Your sales team's actions are an effort to identify and sell to prospects with a problem your product or service solves. They make phone calls, use presentations, and conduct in-person meetings to convince buyers they need what you’re selling, but are they actually successful in their pursuits?
Not according to data.
57 percent of sales reps were expected to miss quota in 2020, and 69 percent of B2B salespeople don’t have enough leads in their pipeline. To make matters worse, 78% of executive buyers claim salespeople don't have relevant materials that show them what they actually want to see
That’s where sales collateral comes into the picture.
When done right, sales collateral demonstrates value and adds more context to sales conversations. It equips your sales team with the right knowledge and resources, helping them move prospects down the sales funnel and close more deals faster.
But the sales process is long, and you need different kinds of collateral depending on the prospect's journey and buying process. In this post, we'll look at the different types of sales collaterals and how you can use them to make the desired impact.
What is sales collateral?
Sales collateral is any digital or printed resource designed and created to support the sales process. It prompts prospects through the sales funnel to convert them into paying customers.
When done right, sales collateral helps you:
- Showcase your expertise to build trust and rapport
- Ensure prospects get valuable information catered to their current needs and desires, making them more likely to convert
- Generate more leads by enticing users to share some data (email address, phone number) in exchange for information
- Reinforce the value of your product or service
Sales collateral is a critical aspect of sales enablement, the process of providing your sales team with the required resources to close deals. Since it equips your sales team with the resources to build relationships and convert prospects, sales collateral is also known as sales enablement content.
No, sales collateral isn't the same as marketing collateral
It’s easy to confuse sales and marketing collateral. However, both resources have distinct uses and goals.
Marketing collateral is a collection of media resources that educate prospects and customers about how to solve their pain points. It's used at the top of the funnel of the buyer’s journey to gather their mindshare.
Examples of marketing collateral are podcasts, infographics, testimonials, videos, and newsletters.
Contrarily, sales collateral encourages prospects and customers to arrive at a decision (one favoring the seller) and, therefore, is commonly used in the middle/bottom stages of the buyer’s journey.
Think of it this way: marketing collateral captures the audience's attention to pull them in, while sales collateral drives the prospect to decide by giving them the final push.
15 Examples of Sales Collateral for Each Stage of the Buyer's Journey
The best sales collateral works in tandem with your buyer’s journey. If your resource isn’t relevant and helpful for whatever stage your prospects or customers are in, it won’t convert.
57 percent of business decision-makers claim the content salespeople give them is futile. Below, we'll help you understand the different sales collateral examples according to the different stages of the sales funnel to help you serve your customers better.
Sales Collateral for the Awareness Stage
The awareness stage is where you try locking in the customer’s attention by giving them (relevant) knowledge and familiarizing them with the products/services you offer. Provide the prospect with detailed resources and graspable pieces that establish your position as the industry expert and set you apart from the competition.
An ebook is a guide providing a comprehensive explanation of a specific topic. It allows you to show off your business knowledge and expertise without the rigidness or formality of a whitepaper or a research report.
Ebooks are generally gated to capture more information about a prospect. Naturally, it should be compelling enough to entice visitors into submitting their contact information.
A whitepaper is a formal sales collateral written from your company‘s perspective, aimed to deliver technical insights that position your brand as an authority without being too pushy.
The purpose behind a white paper is to educate more than promote. Sales reps can use it to deep dive and address specific pain points while focusing on the technology benefits and value the prospect can hope to see by removing those hurdles.
3. Landing Pages
A good landing page is an excellent resource to generate leads, and when done particularly well, it can even seal the deal.
It’s a place where you can include your offer, add testimonials, and highlight USPs that only you offer. Clever copy is also important here, so consider hiring an experienced copywriter who can help you get noticed and close more deals.
Take pointers from Scribe’s landing page. It’s minimal, interactive, and clutter-free to keep the focus on our product: visual step-by-step guides.
4. Persona Documents
Persona documents are a detailed breakdown of semi-fictional characters representing a brand's target customers. They are designed based on insights and experience from within the company.
Each document includes basic information like age, gender, job description, personal interests, goals, and other details that make customers relate to it. Sales reps can tailor their interactions with prospects based on these personas and leverage each persona’s characteristics to sell more effectively.
Sales Collateral for the Consideration Stage
The consideration stage begins once your prospect reaches out to you or responds favorably to your cold outreach efforts.
As your sales reps are already in dialogue with the prospect, provide reps with product-specific information explaining your product or service's value and how it can be tailored to solve their problems.
5. Case Studies
Case studies are arguably the most effective sales collateral because they leverage a powerful principle of persuasion: social proof. It’s the highest converting content type that:
- Shows prospects how your past customers benefited from your product
- Provides testimonials from personalities that they can relate to
- Positions your product or service as the best solution to achieve the results they desire
The more case studies you have, the more likely you’ll have a resource your prospect can relate to. They can use these collaterals to get greater insight into how they can use your product to solve their problems.
