Salespeople have a tough job on their hands. When it comes to converting a potential customer into a bonafide buyer, the sales cycle can often feel like a long and winding road.
Why? Well, the buyer journey has its roadblocks. From awareness to decision, there’s ample opportunity for a lead to veer off course — and, potentially, straight to your competitor. If only there was a way your reps could put pedal to the metal, accelerate the sales process and steer a prospect in the right direction…
Fortunately, that’s exactly what sales collateral can do. When your sales team needs to nurture a lead, build trust or generate brand awareness, high-quality marketing material is the ideal solution. Whether it be case studies and white papers or product catalogs and flyers, effective collateral can make or break the sales funnel.
In this guide, we’ll explain all there is to know about creating the perfect sales content for your target audience. From concept to creation, we’ll walk you through the entire process and highlight 10 examples of collateral at each stage of the buyer journey.
What is sales collateral?
Sales collateral — also called marketing collateral — is any content designed to complement and enhance your sales process. This includes printed marketing material such as brochures and flyers and digital collateral like a blog post, website or white paper.
According to a recent report, 55% of buyers rely more on sales content to research and make purchasing decisions today than they did a year ago. By providing timely information at various points in the buyer journey, salespeople can fulfil customer needs and strengthen relationships.
Benefits of sales collateral
For a sales rep, the goal is to educate the prospect, move deals forward and help people reach the decision stage. Marketing collateral can facilitate this process in a number of ways:
- Expertise: Effective sales collateral can demonstrate thought leadership and build trust within your target audience — two aspects crucial to winning their business.
- Lead generation: Some sales content, such as white papers and eBooks, can become gated assets. Placing material behind a form fill is a good way to capture leads, especially given that the average B2B buyer consumes 13 pieces of content before making a decision.
Sales enablement: HubSpot research reports that 88% of salespeople using collateral say it’s moderately to extremely important to closing a deal. In other words, equipping your sales team with quality marketing material can help them perform at their best.
What does effective sales collateral look like?
Both marketing and sales teams produce collateral, which means it’s key that they stay on the same page. The best way to do that is by working in tandem throughout the sales funnel.
By leveraging the content marketing teams create, sales professionals can address customer needs at individual points in the buyer journey. These phases include:
- Awareness: Leads are still atop the sales funnel at the awareness stage. They may not yet be reaching out to your brand but are likely still doing their research. In fact, 40% of buyers consume three to five pieces of content before ever speaking to a sales rep. The key of this phase is to build brand awareness for your products and services in general.
- Consideration: The consideration stage is the middle of the sales process. Here, leads already know about your brand and are actively researching your products (as well as your competitors). Sales enablement collateral at this phase should focus on pain points and solutions.
- Decision: At the bottom of the sales funnel, the prospect prepares to make a purchase. Collateral at the decision stage can help solidify their choice and close the deal.
- Loyalty: Marketing material is a great way to continuously engage the customer and foster a long-term relationship even after winning their business.
Below, we’ll walk you through the buyer journey and highlight the best sales collateral to use at each step in the process.
Sales collateral at the awareness stage
Keep in mind that your target audience may not be aware of your brand at this point. That’s why it’s important to supply reps with the awareness-driving assets that’ll make a great first impression.
Whether you’re at an industry event or networking on the road, a Business Card is a sales professional’s best friend. It’s crucial to stand out from the crowd, and there’s no better way to do that than with a high-quality card with a professional look and feel.
From foil and spot gloss finishes to luxury papers, there are countless ways to leave a lasting impact on your recipient. Be sure to include your logo for brand consistency, and follow our design tips to make the most of the opportunity. Keep in mind that this is likely the first chance you’ll have to impress a potential customer in person, so take the time to make your Business Card the best it can be.
Printed ads, Posters and Flyers
Print materials like Posters, Leaflets and Flyers are also effective ways to generate brand awareness and drive interest in your brand. Whether handed out at trade shows or hung inside a shop window, an eye-catching design is sure to capture your audience’s attention. Plus, they’re great for distilling information into easily digestible and visually appealing pieces.
