Table of Contents
What is B2B sales collateral?
Define sales collateral
B2B sales collateral is content (digital or physical) created to help sales teams effectively engage and move prospects through the buyer’s journey. Examples of sales collateral include presentations, white papers, case studies, proposals, videos, sales sheets, eBooks, infographics, and fact sheets.
Sales collateral is a form of sales enablement content. The goal of sales enablement is to ensure that every sales rep has quick and easy access to the relevant sales collateral to effectively move prospects down the sales funnel.
Sending a fact sheet is oftentimes can be more efficient and effective than attempting to schedule a video call with a busy decision-maker. Sharing a short pre-recorded video presentation to reinforce your key value propositions at just the right time in the buyer’s journey might tip the scales and keep the prospect from going with your competitor.
Therefore it is clear that quality sales collateral content is an essential part of an effective sales process and sales engagement strategy, and is critical to building and nurturing customer relationships and converting prospects to paying customers.
Sales managers and marketing teams must ensure that sales reps have access to a library of sales enablement content for the different stages of the buyer’s journey. If a sales team is looking to answer the question “How to boost B2B sales”, one of the first things they should be looking into is improving sales collateral and access to sales collateral.
Learn some sales collateral best practices and practical tips on how to increase sales engagement.
Why is B2B sales collateral important?
Having high-quality sales and marketing collateral is essential for any sales team that wants get more prospects in their sales pipeline and win more deals.
These are the main reasons why sales collateral is extremely important for sales teams looking to make their prospect engagement efforts more effective:
Standardized sales collateral content keeps messaging consistent.
The ability to tell your story concisely and cohesively can greatly improve sales reps’ ability to create sales momentum.
A seasoned sales rep rarely follows a sales deck or sales scripts because they could probably go through their sales spiel while doing vector calculus! The issue is not every sales rep on a sales team has the same amount of experience and knowledge. Standardized sales collateral content helps a sales rep relay the same powerful story every single time.
High-quality sales collateral content makes it easier to explain even the most complex products and services.
Sales collateral is an important part of your sales process and sales engagement and marketing strategy. B2B marketers can create excellent sales collateral documents and presentations that help a sales rep tell a story that will resonate with prospects and clients and is easy to understand. This makes sales life a lot less frustrating, especially when selling complex products and services.
For example, if you’re a B2B SaaS company that provides AI (artificial intelligence) solutions, explaining your products and services to prospects may be difficult. Well-crafted sales collateral can make it easier for you to explain what you do so that potential customers can actually understand them. As a result, they will be more receptive to your AI solution.
Sales collateral content can be repurposed.
Sales collateral can be used in a variety of different situations, such as when prospecting new leads, meeting with potential customers, or presenting to a decision-making panel. It can also be sent out in advance of a sales meeting or used as follow-up after a meeting to reinforce key points.
In addition, sales collateral can be posted online on a company website or shared through social media channels. Sales collateral can help your team do anything from adding excitement to your email marketing, to teaching your sales representatives how to perfect their pitch.
Sales collateral can help your sales team build and maintain sales momentum.
Fact sheets, case studies, and other marketing materials are essential in supporting conversations with prospects and clients. Whatever a prospect asks for, you’ll appear more professional and sales collateral will help in telling a better story. Sales collateral can help you assist prospective customers at different stages of the buyer’s journey and build sales pipeline more efficiently.
Here are a few examples of how having access to a library of sales collateral can help your sales team in building and maintaining sales momentum:
Question: Can you provide more information about your company?
Answer: Of course! I’ve recorded a short video presentation that outlines the company’s history and mission.
Question: Can you provide more in-depth information about product B?
Answer: Of course! Here’s a link to a video narrated product sheet that covers pretty much every aspect of the product.
Question: Have you worked with companies like ours in the past?
Answer: Of course! Here’s a link to the data room that has all the relevant case studies and video testimonials.
Learn more about how to grow B2B sales and build and maintain sales momentum.
When done right, high-quality sales collateral content has high ROI.
