Closing a deal often requires many steps. And throughout your sales process there are a ton of factors that can impact the success or failure of a sale. You definitely don’t want to lose a deal because you didn’t provide your reps with great marketing collateral.
When it comes to content assets for sales, there are a lot to choose from regardless of your budget. Not sure where to start? These are seven sales weapons you’ll definitely want to include in your arsenal.
1. Industry-specific white papers
White papers are a great way to show extensive knowledge as an industry leader to prospective customers. It’s your chance to provide a high-quality, in-depth, focused discussion that educates your audience on topics related to your product.
Use white papers to demonstrate your expertise in your field and create your brand personality. Include data that shows industry trends with images and graphics. Feature key industry influencers to help support your point. This will also broaden your audience, as featured sources often share with their audience.
Be detailed, but also stay concise; you don’t want people to get bored and quit reading. Break down the topic so that your target stakeholders will understand it.
Make sure white papers are easy to find on your website. Consider organizing them by topic and even more specific subtopics within them. Each paper should have a unique title to catch people’s attention.
Though ebooks and white papers are read online, you should still focus on creating a great cover design to get their attention. An awesome cover will also help should any of your papers need to be printed for outside/field sales reps or in-person meetings.
2. Insightful blog content
One of the most important things to remember when selling goods or services is it’s not about you and your company. Everything you do needs to be aimed at customers and meeting their needs. That’s where your blog comes in.
Your blog should provide useful material and resources for your audience. Create a blog and use it to build your credibility, establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry. Include in-depth analysis that answers your audience’s questions in a way others aren’t currently doing. Instead of filling your site with self-promotion and product reviews, include resources that will make life easier for your prospects. In addition, use infographics and custom images to break up the text and highlight key points.
Let your personality shine through your writing so your audience can get to know you. Be honest and authentic. People want to work with someone they feel connected to. Let your blog help build that connection and establish trust.
Enterprise stakeholders often require months of reading your content and marketing collateral before trusting your product, so figure out ways to include insightful blog posts in your lead nurturing efforts.
Not all customers will get information about your business online. Especially if you rely on an outside sales process, you can use printed material such as brochures to improve meetings with prospects.
Brochures can outline all the key points as to why customers need your products or services and refer them to your website if additional information is needed.
You may also consider working with other businesses so you can leave a stack of your brochures at their establishments. This will get your brand in front of a broader audience. It will also build goodwill with the other businesses when you return the favor for them.
When customers request more information through your website, consider sending them a marketing kit in a branded binder full of goodies such as brochures, flyers, testimonials and a personal letter thanking them for their interest. Your sales representatives should keep these binders and brochures on hand when they are in the field.
4. Company one-pagers
In any sales process, being able to concisely describe your business to prospects is essential. And that’s essentially what a company one-pager does. One pagers provide the quick and dirty facts of your business for people who are interested in your product. It also doubles as a quick reference guide for your sales reps.
Because this is often the initial exposure of your product to a potential customer, it’s extra important to make sure it looks great. In addition to your company name and logo, it should include the most important facts about your products or services. This information should entice people to want to learn more.
As indicated in the name, it can only be one page, so it’s important to be clear and concise. If you don’t have someone in-house, try working with an outsourced designer to make sure you can include all of the facts and images without looking sloppy or crammed.
5. Business cards
Contrary to what some think, business cards still matter and can be a very effective tool. They are one of the first impressions of your business that potential customers receive. With important details (including contact information and website URL), business cards are small, but they are mighty. You might even try including a QR code to connect people to your website or social media.
Make your business card stand out by using a unique type of stock, make it an interesting shape or give it an extra purpose. You could make it a magnet or something useful to your niche (such as a dental floss holder if you’re a dentist). By giving it an additional purpose, you increase your card’s shelf life.
No business card lives forever, so show off your environmentally friendly side. Consider producing your cards from biodegradable material, so that when the inevitable does happen, it will be Earth friendly.
6. Case studies
When prospects are trying to estimate the ROI of of your product, showing them a few well-documented use cases is often necessary to move to the next stage of the sale. Case studies are a fantastic way to show the buyer that companies just like them are currently benefiting from your product.
Start by choosing a few of your clients who are brand advocates and that also represent your target audience well. You’ll most likely need to work with them on approving the content and getting information from them. Interviewing your client is an easy way to get the necessary content for the case study.
If you have multiple lead types or buyer personas, you will eventually want case studies that address all potential use cases. For example, a B2C eCommerce company that’s considering your product might not benefit much from reading a case study about a B2B Enterprise software company.
7. Client testimonials
Prospective customers can really benefit from hearing from someone like them — someone who isn’t being paid to tell them they need your product or service. That’s where client testimonial sheets can be beneficial. These people are putting their names on the line with no payout to say you have a good product or service and others should try it.
Many companies also supplement traditional testimonial PDFs with video testimonials from clients. Unless you have a skilled videographer on your team, it’s usually best to hire a professional. An amateur looking testimonial will reflect badly on your brand.
Overall, client testimonials should be used as proof that your product or service is as good as you say it is. It’s one more thing to boost your credibility with your prospective customer.
The right marketing collateral can supercharge your sales process, but sales reps don’t usually have the time to create them. You should be leveraging your marketing team to help get the job done. If you’re starting from zero, decide which documents will have the biggest effect and start there.
Hopefully, these six ideas give you a jumping off point to get some quality marketing collateral into your sales process.