It looks great but can you sell with it?

A great looking brochure, app, or presentation can be impactful. But can your sales reps sell with it? That is the question. Will they be successful using your messaging and your tool?

Marketing without a well-informed strategy is scattershot. It’s like you grabbing a hand full of darts and throwing them at a board and hoping something sticks. Some might hit the corkboard. However, when you do it again, you get a different set of random hits.

In the development of marketing plans and materials, sales reps should be included. It’s because they can offer insight that marketing may not have. In fact, marketing people without sales experience face pitfalls. Simply put, they don’t understand how sales will use it.


Sales Versus Marketing

Being asked to do more with less is commonplace. However, it’s essential to cut the right things. Many companies think it’s too costly to bring sales into marketing discussions when they should be out selling. Spending time in the early stages of strategic development allowing sales and marketing to share knowledge is essential for success. In the end, it will save money as well as time.

Marketing may have no firsthand knowledge of selling. They have never been on a sales call and have no idea how a salesperson uses aids during a customer presentation. And the counterpoint is the sales rep may have difficulty explaining how the piece isn’t what they need. It may take a brainstorming session to explore all the needs.

A knowledge gap can produce a divide between sales and marketing. And it’s not unusual for that gap to create tension. In this situation, marketing creates a brochure that lacks the key points sales want to highlight. For that reason, sales won’t use it, and marketing can only wonder why.


Repeating the Cycle

Consider the following scenario. It’s one I’ve seen play out more than once. Marketing is ready to deliver a new product. All their boxes are checked. It’s great-looking, well written and on time. At this point, a key stakeholder sees it for the first time. They have concerns after reviewing it. But marketing tells them it’s too late to make any changes.

Frustrated, the sales rep goes to a higher up. What’s more, the higher-up agrees with the salesperson’s perspective. It’s not the tool sales needs or wants. In brief, due to deadlines and budget, it is not only a problem; it’s a crisis. Soon, the finger-pointing begins, and blame is assigned. However, the cause of the issue is not a person or a department. It’s the process.


Solving The Problem

Overcoming communication challenges is what marketing does best. First, they start by identifying the factors that make up the issue. After that, they gather information to learn about those factors in-depth. And to support this discovery process, sales reps should be part of it. What’s more, they can educate marketing on what it means to walk in their shoes and what it’s like on the front line working to win customers.

Also, marketing needs to communicate what they can develop to that address the needs of sales. Ultimately, each side’s goal is to do what it does best—all while supporting the other.

For marketing work to stand out, the tools they develop need to be more than good-looking; they need to be the tools that can build your business. In truth, great marketing doesn’t happen accidentally. It’s informed, strategic, and relevant.

The result gives both sales and marketing what they need.

Carbon3Sixty, Inc has been selected among the Top Branding Agencies In Illinois by Designrush

Great Sales Tools Don’t Just Happen.

Call or email us to discover how C3S’s pragmatic approach to branding can help you reach your business goals.

For Free Consultation

Phone 773-588-0391


Women Business Enterprise (WBE), State of IL and Nationally

Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB)  Federal (pending)

A Style Guide Is An Essential Document

A brand style guide is a comprehensive set of standards that defines your company’s brand identity. It references grammar, tone, logo usage, colors, visuals, word usage, and more.

These dos and don’ts are important, as employees and vendors use your logo or tagline on materials. A guide ensures everyone uses it in the same way. That will include your business card, signage, email signature, and everything else you’ll brand with it.

Using inconsistent or outdated brand elements can cause confusion. It may make potential customers wonder if your company has the follow-through they need.

We practice the art of consistency, helping B2B sales and marketing teams build trust and increase win rates by ensuring clients stay on-brand and on-message across every online and offline touchpoint.

#Carbon3sixty #brandconsistencyforthewin #businessbranding #businessmarketing


Do You Fulfill Your Brand Promises?

Do You Fulfill Your Brand Promises?


We’ve all experienced disappointment when something we’ve been anticipating turns out to be different than reality. The vacation spot listing showed spectacular views, but upon arrival, it was obscured by a renovation. Or that fashion statement piece that arrived as a cheaply made copy. We’ve all been there.

Have your customers been there with you?

