What is sales collateral?
Sales collateral is simply any material that helps move the prospect through your sales pipeline. The primary purpose of it is to inform and persuade the prospect about your product or service, to highlight the cost of the problem that your solution solves and the benefit of doing so.
Sales collateral can take many forms for example:
White papers Blogs Landing pages Educational videos
It’s not simply enough to produce the material, you need to know when to use it. Put simply what material makes most sense at a particular stage of the prospect’s buying cycle.
However, we’ll at first go through some of the benefits of producing your own sales collateral.
The benefits of sales collateral
The first benefit of sales collateral is that it allows you to build brand awareness. Around 59% of shoppers prefer to buy from brands that are familiar to them. By building brand awareness you become a known quantity and therefore more trustworthy.
Building interesting and engaging content can help you stand out from the crowd. Think about online search, no one says just search it they say just google it. That’s the power of brand awareness where you’ve subconsciously already beaten your competitors.
Another benefit of sales collateral is the ability to educate prospects. For example with RealtimeCRM we focus on companies that are growing and have up till now used spreadsheets and other tools not specifically designed to track and manage their sales pipeline. We build content to help them understand there’s a better, more efficient way of doing things, and that is a CRM. We explain the cost of doing things the way they have been doing them and then the benefit of moving to a CRM especially as they grow and scale. Check out our landing page explaining what a CRM is for an example of educational content.
A further benefit is keeping in touch with the prospect at every stage of the decision making process. It allows you to stay connected and engaged with them, and having information ready at hand when needed makes you seem more competent and reduces friction with the prospect.
Sales collateral examples
Introductory videos allow you to build brand awareness, they’re a great bitesized way of giving the prospect an understanding of who you are, what problem you solve and how you solve it. Take a look at our introductory video of RealtimeCRM:
Creating a set of ebooks is a great way to maintain the interest of a prospect whilst at the same time building trust. As they read your content they begin to see you as a knowledge leader and therefore someone who can be trusted. In our case we’ve created a host of ebooks around sales. For example a guide to sales negotiation, this aids us in both attracting and maintaining the interest of potential customers and then hopefully converting them into RealtimeCRM users as we’ve gained their trust to try our sales tool.
Landing pages make for powerful sales collateral and allow you to segment your potential customer base by product category or some other specific attribute, for example think CRM for dentists and create a page that specifically shows how your CRM can help deal with their problems.
Inforgraphics work really well as a quick fire way of getting your point across. If your target buyer is younger and spends a lot of time on social media then infographics are a really powerful tool to grab shorter attention spans.
Client reviews provide social proof to the claims you’re making about your product. If someone similar to the prospect is already using and benefiting from your product then the prospect is more likely to buy from you. So if you have clients, get testimonials now!
Newsletters help you to retain your customer, inform them of improvements and allow you to upsell existing customers. When creating newsletters ensure you have engaging content and clear CTAs.
What content to use at each stage of the buying cycle?
The Awareness stage
Awareness is about building your brand and getting in front of potential buyers. It’s about familiarising yourself with your target buyers and giving them knowledge about industry and the products or services you’re offering.
Content to use: blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, social media
The Interest stage
At this stage the prospect will have recognised they have a need and are actively exploring solutions. You want to build a relationship with the prospect and gain their trust and eventually their commitment to buy from you;
Content to use: whitepapers, ebooks, webinars
The Evaluation Stage
At this stage the prospect is preparing to buy but you still need to build trust and educate the prospect about your offering. You need to reinforce the need and explain how you meet it. They’re going to be actively comparing you to competitors so you need to have content that explains why you’re a better choice than your rivals.
Content to use: testimonials, case studies, product reviews, ROI business cases, product demonstrations
The Retention stage
Keeping an existing customer is less costly than acquiring a new one. Once you’ve converted a customer you still have to put in effort to make sure they stay a customer. You need to have content that helps onboard new customers successfully and ensure they attain the maximum benefit utilising your offering.