Sales collateral is an integral component of the sales process, with outstanding potential to enhance the effectiveness of your sales reps. In this blog post, we will focus on answering the key question of “what is sales collateral?”, dive into various sales collateral examples, and explore essential best practices that can transform your sales strategy. By emphasizing the importance of sales collateral, your business can achieve greater success in winning over clients.
Imagine discussing your products or services with a potential client and your sales representatives, ready to make a persuasive pitch. You’ve adequately prepared, but how can you ensure your presentation leaves a lasting impression? That’s when you should turn to sales collateral.
- Sales collateral is any material that helps sell a product or service, such as brochures, videos, web pages, ebooks, blog posts, and more. Marketing and sales teams use these materials both in-person and digitally.
- Benefits of using sales collateral include increased brand awareness, improved customer relationships, better sales performance, and increased customer engagement.
- Types of sales collateral include blog posts for the awareness stage, case studies and product sheets for the consideration stage, and product demonstrations and free trials for the decision stage.
- Best practices for using sales collateral include ensuring your sales reps know your audience’s needs, providing benefits over features in your messaging, keeping the language simple and relatable, using visuals to engage viewers, and testing and measuring results.
- Your sales team can use tools to create and manage sales collateral, including Salesforce, HubSpot, Adobe InDesign, Canva, and more.
- Sales Collateral Definition
- Benefits of Using Sales Collateral
- Types of Sales Collateral
- When to Use Sales Collateral
- Best Practices for Using Sales Collateral
- Best Tools for Creating and Managing Sales Collateral
- How to Measure the Effectiveness of Sales Collateral
- Summing Up
Sales Collateral Definition
Sales collateral is any material that helps you sell a product or service.
This can include brochures, blog posts, flyers, videos, web pages, case studies, social media posts, ebooks, free trials, and other materials that provide supplemental information or resources about what you’re selling.
These materials give potential customers more insight into why they should purchase from you and what value they will get from your product or service. When used properly, sales collateral can help sales teams make a lasting impression on prospects and drive home why they should choose your company over the competition.
Benefits of Using Sales Collateral
Sales collateral is an essential tool for any sales team. By using different types of sales collateral, you’ll be able to reach more customers with detailed content that will help close deals faster.
Let’s explore some additional benefits of using effective sales collateral in your sales process:
- Increased brand awareness: Sales collateral allows you to create targeted materials that highlight your brand’s strengths, providing leads with information about your product or service in a memorable way that improves brand awareness.
- Improved customer relationships: Using sales collateral helps your sales team foster an ongoing relationship between your brand and its current and potential customers. It will help establish your company as a reliable source of valuable content that customers can trust and rely on.
- Better sales performance: By providing prospects with comprehensive and informative materials, you’ll be able to drive more sales with less effort, streamlining your sales process. Sales collateral also helps simplify the buying process by providing customers with all the information they need in one place.
- Increased customer engagement: By creating engaging materials such as sales decks, videos, infographics, and sales presentations, you’ll increase lead engagement and help them understand more about your product or service.
- More value for money: Creating and distributing sales collateral is possible on any budget. Since many types of sales collateral are digital, you won’t have to pay for printing. However, some sales collateral design tools, like Canva and PicMonkey, are affordable alternatives for traditional pieces like flyers and brochures as well.
Types of Sales Collateral
Sales collateral should be an important part of your marketing strategy and sales process, as your sales teams can use it to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and close more deals. It can help your sales reps stand out by providing prospective customers with valuable information about your products or services.
In the sales collateral examples below, we will discuss different types of sales collateral — and which stage of the buyer’s journey they work best for — so you have a good idea of what to create for your business.
At this stage of sales funnel, buyers are just beginning their research. They might not even know they have a problem yet, let alone realize that your product or service can help them solve it. Your task here is to educate prospects on their pain points and get them excited about your offering. The best way to do that? By creating sales collateral for the awareness stage. This type of sales collateral will provide leads with valuable information about their problems and how your product/service can help them solve it.
Sales collateral examples for the awareness stage include:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Social media content
- Landing pages
At this stage in the buyer’s journey, prospects narrow down their options for solving their problem(s). Here, you must show how and why your offering is better than your competitors. By having your sales team provide prospects with detailed information about how your product works (and how it has helped others), they will be more likely to make an informed decision in favor of your offering over those of competitors.
Sales collateral examples for the consideration stage include:
- Case studies
- Product sheets
- Pricing sheets
- Customer testimonials/reviews
- Product demos (either virtual or in-person)
- Buyer’s guide
- Product comparison guides
- Research reports
- Free samples
Prospects are almost ready to decide at this point in the buyer’s journey. For them to take action, however, they need one last push — which is where decision-stage sales collateral comes into play. Your sales team can use decision-stage materials, like free consultations and product demos, to get leads to convert.
Sales collateral examples for the decision stage include:
- Product demos or presentations
- Free trials
- Free consultations
- Pricing guides
- Customer reviews and testimonials
When to Use Sales Collateral
The right time to use sales collateral depends on where your customer is in the sales cycle. For example, if someone has just heard about your company and its products or services, it might be best to start with something simple, like a blog post establishing your company as an industry leader.
On the other hand, if someone has already expressed an interest in learning more about what you offer or is already familiar with your offering, then something more detailed such as a case study, might be appropriate.
By tailoring your approach based on where prospects are at in the sales funnel, you can ensure that no one feels overwhelmed by too much information early on in the sales process, but also ensure that those who are ready for deeper dives get the additional resources they need to make an informed decision.
