Your sales team is driven, resourceful, and creative. That’s what makes them such an asset to your company. But those same qualities can lead to one of a marketer’s worst nightmares: the salesperson who’s gone rogue and created their own collateral.
When a salesperson needs a particular piece of collateral created or customized for a pitch, they sometimes don’t have the time or patience to wait for it to go through the proper channels. So they put that resourcefulness to work and create their own.
No big deal, right? Wrong.
Rogue sales and marketing collateral can have serious consequences for your brand, your bottom line, even your squeaky clean legal track record.
These are three of the most pressing dangers of rogue marketing collateral:
When sales professionals go rogue and create their own collateral, they often don’t worry about things like brand standards or brand compliance. That’s not because they’re trying to sabotage your brand, it’s just not their job to know about those things. (Which is why it’s also not their job to create collateral.)
• may use out-of-date logo files
• corrupt the logo by changing its color or resizing it incorrectly
• won’t use proper fonts and formatting
• and may even accidentally misrepresent your brand messaging
These violations may not seem like a big deal, but they chip away at your brand integrity, making it difficult to maintain a cohesive image and identity for customers to recognize. Over time, an inconsistent image can harm your reputation and make it difficult to earn consumers’ trust.
Rogue marketing collateral affects your bottom line by way of inefficiency and productivity (or lack thereof). Even if your sales team manage to create their own collateral without misusing your brand identity, it’s still not a productive use of their time.
The American Marketing Association estimates that sales people spend up to 30 hours per month creating their own collateral, and another 8 hours searching for the resources they need.
That’s 38 hours – almost an entire week out of every month – they’re not spending pitching, working leads, or closing deals. You don’t have to be a member of your company’s accounting team to know that translates into lost business and potential revenue.
Highly-regulated industries have several restrictions around what they can say and how they can say it. Rogue sales members creating their own marketing collateral (and using their own words to do so) are a huge liability.
Any content bearing your company’s logo could be considered a representation of your brand. With no process for approval on rogue marketing materials, there’s no way to control what sales members are saying on behalf of your organization.
No matter how effective a salesperson’s deployment of the self-made collateral, the risk of violating industry regulations is not worth the reward.
Before you get too frustrated with your sales team for going rogue, keep in mind that their motives are positive: they’re trying to make sales for your company. But for one reason or another, they don’t feel like they have access to the resources they need to be successful, so they’re making their own.
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