Content has become more important than ever for B2B buyers and decision-makers: 55% say they now rely more on content to research and inform purchase decisions than just a year ago.
With this in mind, you want to create the rich content leads are looking for to make decisions — enter sales collateral.
Creating and equipping your sales team with sales collateral content enriches your prospect’s experience with your company and makes your sales reps’ jobs easier. Let’s dive in.
What is Sales Collateral
Sales collateral is content designed and developed to complement your sales process. Sales teams share sales collateral in an effort to move your prospects through the buyer’s journey and convert them to customers.
The bottom line is that sales collateral content is critical when arming your sales team with the resources they need to build relationships, convert customers, and generate revenue. 88% of salespeople that use sales enablement content in their role say it is moderately to extremely important to making a sale.
Types of Sales Collateral
Both marketing and sales teams can create sales collateral, which is why sales and marketing alignment is so important.
Sales teams can leverage the content marketing creates, and marketing teams can learn from salespeople’s knowledge of what resonates with leads at each stage of their journey.
The specific sales collateral you develop for your sales team depends on a few key questions. Answer these before developing new sales collateral:
- Who are we selling to? (Reference your buyer personas.)
- What questions do they have, and when do they typically ask them?
- What types of content will effectively answer these questions?
The best sales collateral works in tandem with your buyer’s journey. Even the best-designed collateral won’t convert if it’s not relevant to and helpful for whatever stage your prospects or customer are in.
Below we’ll go over the different types of sales collateral organized by the stages of the buyer’s journey: how your prospects research your business, buy your products, and become and remain customers.
Did you know that 40% of B2B companies consume three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep? This is why awareness-level sales collateral is so important: it can get prospects started on the buyer’s journey — or send them away.
Sales collateral for the awareness stage is all about introducing your brand, attracting customers, and sharing helpful information.
Sales Collateral Examples: Awareness Stage
The consideration stage is when prospects review options, pricing, and weigh benefits. Your sales team is starting conversations, building rapport, and learning more about prospects’ needs and pain points.
Collateral for the consideration stage should explain the value of what you sell and how it brings real solutions so leads can make informed decisions based on their pain points.
Sales Collateral Examples: Consideration Stage
- Case studies
- Buyer’s guide
- Product brochures/catalogs
- Research reports (B2B buyers say content that uses data and research to support claims is the most memorable)
- Product comparison guides
- Free samples or trials (Salespeople say free trials are the most effective free option to turn prospects into paying customers)
Your prospects are approaching a final decision. Your other collateral introduced your product, explained how you can solve their needs, and now you must drive it home.
At this stage, your sales collateral should facilitate conversations, build trust, and reinforce the value of your products — your content can serve as the final nudge toward purchase.
Sales Collateral Examples: Decision Stage
Retention and Advocacy Stage
Satisfied customers not only stay customers (which improves customer retention rates), but they can also become some of your best brand advocates and bring new customers to your doorstep. In fact, 66% of salespeople say that the highest quality leads come from referrals from existing customers.
The retention and advocacy stage isn’t part of the traditional buyer’s journey but is important nonetheless. The content you share with them at this stage keeps them happy and engaged and is just as important as the content that attracts new customers.
(Note that customer success and support teams might manage a lot of this content.)
Sales Collateral Examples: Retention and Advocacy Stage
Sales Collateral Best Practices
Now that you know what kind of sales collateral to create, let’s talk about how to actually use it. Implement these few best practices to leverage your content and equip your sales team.
1. Recycle your sales collateral.
Your sales collateral will contain the same content: brand, product, and pricing information. To save time and money, recycle and repurpose. For example, you can recycle quotes from case studies to feature in ebooks, product brochures, and blog posts.
Having different forms of the same content is also beneficial for your prospects that might prefer to learn in different ways.
2. Keep all of your sales collateral on-brand.
Sales collateral should be an experience with your brand, not simply a lesson about your products or prices.
As you develop and repurpose content, ensure your sales collateral design is consistent with the rest of your brand materials — from font and color scheme to messaging and brand voice. Consider looping in your design team to help ensure consistency here.
3. Create your sales collateral with your buyer in mind.
Your sales collateral serves the end-user and should be created for them. If it isn’t relevant, interesting, or accessible by your prospects and potential customers, it’s useless.
While your sales and marketing teams have remarkable knowledge about your company, products, and customers, they shouldn’t be the only ones dictating what goes into your sales collateral.
You can involve customers in the process and do things like holding a focus group or running a survey to ask for candid feedback on the impact and effectiveness of your sales enablement content. You’ll never know what your audience wants to see unless you ask them.
4. Use amazing sales enablement tools in combination with your sales collateral.
Sales collateral is merely half of the sales enablement battle. The other half is the tools and resources you give your sales team.
For example, say your team develops a highly effective email sequence to shares case studies, sales guides, and product demos. Without an email tool with intuitive sending and tracking features, how can they begin to share sales collateral with prospects?
Even your strongest content is limited by the tools your team has to share it. You can leverage high-quality tools like HubSpot Sales Hub to ensure salespeople have what they need to close deals and generate revenue.
Sales Collateral Helps You Grow Better
The best sales collateral helps move prospects towards a purchase, but it can only do this if it aligns with their stage in the buyer’s journey.
Examine your sales team’s current resources and tools and consider adding some new sales collateral — it may be exactly what you need to attract new customers and boost your sales.