According to an industry analyst report, 53 percent of sales leaders say that consistent messaging in the sales process is a significant challenge.

When you pair this statistic with the fact that salespeople spend an estimated 40 percent of their time developing their own sales presentations and other customer-facing communication vehicles, it becomes obvious that your sales team may be creating more confusion than clarity during the buying process.

Today, the B2B buying process has evolved to consist of two distinct, yet highly connected phases. The self-service phase and the sales experience phase.

The self-service phase takes place when prospects conduct independent research and consume your corporate messaging and content without contacting anyone at your organization. This is the stage when they evaluate if they want to engage in more detailed sales conversations.

If they like your corporate messaging, content and point of view – they engage with a salesperson. During this phase, sales professionals should be well positioned to connect with, extend and add to the messages consumed during the self-service phase of the buying process.

However, if marketing and sales are not working from the same sheet of music, the spark that was ignited at the top of the funnel flames out and the buying process breaks down. Why? Because the messaging consumed in the self-service and the sales phase are inconsistent and disconnected – creating uncertainty and doubt in the minds of your prospects.

That’s why it’s imperative that marketing and sales are working from a common Corporate Messaging Platform. And why sales enablement tools and selling conversations must be infused with clear, compelling and consistent messages from this shared platform.

In the end, only those companies that deliver a consistent story throughout the self-service and sales phases of the buyer journey will spark and maintain meaningful connections with prospects – and ultimate close more deals.