At this point, you might be wondering how to bridge the gap between your offline content and your digital marketing channels. It’s important to help leads along their journey, and that means empowering them to take the next step in learning about your brand.
One of the easiest (and most effective) ways to do that is by incorporating discount and QR codes into your design. Prospects can scan the link and within a few seconds jump into a blog post or landing page for more information.
Sales collateral at the consideration stage
Next, the consideration stage. Here, collateral should be customer-centric, informational and solution-oriented.
A white paper is a document that presents research and key information in a comprehensive and engaging fashion. Not only are they ideal for positioning your company as a thought leader and expert in its field, but they’re also great at nurturing interested leads down the sales funnel. They’re highly shareable and make great talking points for your sales team, as they typically help readers learn more about a complex problem.
Product catalogues and brochures
There’s no better way to showcase your brand’s offering than a catalogue or corporate brochure. They’re an important opportunity to impress potential clients, address pain points and introduce your solutions. Think of these assets as tools for communicating your value proposition and how you’ll help customers achieve their goals.
Be creative and design your catalogue with plenty of graphs, facts and figures to support your claims. Print them on high-quality material to convey a professional image, making sure it’s easily readable and highly engaging. If appropriate for your line of work, consider including professional photography to really bring your offering to life and resonate with your target audience.
No frills — only facts! Cut to the chase by offering decision-makers everything they need to know in one fell swoop. Fact sheets are great assets throughout the sales process and are good at explaining product usage, best practices, costs and ROI.
Exemplify your success stories by transforming them into case studies. Salespeople can use them to demonstrate how you’ve helped customers in the past, encouraging prospects to imagine themselves in the same situation. Best of all, they provide proven results and proof of concept, so sales teams can bring your services down to Earth with facts, figures and client testimonials.
Sales collateral at the decision stage
You’re almost at the finish line. Here are a few marketing materials that are sure to help you seal the deal:
Slide decks and sales presentations
A sales presentation is perhaps the most fundamental resource in the sales cycle. Reps are likely familiar with the concept, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve upon their creation process.
Ensure your sales teams aren’t inundating slide decks with heavy texts and visuals. Keep your slides concise, on brand and value-oriented. A great presentation deck can impress a potential customer just as easily as it can alienate them, so take the time to ensure they’re tailored to your buyer personas.
When you’re on the precipice of a deal, the last thing you want is to hand prospects an ordinary, run-of-the-mill proposal. With a high-quality folder, you’ll ensure you finish the sales process on a high note by wowing the recipient through rich, vibrant visuals and a high-quality feel.
Sales collateral that boosts customer loyalty
By now, you’ve celebrated your wins and completed the sales process. All that’s left to do is keep the buyer coming back for more. How? By maximising customer loyalty.
There’s no better way to show your appreciation than gifting your clients and partners with high-quality branded merchandise. Choose purposeful items your customers are sure to find valuable, such as a Water Bottle, Hardcover Notebook or Perpetual Planner. Design your gifts with your company name, logo and colours to ensure you stay top of mind whenever recipients use them.
Keep clients in your good graces by sending them seasonal Postcards or holiday Greeting Cards. Whether it be a holiday, special announcement or just a token of appreciation, a Postcard is an impactful way to remind customers how much you value their business. Think of these cards as a consistent touchpoint you can revisit to keep your brand top of mind all year round. Printed on premium paper with a branded look, recipients are sure to be impressed by the quality and effort you’ve put into touching base and reconnecting.
Looking for design support? Here’s how MOO can help
Even if design isn’t your forte, you can still reap the benefits of custom marketing materials. How? By handing it off to us.
Unlock your sales collateral’s full power with MOO’s business printing services. From Folders to Brochures and everything in between, there’s no limit to what we can deliver. Whatever you dream up, our in-house design team will work with you to make it a reality.
Ready to elevate your sales team? Fill out the form below to speak with a MOO Expert today.
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