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Sales teams not following corporate messaging strategies

A new survey found that a large number of corporations believe salespeople are failing to deliver marketing messaging in the way it is intended.

When messaging strategies work, marketing campaigns are able to deliver highly qualified leads to the sales team, who then nurtures the potential client until the deal is closed. In the best-case scenario, everyone along the sales path provides a consistent message about the value of products and services. However, a new survey found that a large number of corporations believe salespeople are failing to deliver this message in the way it is intended.

A quarterly survey by Corporate Visions found that 60 percent of respondents said they felt sales teams go off-script when attempting to convert leads. This can create a number of problems, including decreased customer satisfaction when clients receive services that are different than they anticipated. Sales incentive programs can be a valuable tool to keeping employees on-message.

Incentive programs can encourage workers to promote specific features, follow sales strategies or deliver presentations in a specific ways. Using the initiatives to recognize successful deals that are consistent with company objectives and marketing strategies offers clear examples for all employees.

"This quarter's survey results reveal a critical gap where marketing and sales teams need to come together to find a way to roll out new product messaging so it gets the necessary uptake in the field," said Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and marketing officer of Corporate Visions. "Both sides need a sense of urgency around making sure that training, role-playing and coaching sessions take place to enable salespeople's proficiency in delivering the messages in a confident and compelling way."

Improving training programs
The most common cause of salespeople not following the script was a lack of training. Just 38 percent of companies stated they offered formal training centered around product launches, according to the survey. This makes it challenging for everyone to maintain a consistent message as many may not understand the feature and benefits of the new items.

Employee reward programs can highlight the importance of attending training sessions and reinforce messaging strategies once the training is completed. The survey found that virtual training is the most common form of educational tool used by sales teams. The technology allows workers to learn at their own pace and on their own time. Using reward programs is a simple way to get salespeople to demonstrate their knowledge of new products. Various tests or goals can be created to promote the use of new sales techniques, presentation materials or to show an understanding of a product and its target audience.

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