Lastly, sales collateral supports a sales team in closing more deals while also growing ROI. One thing to keep in mind, many businesses make the mistake of overspending on one-off projects like custom promo videos or product brochures assuming they will have proportionally high ROI and help fix all their problems.
The reality is, a company needs to find a cost-effective and scalable way to produce various types of sales collateral to cover every stage of the sales process without breaking the bank.
As you can see, any company that wants to be successful needs to invest in high-quality sales collateral. B2B companies, in particular, need to create high-quality sales collateral because they are often selling complex products or services.
Potential customers need to be able to quickly and easily understand what they are buying. Professionally done sales collateral also sends a signal that your company is credible and trustworthy.
The benefits of having well-made sales collateral are clear. It helps companies to better communicate their value proposition and differentiate themselves from the competition.
It also enables sales teams to be more prepared and efficient in their sales process and sales strategy. When done right, sales collateral can be a powerful tool for boosting sales and helping your sales team move prospects down the sales funnel.
When do you use B2B sales collateral?
Sales collateral should be used at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Awareness stage / Education stage.
According to ZoomInfo, 47% of B2B buyers consume between three to five pieces of sales and marketing content before they even engage with a salesperson.
This is where the buyer recognizes a problem but does not yet know what to do about it. At the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, buyers are simply discovering what’s available on the market and generally are more open to exploring many different solutions compared to later stages.
Sales collateral content for the awareness stage should be aimed at educating prospective buyers about how the product or service solves their issues. Social media and blog posts, e-books, infographics, corporate or product brochures, high-level sales presentations, videos, and flyers are all examples of awareness stage sales collateral.
The consideration stage is the point at which a buyer compares the relevant vendors and evaluates the benefits and drawbacks of each option. At the consideration stage, sales collateral should focus on assisting the potential customers in making an educated purchase decision (ideally in your favor).
Sales presentations and sales decks, case studies, one-pagers fact sheets, data sheets, product comparison documents, sales sheets, competitor comparisons sheets, product catalogs, relevant client testimonials, white papers, and demo videos are all common examples of sales collateral that can be used by sales professionals at the consideration stage.
Vendor selection stage.
At the very bottom of the sales funnel, the buyer has a more clear understanding of the solutions that can help solve their problem. Sales collateral at the vendor selection stage should strengthen your value proposition.
Sales collateral examples for the vendor selection stage include proposals, videos, fact sheets outlining the onboarding and training processes, etc.
What are the most effective types of sales collateral in B2B sales?
1. Sales presentations and sales decks.
A sales presentation or a sales deck is pivotal in the sales process as it has the potential to turn your prospects into paying customers. Therefore, putting the time into creating a high-quality sales presentation is a wise decision. These types of sales collateral are generally shared in a PDF format and can be tracked.
Learn more about PDF tracking and how tracking PDF documents and presentations can help you shorten the sales cycle.
Depending on the stage, a sales presentation can include:
- Cover slide.
- Solution slide.
- Customer success story slide or a Social proof slide.
- The bright future slide.
- Why us / About the company slide.
- Meet the Team slide.
- Pricing and implementation slide.
- Next steps slide.
Learn how to create and deliver the best B2B sales presentation.
2. Case studies.
According to a recent HubSpot report study, over 40% of marketers use case studies as part of their sales collateral arsenal and consider them as one of the top media formats.
Sales representatives need to have a social proof at their disposal when they meet with potential customers.
Having case studies in your sale collateral that show your customer success stories adds credibility to the company.
It is extremely important for a marketing team to give their sales team an easy access to relevant case studies when they prospect new customers or upsell an existing pool of clients. Using case studies as part of your sales process and showcasing the success of your clients adds credibility to your offerings and can help at different stages of the sales funnel.
3. One-pager fact sheets and data sheets.
Well-designed fact and data sheets that summarize the most important information on one page are great sources of information for potential customers. Marketers and salespeople need to work together to create well-organized fact sheets that can provide all the necessary information at a glance.
One-pager fact sheets can include:
- Factual information about a product or a service you are offering and their benefits.
- Use cases and testimonials to provide social proof.
- Pricing. Ideally giving the prospect multiple options.