Every brand makes promises. They may not even be big promises but lots of little promises. For example, you may promise a great product, and if there is an issue, great customer service to resolve. You promise to ship it, so it won’t get damaged, and you’ll do it fast. Those are a lot of promises. Did you fulfill all of them? If not, that’s a brand problem.

The opposite is true as well. “…We were cynical and didn’t expect the product to be what was advertised, even with the great reviews. But it was great, and now we’ve become advocates. We’re telling everyone how great it is!”

Authenticity is a word that is now associated with business-speak. Some think it’s become a meaningless word. But when it comes to your brand promise and how you fulfill it, ask your customers if they think it’s meaningless.

Visit to learn more.

We practice the art of consistency, helping B2B sales and marketing teams build trust and increase win rates by ensuring clients stay on-brand and on-message across every online and offline touchpoint.

#Carbon3sixty #brandconsistencyforthewin #businessbranding #businessmarketing


Change is the Only Constant in Business

Everyone is hyperaware of change. What is the next trend? What has our competition learned to do that we have not? What are customers’ changing expectations etc.?

We work with many consultants—their job is to help businesses change. Change a process, a habit, a way of thinking. Change what prevents a company from reaching its goals. It’s a hard job, and the appetite for change varies from person to person within a company. Some don’t even think it applies to them; usually, those people are in mid-level management.

We’ve seen it happen firsthand when only marketing is held accountable for a company’s rebranding. The sales manager tells his people to do what they think best.

We’ve seen it in departments within Fortune 500’s that are working to adopt new processes that managers can’t remember the name of or how to find relevant files on the server.

The critical thing that is often missing is good communication to create alignment.

The Cycle of Change

The change cycle often begins as a push from the top to change the bottom. Unfortunately, some team members fail to understand how vital their role is to effect change. Managers don’t have time or the inclination to be part of the process. Mid-level leaders seem to think it’s for those doing the work to change, not them, or more specifically, not realizing/acknowledging that the entire culture needs changing. Because the structure/culture doesn’t change, things slide back to an odd mix of old and new. Assuming anything new gets a foothold.

Fear of Change

Some in management who resist change do so because they worry about how it may change their job. For example, it may result in a loss of power and control, increase workload, or simply create uncertainty. However, there is a difference between internal factors controlling the process, trying to do things better versus external factors creating knee-jerk change from fear. The latter, make concerns about power and control often come true.

It’s Not About Constant Change

The idea of constant change is also a cultural attitude that has a negative impact. Those who seek constant change are equally problematic. People need consistency and structure to work in a team and towards a goal. If things keep changing, people get frustrated, leading to burnout. There is no leadership, only chaos and frustration.

Managed Change

Change is essential for a business to survive long-term but only managed change can succeed. The best guess at defining a relationship between change and consistency is changing is 5-10% (perhaps lower) of the time, and spending 90-95% of the remaining time building on the change, creating the processes and structure everyone needs to function.

Still, you need a culture that embraces the need for both change and stability. Being a leader, at any level, is a responsibility as well as an achievement. If leadership sees the need for change, they need to acknowledge they are part of the system that is out of alignment. They have a role to play that is more than just bringing in a consultant and signing a check.

Finally, a change plan that does not include communication leaves everyone to guess why it’s happening and how it impacts them.

Internal Marketing

Marketing can play a role in change. Unfortunately, communication is often the first casualty of change. It’s often struck me how companies spend so much effort and time messaging their potential customers and customers but so little effort to ensure alignment in the workplace.

The Right Message

From the top-down, the case for change needs to be clear and meaningful. Marketing communications is the best resource to support making that case. Create a consistent platform. One-and-done attempts will get ignored.

It’s essential to define the change and its impact–

  • Communicate the purpose of the change.
  • Assure the team it’s not about continuous change but managed change.
  • Express the idea that change is finite ‑ to help manage concerns.
  • Be inclusive and talk about how everyone, at all levels, has a role to play in working toward the goal.
  • Remind everyone that it’s a short-term investment in something uncomfortable for a long-term return for everyone’s future.
  • Include the positive, such as met milestones.
  • Reenforce the change after it happened to ensure it stays in place.

Being a team is more than just being told you are part of one. It’s working in a culture that respects and acknowledges that everyone is doing the best they can in their role, even when those roles change.

Ready to sharpen your message?

Call or email us to discover how C3S’s pragmatic approach to branding can help you reach your business goals.

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