effectiveness of pieces so they can be improved over time.
Faced with the real threat of legal issues, damage to brands and reduced sales productivity, more and more small- to mid-sized businesses are turning to Mobile Locker’s sales enablement system. It’s a powerful tool that’s proven to help companies gain control over the use of rogue content in a cost-effective way.
If you’re concerned about the damage content created by sales reps could have on your business, you owe it to yourself to speak to a helpful Mobile Locker representative. They can explain how our software could provide the protection your business needs.