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Why Salespeople Only Use 35% of Marketing Collateral

Marketers spend a ton of time, money, and effort creating digital sales collateral for their sales teams.

In fact, I would argue it has never been easier or more cost effective to generate videos, images, PDF brochures, mini-apps, etc.


Yet, despite all the systems and repositories, time and time again salespeople ask their marketing team if they have a brochure for X or case study that is an example of Y.

We’re all in this together

If your sales team is not using the sales collateral you are creating, you are not alone. In fact, according to SiriusDecisions, 60-70 percent of content created by B2B marketers is never used by sales. 

However, the conclusion reached that companies need to “overhaul” their content machine seems flawed and overly aggressive to me. What do you think?

I mean, if everyone that went to Starbucks started leaving 65% of their coffee in the cups and kept asking the baristas if they could have more coffee, should Starbucks “overhaul” its coffee creation process?

That’s nuts. Of course not.

What Starbucks would do is start asking consumers why they were only drinking 35% of the coffee?

And what do you think they might hear?  A bunch of different answers from which they might begin to uncover the real reasons before they spend billions overhauling their process.

So in that spirit, I suggest you start asking the sales team, why?

Reps can’t find the right collateral because we made it hard for them

As you add new product lines, expands globally and new divisions are brought on, chances are you’re creating a ton of sales collateral and the two questions you should be asking yourself are…

Where do you store it and how do you ensure reps can find it?

Stick it on your sales portal? Okay.

Put it on your website? Worse.

Or email it to the team? Lost forever.

The hard cold reality is your reps won’t play ‘Where’s My Collateral’, especially not in front of a prospect.

We live in the mobile age. Everyone is glued to their phones.

Half of your fellow employees have lived in the digital world their whole lives. They expect everything to be easy to find (Google), easy-to-use (Facebook), and at their fingertips (iPhone).

If it’s not already, it will soon be a requirement for every Marketer to first think about how they are going to make their sales collateral easily accessible before they even create it.

Marketers can’t add a PDF to consumer-facing websites and expect their sales team to access and download the file during a sales meeting.

How can you improve digital sales collateral usage?

Here’s a very abbreviated overview of what we’ve seen that works:

  1. Take inventory of your digital collateral.  Where is it? What is essential? How do you find it? How is it titled and tagged?
  2. Make finding your digital sales collateral easier. Optimize for reps that are ‘Browsers’, ‘Searchers’, and make it available across all devices. Is it titled well? Have you added keyword tags?
  3. Gather regular feedback from your reps on existing collateral. For example, what collateral is titled poorly? Use that information to create a feedback loop and make everything easier to find and use.

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