Lara Sinclair — 23 October 2020
Can marketing and sales ever be perfectly aligned or is the very thought just a pipe dream?
It’s a well-worn truism, particularly in B2B organizations, that the sales team always urgently needs marketing materials from the marketing team.
They’re generally frustrated by the length of time it takes marketing to respond, and by the inability of marketing to create exactly the document they envisaged when they put in their request.
In an effort to respond to the market need and make the sale, they proactively create the materials they need.
Marketing teams, on the other hand, are constantly inundated with requests for marketing work, or changes to existing documents.
Often under-resourced, they’re constantly balancing urgent tactical requests with strategically important work.
They’re generally frustrated at sales’ inability to clearly communicate what they really need with a reasonable amount of notice - and they’re a little freaked out by what occurs (and the impact on brand consistency) when sales takes matters into their own hands.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Using a brand automation platform - such as Outfit - to bridge the gap between sales and marketing offers a wealth of benefits to both teams. It will operationalize and strengthen your brand - or house of brands - while empowering sales to self-create on-brand assets.
Outfit transforms the creation of new and reimagined on-brand marketing materials so it takes minutes or hours instead of days and weeks, slashing production costs as well as lead times, while simultaneously removing the need for marketing to respond personally to every urgent sales request.
Our platform not only automates repetitive, manual and time-consuming work for both teams, it also makes other martech tools work harder by integrating brand automation functionality into other platforms - driving adoption without the need for complex training programs.
Outfit enables sales and empowers marketing by eliminating the sources of frustration and friction that prevent them from functioning as a finely-tuned engine of commerce.
Far from being a pipe dream, increased sales and marketing alignment is the unavoidable outcome when you give sales the ability to download or self-create marketing content, while simultaneously giving marketing control over how the brand is represented within those tools.
Let’s look at some of the ways Outfit helps teams achieve greater sales and marketing synergy.
It can take weeks for new starters to amass all the materials they need to get up and running, from personalized business cards and brochures to on-brand presentations and other collateral.
Outfit provides a central library of assets and templated on-brand collateral that can be accessed and downloaded or personalized as needed by new sales team members - within pre-specified parameters.
This enables new personnel to quickly make an impact - while giving marketing certainty that the brand is protected.
A national financial services customer with an army of mobile lenders uses Outfit to quickly on-board, personalize and localize on-brand assets without the need for central marketing to create those assets each time.
Enabling sales with a full suite of on-brand assets
Outfit’s centralized asset library helps operationalize sales and marketing by giving everyone access to the exact suite of sales materials they need - and only those approved assets - enabling them to search and download approved sales materials independently.
This eliminates the steady stream of requests for existing materials from sales to marketing and puts product sheets, on-brand presentations, sales brochures, case studies, invitations and other sales assets at the fingertips of those who need them.
Access can be provided on a team-by-team basis if required.
A global B2B technology company uses Outfit to put approved templates for branded assets in the hands of its global sales and marketing teams and agents, enabling them to access and distribute exactly the materials they need without requesting them from central marketing.
The company has saved millions of dollars from a dramatic reduction in central production resources required to equip its global sales and marketing machine.
Self-creation or reverse-briefing of requests for new sales assets
In Outfit, sales teams can access editable on-brand templates, with changes limited to approved imagery, fonts, layout and design options to enable them to self-create assets that require minor amendments to existing versions.
Taken a step further it can also be used as a reverse-briefing tool: sales teams can self-create the asset they need and submit that version to marketing to be approved.
From emails to event invitations, posters and sales brochures - Outfit enables sales to envisage and produce the asset they require, supplying it to the marketing team with most of the production work already done.
That makes marketing the enabler and approver, rather than the brand police - removing the friction that arises from misunderstandings and mis-guided design work, and saving time and money by streamlining the production process.
A national real estate group uses Outfit to self-create and reverse-brief the production of sales assets to marketing, eliminating miscommunication, slashing lead times and maximizing opportunities to sell.
Automated, personalized, on-brand communications
Outfit integrates with your marketing automation tool or CRM platform via API, enabling sales to generate personalized on-brand communications directly from your central source of data truth.
This automates the ability of sales to communicate in a personalized way directly with prospects and customers, enabling them to contact more leads - or contact them more often - with brand-safe, relevant offers, increasing engagement and opportunities to sell.
A technology association integrates Outfit with its CRM to enable sales to produce automated, personalized, on-brand communications and send them to lists within its database according to pre-set triggers. This saves countless hours in sales admin time while giving marketing pre-arranged input into the sales process.
Brand automation functionality in your sales and marketing tech stack
Utilize Outfit’s functionality from within your other tech platforms so you can foster widespread use and adoption of brand automation technology without extensive training programs.
The ability to integrate Outfit closely with CRM, DAM and marketing automation tools, among others, enables sales to create the assets they need at the sales coalface, promoting adoption and use.
uses Outfit to enable sales to create and send on-brand material at speed without leaving its CRM, encouraging high adoption rates and use.
Dynamic asset creation based on data
Keep customers and prospects informed with up-to-the-minute market updates. Outfit can pull your data sources into editable templates, generating localized or market-specific assets that change frequently without human intervention.
This enables sales to contact and inform your leads and prospects, nurturing relationships and building your brand in the background while your team focuses on tangible opportunities.
A national real estate group uses Outfit to generate regular assets and market updates to communicate continually changing, locally relevant information to its national database.
Automated sales and account administration
Outfit extends the range of tasks that sales can directly manage through automated integrations with tools outside the traditional sales and marketing remit, such as billing and accounting software.
This not only saves time and makes sales teams more efficient, it extends those efficiencies to other teams, such as accounts and finance.
A technology association uses Outfit to generate branded accounts and receipts in concert with its accounting software, without human intervention.
Visibility over sales and marketing activity
Outfit offers accurate reporting on the volume and type of assets being created, indicating continuing cost-savings and offering transparency across sales and marketing activity, including usage and return on investment.
A global technology brand has saved millions and tracks ongoing production and use of marketing collateral across international markets as well as ROI.
Ultimately, Outfit increases marketing ROI and strengthens brand consistency while reducing costs and lead times.
It reduces friction by automating the repetitive, manual production work that slows brands down and boosts alignment across organizations - freeing up both sales and marketing to do their best work.