Having worked with a company that did not have the appropriate sales collateral, I learned from early on the importance of a Marketing team. Having a proper website, whitepapers, a presentation, follow-up e-mails, and all together, a sound and professional message, to me as a sales person, is very important. Good sales collateral gives a good first impression and puts the first foot in the door.
Of course, there are those established sales people who develop their own tactics and can go without any sales collateral. What I believe happens is that once the message is established and the Sales team has secured a process that delivers results, they start taking the marketing aspect for granted.
Sales people are generally numbers driven. For Example: If I make 100 calls, with a 10% connection rate, I talk to 10 people, of who 2 might be the right person, of who maybe 1 might be interested in taking another meeting with me. If I get 50 meetings, usually 2 want a proposal, of whom etc… Sales collateral can be very objective, as I can’t measure how a nicer looking presentation will help me out and make my sales efforts more effective. What I would like to see more of, and that could interest me from the Marketing team, could be market trends, new players in markets, competition and their prospective growth rates, etc. What tends happens in companies is that the Marketing team is usually understaffed and they don’t have time to come up with this kind of information. This creates more differences. Management, as well, has to support the Marketing team and create the right balance between sales and marketing.