6. Buyer Guides
A buyer’s guide provides new buyers with all the information they need—important pointers to know, who needs to be involved, and what they’ll need after the purchase, among other details—for making an informed purchasing decision. Providing a digital business card with your buyer's guide can also be a helpful way for customers to easily contact you.
This collateral is great for your middle-of-the-funnel prospects as it pushes them to your product or service while still giving them valuable information. It also positions your sales rep as a trusted advisor instead of a random salesperson.
7. Brochures and Fliers
Brochures and fliers that provide value to the reader are the other types of sales collateral that can drive them down the sales funnel.
But how do you ensure the prospect actually reads the brochure or flier and doesn't throw it away?
Here are a few tips:
- Choose a vibrant and colorful brochure layout, with neatly organized sections for a professional look
- Highlight the benefits by demonstrating how the prospect’s life will be better with your product or service
- Create a compelling offer—a free sample or discount—that’s exclusive to your print materials
8. Sales Scripts
Don’t let your sales reps waste time and money learning what works and what doesn’t on the job. Instead, give them sales scripts outlining best practices and effective strategies for each stage in the sales cycle to achieve what they want.
Talk to your top-performing sales professionals to develop a proven sales script, breaking down their processes to increase buyer engagement and usher prospects down the sales funnel.
9. Sales Playbooks
A sales playbook is a reference document that works for both existing and new sales professionals. It contains comprehensive sales enablement content, including hacks and tutorials, company information, competitive intelligence, email scripts, and tips highlighting the most effective ways to sell.
40 percent of sales teams don’t have a playbook, which is unfortunate as a playbook or sales strategy makes you 33% more likely to close sales at a higher rate. It's essentially a sales bible for your team.
Sales Collateral for the Decision Stage
For the decision stage, you'll need sales collateral that starts effective conversations and reinforces the value of your products. At this point, prospects are ready to make a decision, and your sales collateral should give them that final nudge towards purchase.
10. Specifications Sheets
A specifications sheet is an important document for SaaS and machine manufacturing companies that give decision-makers all the specs at their fingertips. Sales reps can use it to answer any questions from prospects regarding technical specifications and documentation.
11. Competitor Comparisons
Competitor comparison is a supporting document for your specification sheet, and can be as simple or detailed as you want. You can have a one-page comparison sheet—a side-by-side chart comparing features and USPs. Or create a more detailed comparison, depending on your industry niche and the number of available alternatives.
Tailor your approach to the customer’s level of knowledge. You don’t want to leave them wanting more information, but you also don’t want to overwhelm them.
12. Sales Presentations
A sales presentation compels the audience to take the intended action by telling a story that aligns with your prospects' needs and highlights your value proposition. It takes a personal approach that makes it easier to build trust and connections with prospects and, therefore, boost engagement.
When making a sales presentation, follow the ‘Before-After-Bridge’ formula. Start with a vivid description of the prospect's pain point, followed by presenting a desirable world where that problem doesn’t exist. Finally, explain how the prospect can get there by using your solution.
13. Product Videos and Product Demos
Product videos and product demos are a powerful part of the sales collateral that help drive near-immediate decisions. They demonstrate your product or service’s unique value and suitability to the prospect.
Ideally, you should have laser-focused product videos for each customer segment relevant to their use case. Stick to video lengths of 10 minutes or less to avoid losing interest.
Sales Collateral for the Retention Stage
Your job doesn’t end after closing a deal—you’ll also need to carry out post-sales activities to retain the customer for the long run. Keeping this in mind, you’ll need resources demonstrating your knowledge and expertise and that allow you to keep adding value to the relationship.
14. FAQ Sheets and Knowledge Base
FAQ sheets and knowledge base assist the prospects and customers with questions that arise before and after the sale. While you want to make these resources helpful and informative, you also want to highlight your advantages over the competitors.
Draft thoughtful responses to the most common questions people have about your brand and products. Include how-to guides and troubleshooting videos that allow people to find solutions to their problems without contacting support.
If you notice people asking the same questions, update both resources to eliminate any knowledge gaps and make sure they aren't left second-guessing.
Newsletters are periodic emails containing useful information for prospects and existing customers. This can include data about industry trends, company news, case studies, or newly launched features.
Newsletters are really an excellent sales collateral to stay in touch and regularly engage with your target customers.
Empower Your Sales Team With Sales Collateral
Implementing sales collateral into your sales strategy is an excellent way to convert more prospects and drive revenue faster.
With the right resource in hand, your sales team can have more effective sales conversations and demonstrate your product’s value. Creating how-to sales collateral can be a seamless experience with the right tools like Scribe.
Try Scribe for free to create step-by-step sales documentation, showing your reps how to usher prospects down the sales funnel and eventually close deals. You can also use the tool to develop visually-appealing documentation within seconds to deliver tailored guidance to your customers.