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Two-thirds of B2B companies struggle to achieve a truly collaborative process for message development, according to a report from Corporate Visions: 33% of B2B sales and marketing professionals say their message creation process is non-collaborative, politically charged, or nonexistent, and 33% say their message creation process is semi-collaborative.

Only one-third (33%) of B2B sales and marketing professionals say their companies have a collaborative process for creating content:

Below, other findings from the Corporate Visions survey, conducted in the third quarter of 2012.

Those people closest to the customer—field sales—are rarely involved in the content development process.

Among the sales and marketing professionals involved in messaging and tool creation processes, field sales reps are the least likely to be included (37%), compared with other roles such as marketing managers (75%) and marketing associates (54%):

Also, only 3% of B2B sales and marketing professionals say their company uses a repeatable process when creating content and messaging tools across the enterprise, whereas 61% say they sometimes or never use such a process when creating content:

Instead, companies are creating marketing content on the fly, risking inconsistent and diluted messages, the study points out.

"The results of this quarter's survey indicate that while some organizations are taking steps to better align sales and marketing, many continue to operate in inefficient silos," said Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and marketing officer, Corporate Visions.

"Enterprises need to employ a cross-functional framework for message development where marketing and sales work together to create messaging that resonates with customers. The repeatable framework should begin with identifying the customer's main goals, then pinpoint how these goals are at risk. These risks will redefine the customer's needs that only your solution/service can meet, which in turn will help you create new, effective messages and tools for any campaign."

About the data: Findings are based on a poll of 730 business-to-business (B2B) sales and marketing professionals worldwide, conducted in the third quarter of 2012.

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