Streamline the Marketing Supply Chain to Improve the Marketing-Sales Relationship

Improving the relationship between marketing and sales has become an important objective for many business-to-business enterprises. Changes in the way that business buyers access information and evaluate potential purchases make it essential that both work collaboratively to create and deliver compelling messages and materials.

Most of the efforts to improve this relationship have focused on the content of demand generation messages and materials and on the responsibilities of each in the lead generation/lead nurturing process. These are important issues that deserve the attention they’re receiving. But, there’s another component of the marketing-sales relationship that’s often overlooked—the reliability and responsiveness of the supply chain for marketing material (Sales collateral, promotional items, and point-of-sale materials).

A recent survey by the CMO Council revealed that salespeople are fairly satisfied with the content of the collateral, but that the process of obtaining materials and the delivery of it need significant improvement.

Consider just a couple of the major findings from the CMO Council survey:

  • Two-thirds (67%) of survey respondents said they had experienced challenges or issues in obtaining marketing materials.
  • Thirty-four percent of respondents said it takes ‘far too long’ to receive requested materials, 29% said that materials are not received in time for scheduled product launches, and 13% said that materials are often received damaged or in poor condition.

A dysfunctional marketing materials supply chain creates several problems. First and foremost, materials that are late or damaged can negatively impact sales. In today’s hyper-competitive environment, every interaction with a prospect is critical, and sales can easily be lost if materials are delivered late or in poor condition.

Supply chain problems can also lead to waste and excessive costs. In the CMO Council survey, 72% of participating sales reps said they had over-ordered and stockpiled marketing materials, and 80% of those salespeople said their orders were inflated by 20% or more. Inflated orders create an inaccurate measure of material needs, which leads to both over-production and higher rates of obsolescence.

A marketing execution platform provides the technological foundation for a reliable and responsive supply chain. The web-to-print component of a marketing execution platform makes ordering Sales material quick and easy, and because MEP systems can be directly linked to production/fulfillment partners, order turnaround time can be significantly improved.
The quality of your marketing content is obviously critical to driving increased sales, but so is your ability to support your sales team with an effective marketing materials supply chain.

This post was also published on the Adam Software blog.

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Author:Jan Dejosse

CMO - ADAM Software

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