7 Things Salespeople Hate About Marketing Materials


Marketing teams spend a lot of time, money and effort creating materials for sales teams to present. Somehow, those materials can still be the bane of a salesperson’s existence. If there is inadequate communication between sales and marketing, the materials end up not serving the needs of the people who must use them. Here are a few of the most common problems salespeople have with marketing materials.

1. Salespeople hate vague content

So you want to show the customer specs for a specific product and all you have are slides about the entire range of products, that somehow describe everything and nothing at the same time. The story of the company and the vision behind that product family is interesting, sure, but the customer still has no idea about what exactly it is you’re selling. If you have to explain everything anyway, what exactly are those slides good for?

2. Salespeople hate unpresentable content

You wanted a slideshow. You got a PDF. Yeah, it’s printable, but it’s also a series of vertical A4 sheets that you’re supposed to scroll through in Adobe Reader. The screen is horizontal. Presenting material that’s designed for a completely different medium looks and feels unprofessional.

3. Salespeople hate marketing content that looks like advertising

Salespeople need materials to support them in sales meetings. That means materials that provide support and help in conversations. A picture of a product, sure. Technical specs, sure. A verbal description of the product or a sales pitch? That’s what the salesperson is there for!

4. Salespeople hate waiting for content forever

If a salesperson asks marketing for a certain kind of materials and it takes marketing weeks or months to produce those materials, it might be too late. Sales is where the money comes from, so marketing should make helping sales their priority. After all, that’s what they’re there for.

5. Salespeople hate it when marketing doesn’t understand the product

Salespeople are out there, every day, talking about the products, using the products, getting feedback from customers and going through use cases. They know what they’re selling, inside and out. Someone who produces marketing materials for the same products might never have even used the product, let alone had a proper discussion with someone who uses it every day. This leads to materials with unessential information and critical misunderstanding of what the product is all about. This can create a real conflict between what the materials say and what the salesperson is trying to sell.

6. Salespeople hate it when they have to edit materials

So maybe the information in that slideshow is a bit off, outdated or lacking in some way. So, you have to modify or even rewrite parts of it. At that point, you’d be better off with a template, so you could just fill in the content yourself.

7. Salespeople hate it when content is in the wrong language

We’re a Finnish company and most of our clients are Finnish, but not all of them. If our materials were all in Finnish, we’d be in a lot of trouble with our non-Finnish clients. Similarly, if you work in a country and a field where English skills aren’t a given, just producing materials in English in the hopes of attracting international clients will most likely get you in trouble with many of your prospective clients. Marketing needs to know the market and produce materials in the right language(s) for it.

Lauri Ruhala