Sales Collateral Overview: What is It?
Sales collateral is any asset used by a salesperson to convince their prospect to move through the sales funnel. The best sales collateral captures the attention of a customer at a specific point in their purchasing journey and demonstrates the value of a certain solution. With the right sales collateral, customers get the information they need to evaluate a product and make a purchase.
What is Sales Collateral?
Sales collateral materials are essentially anything which can help to move a prospect through the various stages of the sales funnel. Salespeople use collateral, in the form of printed, or digital resources, to convince a customer of the value of their solution. The objective is to provide the target customer with the information they need to convert.
The types of sales collaterals created for a sales strategy will depend on a number of factors. For instance, many sales people will use different collateral in the “awareness” stage of the sales funnel than they would when their customer is in the decision stage.
Additionally, the type of customer being targeted can often influence the sales collateral used. B2B sales processes are often influenced more by statistic and data-based sales collateral, while B2C purchases may rely more heavily on emotional connections.
Sales Collateral Goals
No matter the types of sales collaterals in use, the overall purpose is to provide salespeople with the knowledge, resources, and tools required to connect with prospects and customers. Once they make that connection, the right sales collateral will help the salesperson to navigate the sales funnel with the lead, so they can close more deals.
The goals of sales collateral can be to:
- Inform and educate a customer
- Help with the comparison of products
- Answer valuable customer questions
- Connect with customers emotionally (through goals and pain points)
- Prove the value or credibility of the product or company
While some sales professionals develop their own sales collateral over time, the collaterals available to many sales groups are usually designed by leading sales teams and marketing groups in tandem.
The Different Types of Sales Collaterals
The types of sales collaterals in use in any business will differ depending on the target audience and the company in question. Most of the time, sales collateral is split into different segments based on when it might be used in the sales journey.
Some of the most common types of sales collaterals include:
- Product data sheets: Informative datasheets about the target customers for a product, its pricing, features and benefits of the item, and potential use cases.
- Brochures and guides: Pamphlets, flyers, brochures, and similar documents are all common examples of traditional sales collateral. These assets can be digital or printed.
- White papers: Long-form, informative content pieces like whitepapers can act as lead magnets and generate leads in the sales journey.
- Sales presentations and decks: A sales presentation or deck helps to highlight the major values of a product or service and connect it with the goals or pain points of the customer.
- Case studies: Case studies, similar to reviews and testimonials, highlight the benefits of the product or service and improve the credibility of the company.
- Sales scripts: Scripts can help ssalespeople to respond to common questions asked by prospects. Scripts also give teams guidance on where to begin a sales pitch.
- Email templates: Email templates are a common form of sales collateral for companies trying to reach customers in a digital age.
Sales Collateral Examples
There are countless sales collateral examples out there from different companies using various strategies to attract and engage their target audience. For instance:
Customer fact sheets are valuable for providing information about the company that clients may need to know before they’re willing to make a purchase. The Equinix company fact sheet highlights the data centers of the company, its brand values, and how it serves its target audience.
For social proof and credibility, companies can use research reports to highlight their performance. Slack’s research report on the Business Value of Slack demonstrates the benefits companies can derive for each department in the business, from HR to Engineering, by using Slack. This is extremely useful for salespeople trying to demonstrate the benefits of Slack to a customer, but it can also be very valuable to clients doing their own research.
Case studies like this one from Salesforce offer an excellent insight into how companies have benefitted from using Salesforce technology in the past. This is ideal when customers want proof they can trust a service or solution to deliver certain outcomes.