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Why Great Sales Collateral Is a Dealmaker

Oliver Cox

Customized, attractive sales collateral can help you build relationships and convert interested leads into clients.

Sharing sales collateral comprises an essential part of the B2B lead nurturing process. Whether you are introducing your company or closing a deal, attractive sales collateral can help align your offerings with the needs of your prospective client and leave a lasting impression. 

The types of sales collateral you might need depends on your prospective client. To be effective, sales collateral needs to address a concern a lead might have and serve as concrete, visually appealing representations of your brand and your work. Effective sales collateral can often be the start of your relationship with a client, so approach every aspect with care. Looking good is just as important as the right information. 

Creating Effective Sales Collateral 

Typically, B2B buyers will engage with sales collateral during the consideration and decision stages of their journey. Clearly communicating the unique solutions you offer, as well as the return that your clients can expect on their investment, will make all the difference. Here are a set of common sales collateral pieces and how they can help you improve the lead nurturing process: 

1. Industry White Papers 

A white paper is an in-depth, research-intensive longform piece that demonstrates expertise in your field. Although you might think of a white paper as marketing collateral rather than sales collateral, this kind of content is the gateway between marketing-qualified leads and sales-qualified leads. Often, white papers can be an ideal way to showcase what your company can uniquely offer to prospective clients.

Your white paper format will likely be determined by your relationship with your audience. For instance, are they considering your company’s capabilities as a whole, or as a solution to a particular problem? Select your topic, headings, subheadings, and bullet points to align with customer interests. Promising topics include pain-points and their potential solutions, popular industry trends, or game-changing innovations in technology. By aligning your expertise with a prospective client’s needs and challenges, you can position your company as an industry leader and ensure that you are top-of-mind when they seek solutions.  

As with other sales enablement materials, collaboration with your design team makes all the difference. Designers can help communicate your brand aesthetic, and smart design decisions can ensure that your expertise is visible and captures the eye — even when scanning.  

2. Company One-Pagers

One-pagers are a concise, impactful way to present your product or solutions to sales prospects. Your one-pager could be a potential client’s first exposure to your offerings, so be selective about what you showcase. In most cases, less is more. The purpose of one-pagers is not to provide a comprehensive overview, but to pinpoint key products and services that will matter to your prospective client. You may choose to tailor your one-pagers to different audiences or to create unique one-pagers for the various services or products you offer.

With one-pagers, design, branding, and a clear value proposition are key — your one-pager should have a clear color scheme. Text and design elements should work together in a cohesive, consistent layout. A prospective client should be able to scan a one-pager and instantly understand your design aesthetic and what your company delivers. Whether you are designing one-pagers in-house or working with an agency, ensure that writers and designers can collaborate closely to elevate the quality of the final product. 

3. Case Studies

Prospective clients usually receive and review case-studies during the “consideration” stage of their journey — when they’ve already developed an awareness of your company. Case studies demonstrate the ROI for your products or services, as well as the types of clients your company has worked with. In terms of length and level of detail, case studies sit between white papers and one-pagers. 

For each case study, highlight your engagement and the results you deliver, but also indicate how the case is representative of what you would like to do for your prospect. When selecting which cases to use, examine how closely your work aligns with the expectations of your prospect. Consider the particular type of value-add the case demonstrates. Are the clients advocates for your company who would be happy to offer testimonials?

4. Sales Decks

A sales deck is generally the last piece of collateral a prospect will encounter before deciding to buy — and it can often be the tipping point that converts your leads into customers. The sales deck is a highly customized presentation that explains the specific solutions you can offer, demonstrates potential ROI, and makes a more explicit case for beginning a partnership. Here are three key things to consider for every sales deck:

  • Design for user experience — In addition to customizing the information you present, tailor your deck based on how your audience is likely to interact with it. Are you presenting to a room, or is your prospect reading the deck? Are they likely to view it on mobile, or print it out to mark it up? Knowing this can help you plan the number of words per slide and what elements to feature. 
  • Attractive design counts —  Designer input on a sales deck can be crucial. Ensure that your sales deck clearly conveys your brand aesthetic, that the layout and fonts are consistent. Great design assures your prospect that you are professional, thoughtful, and – if you work in a creative industry – able to deliver on a visually impactful project.
  • Tell a story —  Instead of listing your capabilities, opt for a narrative. To make a clear case for your company, incorporate your solutions into a story involving a challenge your client faces, the solutions  your company offer, and the value you will ultimately provide. This helps your client visualize the process of working with you and adds an impetus for making a change. 

Design Makes a Difference 

It may feel like creating sales content requires a lot of new information, but all sales enablement collateral draws on the work you’ve already done. Creating effective sales collateral is about translating the conversation you are already having — the “Why?” and “How?” of your company — into a digital format that is visually appealing and tailored to your audience. You already have the knowledge. Though it may seem like a large initial lift, investing in visually appealing, thoughtfully-tailored pieces will help communicate your expertise to potential clients for years to come. 

Oliver Cox

Marketing & Innovation Lead

Originally from the UK, now builds custom strategies to share our clients' visions and stories. Novelist and musician in his spare time.

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