- Steps of the onboarding process.
Fact sheets are one of the most useful sales collateral for a sales team as they provide answers to most of the frequently asked questions.
4. White papers and e-Books.
Whitepapers and e-Books are long-form research pieces of content that are one of the primary ways that B2B marketers generate inbound leads. This type of content can be extremely effective if your sales team is pursuing an inbound sales strategy.
To learn more about inbound sales be sure to read our article.
What is a B2B marketing Whitepaper?
A B2B marketing whitepaper is a persuasive in-depth study used to educate the target audience about a specific topic or to promote a particular methodology. B2B marketing whitepapers are frequently used as lead magnets and distributed via landing pages that require visitors to provide email to access the whitepaper.
At the early stages of the sales funnel, it can be tough to get B2B buyers and decision-makers on the phone or on a video call for a lengthy chat. Oftentimes, salespeople need to provide in-depth and easy-to-digest information that the buyers and decision-makers can share with their team. That’s where eBooks and whitepapers come in handy.
Formatting is really important with this type of sales collateral. The team in charge of sales collateral content needs to ensure that prospects can easily locate exactly what they want. Individual chapters or sections should be internally hyperlinked. By including a hyperlinked table of contents, readers can click to the sections that are most interesting or important to them and skip over the rest, creating a more seamless and enjoyable experience.
Don’t forget to include a strong CTA at the end that ties to that main topic. If your PDF whitepaper or eBook gets too heavy to share via email, you can compress your PDF online or in Adobe Acrobat or compress your PDF on a Mac.
5. Printed sales collateral.
These include traditional sales collateral types like print marketing materials, product brochures, direct mail flyers, and pamphlets.
In the digital age, some B2B sales and marketing teams have written off printed materials in favor of digital marketing collateral. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Printed sales collateral can still be a highly effective marketing tool, particularly when your sales team needs to generate brand awareness and build trust with potential customers.
In today’s highly competitive market, a B2B sales team needs to use every tool at their disposal to stand out from the crowd at every stage of the buyer’s journey. When used creatively, traditional sales collateral and printed materials can definitely be part of their sales process and sales strategies.
6. Blog posts and social media posts.
Blog posts are excellent for gaining prospect’s attention. Blog posts and social media posts can provide valuable insights and can be used by sales representatives to educate their prospects about their solutions and the problems they are solving. In this case, you’re turning website into sales collateral! These types of sales collateral are great for spreading brand awareness and are easy to consume and share.
Here’s a great example of a blog for the awareness stage. The article discusses the advantages of using additional metrics to measure prospect engagement, rather than relying on email opens and clicks alone.
Well-crafted infographics can be fantastic tools for communicating important information or explaining complex products and offerings. When done well, they can clearly and concisely communicate ideas and data that might otherwise be difficult to understand.
Creating an effective sales collateral infographic involves more than simply throwing together a few charts and pictures. Careful planning and thought must go into crafting an effective infographic design that will grab attention and communicate the desired information effectively.
Additionally, infographics are highly shareable, making them an excellent way to reach your target audience.
8. Product catalogs.
The ideal format for displaying your brand’s products is a product catalog. Don’t pass up the chance to engage prospects at this stage by creating a visually appealing and user-friendly catalog design.
Video is one of the best types of sales collateral, the most versatile and most engaging by far. Videos work incredibly well at every stage of the buyer’s journey and sales funnel.
Every B2B sales team should consider using video emails in their sales process. Video is an ideal method to connect with a prospect or an existing client on a human level and demonstrate your passion and knowledge. By sharing a personalized video you demonstrate that you are invested in their success.
Learn how your sales team can use sales video emails to crush sales targets and quotas.
To create a professional-looking video for your prospects and clients, you don’t need to learn how to use complex video editing tools. You can use DeckLinks – Video presentation maker. It was created specifically for B2B sales and marketing teams that need to create professional-looking videos for their clients fast and at scale. It allows a marketing or sales team to video narrate any existing PDF presentations and documents and share them using trackable links. Trackable links enable a sales team to gauge prospects’ engagement and measure the effectiveness of their sales collateral.