Here’s a quick rundown of when your sales and marketing teams should use sales collateral:
- When a potential client expresses a need or concern: Be thoughtful and individualize your approach, listen carefully to their needs, and present collateral that speaks directly to those concerns.
- During the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey: Use brochures to introduce customers to your product and services, white papers and ebooks for deeper dives into complex topics related to your products/services, and video testimonials for building trust.
- During the consideration stage: Use product sheets to provide detailed information about a specific product or service, and case studies to demonstrate how you have solved customer issues in the past.
- During the decision stage: Have your sales team use FAQs to answer common consumer questions, which can help ease them through their buying decision process.
Best Practices for Using Sales Collateral
Using sales collateral effectively can be a game-changer in winning over your target audience and boosting your business performance. Before you create sales collateral, keep the following best practices in mind:
Know Your Audience
Your sales team needs to understand who they’re targeting and what their needs are. This will ensure that you create content that resonates with leads and helps them see the value in your product or service.
Focus on Benefits Over Features
When crafting your message, focus on how your product or service benefits the customer rather than just listing features. People want to know why they should buy from you — not just what they’re buying — so ask your sales team to emphasize the advantages over anything else when writing copy for marketing materials.
Keep It Simple
Ask your sales team to avoid jargon or industry-specific terms as much as possible; opt for simple words and sentences that anyone can understand without having prior knowledge about the topic. You want people to be able to understand your message quickly, so they don’t lose interest in reading further.
Images, graphics, and videos can help bring your message to life and make it more engaging for viewers. Using visuals in sales collateral is a great way to keep people interested in what you’re saying and make it easier to understand complex concepts.
Test and Measure
Lastly, don’t forget to test and measure the effectiveness of your sales collateral. You can use analytics tools like Google Analytics or surveys to gauge how well people respond to your content, which will help your sales teams refine their approaches over time.
Best Tools for Creating and Managing Sales Collateral
Creating and managing sales collateral can be a daunting task. It requires sales and marketing teams to have an efficient workflow to quickly produce high-quality content while keeping track of all the different pieces.
Fortunately, tools and resources are available to help make this process easier.
- Salesforce: This CRM system helps businesses manage their sales operations, automate the customer journey, and track marketing campaigns. Sales representatives can use it to create and manage sales collateral, such as brochures and ebooks.
- HubSpot: An all-in-one marketing platform that helps businesses attract, engage, and delight customers. A sales rep can create and manage content for blogs, ebooks, case studies, webpages, landing pages, and more through this platform.
- Adobe InDesign: A professional page layout and design software used by millions of creatives worldwide. Your sales rep can use it to create documents with custom layouts, interactive PDFs, and digital publications for websites or mobile devices.
- Canva: A convenient online design platform that makes it easy for non-designers to create professional visuals in minutes. It provides templates and a drag-and-drop editor for users to develop flyers, posters, infographics, logos, and other visuals without coding or design experience.
- Google Docs and Sheets: These powerful online tools allow teams to collaborate on documents in real-time. With them, teams can create marketing collateral, such as spreadsheets and presentations, that multiple users can access and edit, even when they’re not in the same location.
- Lucidchart: Lucidchart is a powerful diagramming tool that helps teams visually communicate complex concepts. With it, users can easily create flowcharts, org charts, wireframes, process maps, website mockups, and other types of diagrams to illustrate ideas quickly and efficiently.
- Sales enablement: Sales enablement is an important part of your sales process, as it’s the process of training your reps to sell. When you provide sales enablement tools, like webinars, certifications, conferences, presentations, and more, you can help each sales rep learn to create effective sales collateral, sales playbooks, buyer personas, and more — all of which will help them get more leads and close more deals.
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Sales Collateral
Measuring the effectiveness of sales collateral is an important part of any successful marketing campaign. Here are some tips on how to measure the success of your sales collateral:
Track Open Rates
Monitor the open rate of emails and other digital collateral you send customers. This will give you an idea of how successful your content was at resonating with potential customers.
Use analytics platforms such as Google Analytics to track engagement with your sales collateral, including page views, time spent on a page, and average session duration. This will allow you to see which pieces of content were most engaging for customers and help you determine what works best for future campaigns.
Measure Conversion Rate
Conversion rate measures how many people completed a desired action after seeing your sales collateral, such as signing up for a newsletter or downloading a white paper. Tracking this data can help you identify which type of content is most effective in leading customers through the sales cycle from introduction to sale.
Track Customer Retention Rate
It’s not enough to acquire new customers — it’s also important to retain them over time and measure customer retention rate as well. By tracking customer retention rate, you can identify which types of collateral are most effective at keeping existing customers engaged and loyal to your brand over time.
By tracking these metrics consistently, marketers can gain valuable insights into what kind of content resonates with their target audiences and use those insights to create more effective campaigns going forward. If you find areas of improvement, you can use this information to develop sales enablement training to help your sales reps refine their process.
In conclusion, sales collateral is a fundamental part of the sales process. It provides businesses the necessary information and support materials to drive successful sales conversations and close opportunities, leading to an improved close rate.
In addition to providing valuable information, it also allows for increased efficiency, better management of resources, and improved customer relationships. With all of these advantages in mind, it’s clear that sales collateral is essential to effective sales enablement. Investing in quality content to include in your sales collateral will help you achieve greater success in your marketing and sales campaigns.
Bradley Wood is a seasoned sales executive who has run sales teams for businesses of all sizes. He strives to set high sales goals and works hard to surpass them with a thinking outside-the-box approach. Bradley is based in Miami, where he enjoys exploring the city’s vibrant music scene.