In B2B sales, having a solid array of content for your prospects and/or customers is a must. Sales collateral can be defined as content designed and developed to complete your sales process. Sales representatives share sales collateral to their prospects in order to move them further through the buyer’s journey and eventually convert them into customers.
Up until now, you have maybe heard of marketing collateral and are wondering if this isn’t another marketing term for the same thing.
If they sound similar, sales collateral and marketing collateral are not the same thing. In this article, we will start by explaining their key differences. Moreover, we will provide you with a list of sales collateral every company should consider developing.
What is the difference between Sales collateral and Marketing collateral ?
To each its goal
Marketing & Sales collateral have different objectives. On one hand, Marketing collateral educates customers or prospects about the product and how their challenges can be solved. It is mainly used to share superficial information for prospective customers.
On the other hand, Sales collateral aims to help a prospect or customer on their decision making. It goes more in depth and guides the prospect through the buyer’s journey in a way that favors the seller.
Position in the sales funnel
As mentioned above, marketing collateral includes information that is mostly useful on the surface. Therefore marketing collateral is destined to top of the funnel prospects who are in a stage of Awareness.
On the other hand, sales collaterals are more often used in the middle and bottom stages of the buyer’s journey such as Consideration or Decision. They help prospects to compare and decide between different solutions available on the market.
Different formats and distribution channels
Marketing collateral has several forms such as newsletters, infographics or videos for example. This type of content is not necessarily specific and it is widely spread on various platforms such as landing pages or social media.
Sales collateral include a narrow and more specific set of materials such as customer review or product demos. Moreover they can (and should!) be personalized for prospects to ensure they contribute positively to their conversion rate.
7 types of Sales collateral examples
Now that the differences have been identified, it is time to get down to more concrete examples. Below, a few of the most common sales collateral you can find :
Brochures are digital or printed documents that customers can use to gather information on a product or service and best be able to compare them to others. This type of document is visually attractive and includes text about different aspects of the product. For example, a brochure will inform you on a product’s features, the underlying technology or a few use cases.
2. Product videos
Salespeople need to demonstrate how their products/solutions work in real-life. One good way of doing that is through an explainer video that shows how their challenges are solved. Explainer videos have a strong visual appeal and can be viewed in offline mode or on social media or video platforms.
3. Case studies
Case studies tell the story of one of your clients and their journey with your product. It includes the initial issues, the solution that was provided and the benefits. This type of content is very valuable, especially in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. Indeed, it helps them better project their own issues and how they could be solved by your product.
4. Customer reviews
There is no one a customer will trust more than another customer. Therefore, hearing their opinion of your product holds an incredible value. If a prospect knows that your current customers have nothing but good things to say about your product, they will instantly trust you more. Keep in mind that this means that your customer experience must be top notch for your customers to be willing to appear on your website or a video and vouch for your product.
5. Technical sheets
Salespeople know your product better than anyone but nobody is safe from a hyper technical query. Therefore, technical sheets are always useful during a conversation with customers. They can include technical details for the product, data collection and protection policies or technical comparisons with other customers for example.
6. Research reports or white papers
Research reports are elaborated pieces of content that place your company as an expert in a certain field. Not only are they extremely informative for clients but they help build credibility around your brand.
7. Customer fact sheets
Customer fact sheets are for internal use. They provide information about the prospect or customer such as budgets, needs or management information for example. They are very useful during the consideration stage and help salespeople study and determine the buyer’s persona.