Learn video selling tips and tactics that will help you close more deals fast.
The last thing you want to do after putting so much time and effort into getting a prospect to the proposal phase is to give them a proposal that feels generic.
Now is an excellent time to craft a proposal that will persuade them to go with your solution. Take advantage of all of the gathered information from the buyer’s journey. Check your and your sales team’s notes in your sales CRM.
By using this crucial information, you can craft a proposal that is tailored to the prospect.
In many cases, it is beneficial to include a SIPOC digram in you proposal. A well crafted SIPOC digram will make it easier for prospective clients to understand all ins and outs of your proposal in a more visual way.
Personalizing your proposal demonstrates that you truly understand their issues and shows them that your solution is ideal to address their particular pain points.
If you’ve never used SIPOC diagrams in your sales process, be sure to read our article. SIPOC diagrams are relatively to build and they provide many benefits and can help improve your proposals and make them more visual and streamlined.
How to create the most effective sales collateral content for B2B sales?
Your prospects will be exposed to your sales collateral throughout the buyer’s journey. Therefore, your sales and marketing team needs to ensure that your sales collateral is conveying and supporting your message effectively at every stage of the sales process.
The marketing team has to collaborate with the sales team.
To produce effective sales collateral, it is crucial for marketing and sales teams to work together.
Sales reps deal with potential customers on a daily basis. They’re the most knowledgeable about customer pain points. No survey can provide a marketing team with as detailed knowledge of your customers as your sales team.
As a result, your marketing team must not only include the sales team in the creation of sales collateral but also keep in touch with them to check on the effectiveness of the sales collateral. The sales team should be sharing data and insights to help marketing teams create sales collateral that meets sales reps’ needs and their sales process.
The marketing team has to collaborate with customers.
To create sales collateral that can truly resonate with customers, your marketing team has to continuously talk with them to get feedback and stay up-to-date on their needs.
Not only that but oftentimes, your customers will give you the best ideas on how your team should be pitching their products and services.
Only by understanding what customers want and need can the marketing team create sales collateral that will resonate with them on a deeper level. This is an ongoing process; as customer needs change, so too must the sales collateral.
By regularly communicating with customers, the marketing team can ensure that they always have their finger on the pulse of the customer base.
Sales collateral has to be personalized.
Personalization is key when it comes to sales collateral. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all sales approaches. In order to be effective, sales collateral has to be carefully tailored to the specific needs and interests of each individual prospect. This means investing the time to research the buyer, the company, and their challenges should be a part of your sales process.
Ideally, your marketing team has created different sets of sales collateral that talk to different types of companies and buyer personas. They should come in an editable format (PowerPoint Presentation, Google Slides, or Apple Keynote) allowing a sales rep to make any necessary adjustments to make the sales collateral feel more personalized at all stages of the sales funnel.
When done correctly, personalized sales collateral can be a powerful tool in the sales arsenal of any sales representative. But when done poorly, it can quickly turn a potential customer off. So if you’re going to personalize your sales collateral, make sure you do it right.
There are many different sales content types, see if your marketing team isn’t missing anything.
Watch B2B sales collateral examples
How to increase the effectiveness of your sales collateral?
Sales collateral, such as sales presentations and fact sheets, can be extremely effective in promoting your products and services. However, sales collateral can often be long and complex, making it difficult for prospects to digest all the information.
Video-narrating sales collateral and sharing it via a trackable link is the best way to increase and measure the effectiveness of sales collateral. By walking prospects and clients through sales collateral as if you were on a live video call with them, you can help them understand the information more easily.
In addition, video narration can add a personal touch that static sales collateral lacks. This makes video narration a very powerful tool for boosting the effectiveness of your sales collateral.
DeckLinks makes it easy for sales teams to add video narration to any sales collateral, making it more engaging and effective. Not only that but you will also receive a notification as soon as your prospect watches your video. In addition, you will gain access to granular engagement analytics, like total view time, time spend per page, clicks, downloads, etc. And your marketing department will be able to measure the effectiveness of sales and marketing collateral too!
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