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Use branding to bridge the gap between marketing and sales

by | Mar 6, 2014 | Expertise

It’s rare to find a company whose marcomm department and sales department work together as effectively as they could. As with most relationships, there is plenty of blame to go around—thanks mostly to misunderstandings and an endless string of unmet needs. You’ve heard them all, no doubt:

Sales doesn’t understand the value of what we do. They don’t appreciate good design or compelling copy.


I don’t understand why it takes MarComm so long to make a simple brochure. I could have thrown something together in an hour.

Classic complaints, these are all too common. But leaving them unchecked equates to lost revenue that is immeasurable.

The sales team wants to make a sale—no matter what. This motivation is promoted (and often rewarded) by their pay structure. As a result, they have little time or interest for anything that is not directly related to bringing orders through the door.

What they’re missing is the value of the brand itself in attracting and retaining business over the long term.

And that brand value is compromised every time a presentation, do-it-yourself brochure, or even a business letter is off-brand. The marcomm team knows this, but the concept can be a hard sell to their commission-based cohorts down the hall.

A brand training program promotes unity across departments

A comprehensive, internal brand training program is the first step in bringing your marcomm and sales teams together. And it begins by fostering a company-wide understanding that branding is not just a missive of rules and regulations sent down by the marcomm department, but a basis for building value in the mind of the customer. That translates to more business over the long term, which should be important to everyone in the company, no matter what their department.

With a well-stocked toolbox and the training to support it, anyone in the sales department (or anywhere else in the company), can talk about, write about, and demonstrate the values of brand through all aspects of their work. It’s not just about using the right logo and the official colors, or banning all gratuitous animation effects. It’s about recognizing the values, the position, and the voice and tone of your company. What does that voice say? What does it look like? How does it behave?

At Cleveland, we use branding as a means to successfully bring departments together—resulting in increased effectiveness, more satisfying relationships, and better numbers at the bottom line. We’ve created tools that empower employees to support their brands in a way that promotes consistency and unity, no matter who designed the brochure, drafted the presentation, or wrote the website copy. They all tell the same story–in the same familiar way–and in the process build brand equity that equates to increased revenue now and in the future.

Watch for our next post outlining more examples of internal branding put into action. If you can’t wait, by all means get in touch. We’d be happy to share more with you.