Sales collateral is any type of content that salespeople use to support and close sales. This could be anything from a one-page sales sheet to an in-depth product brochure or even a simple case study.
The best sales collateral is designed to address the specific needs of your target customer. It should be relevant to their pain points and address their unique buying journey.
The most effective sales collateral will help you close more deals, drive more revenue for your business, and support your cold calling efforts.
Although we often dread the question “Can you send me some information?”, it’s important to have enough sales collateral on hand to help the customer through the sales process and enable them to make the best decisions for their business.
When it comes to sales collateral, more is not always better. The key is to provide the right information, at the right time, in the right format.
In this post, I will outline what B2B sales collateral is, the differences between marketing collateral and sales collateral, and examples of some of the best sales collateral to use in your sales process.
How Would One Define Sales Collateral?
As alluded to earlier, sales collateral is supporting information that provides proof of the value of the solution and helps the sale move forward. We don’t want to overwhelm the prospect with unnecessary information that prevents the sale from moving forward. As salespeople, we want to simplify the sales process, not complicate it.
Think about Amazon and their one-click ordering. Be the one-click ordering of the sales world.
Effective sales collateral will:
– Educate the prospect on your product or service
– Help establish your company as a credible source
– Serve as a leave-behind to continue the conversation post-meeting
The purpose of sales collateral changes depending on the stage that the customer is at. Are you providing information off the back of a cold call? Are they halfway through the buying cycle? At the awareness stage? Are they at the point of closing but need a little more convincing? By crafting collateral that is specific to these stages, you will guide the customer through the sales process a lot more effectively.
Sales collateral comes in all shapes and sizes, from blog posts and social media content to one-page sales sheets, product brochures, and case studies. The key is to match the type of content to the stage of the sales cycle that your prospect is at.
Collateral can also be provided from a marketing perspective, yet the purpose of this content is very different from that of sales collateral.
Marketing Collateral vs. Sales Collateral: What’s the Difference?
There are distinct differences between marketing collateral and sales collateral. Each category should be considered to have different purposes.
Marketing collateral is content used to generate awareness and interest in your product or service. It’s generally more high-level and focuses on the benefits of your offering.
Sales collateral is content used to support and close sales. It’s more specific and focuses on the requests during the buyer’s journey.
Other differences include:
Marketing Collateral is Educative, Whilst Sales Collateral is Decisive
Marketing collateral is designed to be educational. It’s used to increase awareness of your brand and product, as well as generate leads that sales can then work on getting into the sales funnel.
Marketing collateral emphasises customer challenges and how they can be solved. Also, it focuses on general problems, whereas sales collateral is more focused. Sales collateral helps the prospect make a decision in favour of the product that the sales reps are pitching.
Marketing Collateral is Top of Funnel, Whilst Sales Collateral is Middle and/or Bottom of Funnel
Marketing collateral is used at the top of the sales funnel to generate awareness and interest. It’s not sales-specific, as its job is to bring potential customers into the funnel, not lead the buyers’ journey. At the top of the funnel is the awareness stage.
Sales collateral, on the other hand, is more specific for every stage once they are in the pipeline. This includes the consideration stage and decision stage.
Marketing Collateral Channels Are Numerous, Whilst Sales Channels Are More Limited
The number of marketing collateral channels is nearly limitless, as the goal is to get your message in front of as many people as possible. This means marketing teams can provide collateral across a wide range of platforms including social media, email marketing, events, and print.
Sales collateral is more limited, as sales teams will use only channels through which their target market engages directly with the salesperson. These include sales meetings, phone calls, and one-to-one interactions.
Marketing collateral is less sales-specific, while sales collateral is designed to move the prospect further through the sales funnel.
Types of Business-to-Business Sales Collateral
Now that we’ve established the difference between marketing and sales collateral, as well as their respective purposes, let’s explore some of the most popular types of sales collateral that a sales team might use to move a prospect further through the sales funnel.
There are 6 more common examples of sales and marketing collateral that could be used for your funnel-generating efforts.
Product videos are a fantastic type of sales collateral as they can be used at nearly every stage of the sales funnel.
Product videos can increase your ability to demonstrate your product to a mass audience rather than requiring your sales team to demonstrate a demo to potential customers over a video call.
A good product video could be either a quick product demo or an explainer video demonstrating the challenges that your business resolves.
These videos could be as small- or big-budget as your organisation can afford. For example, Hewlett Packard released a video titled “The Wolf” for which they hired “Mr. Robot” star Christian Slater to feature in the brand content.
A corporate brochure is a sales collateral staple. It’s a leave-behind document that sales teams can use to provide in-depth information about the product or service your company is selling. Brochures are great for prospecting and creating marketing efforts at the awareness stages.
It’s not common to see print brochures in 2022, but PDF versions of brochures make great sales collateral to send via email to a customer wanting to learn more about the product.
Considering that print brochures are not so common anymore, some organisations have gone back to sending print, or even handwritten notes, to their prospects!
If you are looking to create PDF or print brochures, services like Fiverr, Canva, and PicMonkey can make the process easy
Of the many types of sales collateral available, blog posts might seem unexpected.
However, sales teams can use blog posts at the top of the sales funnel to generate awareness and interest in their product.
Your sales team can share relevant blog posts that inform and educate your prospect as to why your solution is a good fit for them.
Gary Vaynerchuk writes about the concept of “jab, jab, right hook,” implying you should deliver value before you ask for, or try to sell, anything.
A blog post could be considered one of these displays of value, which makes it great for both sales and marketing efforts.
Sales Decks or Presentations
A sales deck is a sales-specific type of collateral that sales teams will use to support their sales pitch. It’s very similar to a marketing deck, but sales decks will generally go into more detail about pricing, licensing, and product features.
Sales teams have used sales decks since forever in the form of PowerPoint presentations and have even presented on overhead projectors before the time of computers.
A sales deck provides a foolproof way to ensure your sales reps don’t miss important details when discussing the benefits of your solution. They also help guide the prospect throughout the meeting.
A sales deck wouldn’t really be used at the awareness stage; it would be more useful at the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey.
Your sales team can create sales decks with presentation software like PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Keynote. If you want to get creative, you can use design tools like Canva to create sales decks that stand out.
Case studies are essential sales collateral as they provide social proof that your product or service works and can be trusted.
They work well at both the awareness stage and the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey as social proof as good a proof as any for demonstrating the value that your product provides.
Most reputable companies have case studies on their corporate websites, and some also provide PDF versions of their case studies to send to their prospects.
Case studies are generally quite long, so they are great leave-behind sales collateral to give to a prospect who wants to learn more about your solution.
The right sales collateral can make a big difference to the success of your sales team.
When used correctly, sales collateral can help sales reps close more deals and shorten sales cycles.
You can use a range of sales collateral to support your sales efforts, from blog posts and brochures, to sales decks and case studies, but it’s up to you to decide at what stage in the buyer’s journey each medium should be utilized.
Building up a collection of sales content, email templates, fact sheets, and white papers will ensure that you have the right resources on hand to help you and your sales reps close deals.