How to create eye-catching collateral and use it for maximum effect on your pipeline.
In today’s market, even the most successful salesperson needs a little backup. A study from GE Capital showed 81 percent of buyers research products online before contacting sales, so if your company doesn’t have a bit of advertising skin in the game, you’re not getting very far.
Customers need to know what they’re buying. Sure, it’s the salesperson’s job to come up with a unique selling proposition, but they shouldn’t do it alone. They need sales collateral.
According to Forrester, the average salesperson uses about 17 pieces of sales collateral throughout their pipeline. This content helps them establish authority, brand consistency, and an image of trust and quality.
What is sales collateral?
Sales collateral is any supplementary, informational content designed to enhance your sales process. This collateral includes tangible and digital content and can be used by individual sales reps or distributed as marketing materials. It is a part of sales enablement and sales support, both of which help your sales team.
Good sales collateral gives your prospects the information they need to make a purchase decision. Depending on where your prospect is in the sales funnel, you’ll want to use certain types of collateral.
Different kinds of businesses may also prioritize specific types of sales collateral to fit their target demographics—after all, no one needs a full case study to be convinced to buy a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
Your company likely already uses some form of collateral as part of your marketing plan, but let’s dive deeper into why smart sales collateral is crucial to your sales plan.
What types of sales collateral do you need?
The sales collateral you need will depend on what you’re selling and where your customers are in their journey. Typical sales collateral today falls into two primary categories:
Traditional Sales Collateral
Traditional sales collateral covers any printed content. Examples include:
Brochures: available as handouts or mailed to prospects
Catalogs: frequently mailed to prospects
Direct mail: multi-piece mailers containing special offers or promotions
Postcards: condensed information from direct mail content
Sell sheets: a basic breakdown of your product or service on one sheet
Posters: frequently placed as public advertisements
Datasheets: numerical facts and statistics about your products or services
Case studies: individual success stories from your company
White papers: in-depth studies on your product in the context of your industry
Digital Sales Collateral
Digital sales collateral is any content designed for online or digital distribution. Examples include:
PowerPoint presentations: slide decks for sales presentations
Digital advertisements: social media ads and sponsored search postings
Business websites and landing pages (all website content counts as collateral!)
Webinars: live, interactive presentations by company experts or guests
Interactive demos: hands-on walk-throughs of products or solutions
Videos: explainer, customer testimonials, case studies and product demos
So how do you create great collateral?
Now that you know the many different types of marketing collateral you can use, how do you create them and make them effective? Below are some best practices you can adopt when planning and creating your own content.
Consider these as your marketing collateral checklist:
1. Be clear.
Online or offline, people sometimes only have a few seconds before they decide to do business with you or not.
If they take anything from your marketing collateral, make sure it’s: who you are, and what you offer.
2. Keep it simple.
Keep your marketing materials simple or at least easily digestible to help people make fast decisions. Make your content easily digestible.
Don’t use fancy or complicated words or designs as people tend to easily skip over.
3. Include a call to action.
After looking at your marketing collateral, what action do you want your readers to take?
Make sure your marketing material always includes a call to action, and that these calls to action make sense for the marketing materials you’re developing and the audience you’re targeting.
Remember that, sometimes, less is more. Given how much marketing collateral ends up going unused, don't create a new piece of collateral unless you have truly compelling reasons for doing so. You may find it makes more sense to refresh an existing piece to make it more targeted and effective. If you’re stuck and looking for ideas, the creative team at Deforest Group would love to help! Simply click here to schedule your no-obligation consultation with one of our team members today!