Lead generation involves attracting and converting leads to boost ROI. If you want to engage fresh prospects, you need relevant, engaging, and informative sales collateral that ensures that your audience recognizes your brand as an industry leader and customer-centric entity.
An effective and practical sales collateral significantly fuels your sales process. It helps you articulate complex information in an easy-to-understand format. For instance, by offering lead magnets like a comprehensive eBook or purchase guide, you can drive and persuade leads more effectively than any other outbound practice. Therefore, if you’re gearing up to engage hot leads more effectively and convert them into sales, sales collaterals like customer case studies or blog is a remarkable way of showing your prospects a progressive image of your brand.
When your prospects struggle to grasp the functionality or use case of your product or service, sending a video tutorial at the right moment helps them move one step ahead in their purchase journey. It helps you close one more sale instead of losing a lead to the competitors.
In simple words, crafting the right sales collateral for each stage of your sales funnel converts more leads into sales. This blog post will uncover the basics of B2B sales collateral along with the type of content they must possess depending on the stage of the buyer’s journey.
What is the B2B Sales Collateral?
Sales collaterals are used by your SDRs or sales representatives to convince the prospects of the value of your business offerings. The primary objective of B2B sales collaterals is to push the most relevant information to the targeted prospects and help them finalize their purchase decision with your brand. It simplifies the entire sales process and buyer journey by making the right information available at the right time.
The aforementioned sales collateral explanation reveals that they cannot be used throughout the sales funnel. Instead, B2B sales collaterals are used in the middle of the sales funnel at the Consideration and Decision stage. Specifically, when your leads start comparing the two solutions to rationalize and finalize their purchase decision.
Marketing vs Sales Collateral: What’s the Difference?
Mostly, people confuse sales collateral with marketing collateral. In reality, both of them have different use cases and objectives.
B2B Marketing collateral is a portfolio of content used to educate and inform potential customers or clients about resolving their pain points. Marketing collateral offers valuable content for different stages of the sales funnel.
Below are three differences between B2B sales and B2B marketing collaterals:
Educative Vs. Decisive
As B2B marketing collateral informs or educates prospects about the way their pain points can be resolved, it is primarily used to feed consumer awareness.
On the other hand, B2B sales collateral addresses the prospects more directly and actively. It potential customers how to conclude or rationalize their decision. It helps them eliminate confusion or distractions and persuades them to choose your brand, product, or service as the sole solution to their problem.
Awareness vs. Decision Stage (Top of the sales funnel vs Botton of the sales funnel)
B2B Marketing collateral remains instrumental at the top of the sales funnel. The top of the funnel or awareness stage is the starting phase of the buyer’s journey followed by the interest stage where prospects try to collect rich information about their problems or conflicts.
On the contrary, sales collaterals are actively used in the middle of the sales funnel during the consideration, comparison, and decision-making phases of the purchase journey. They help your prospects in comparing & choosing between different products or services depending on the budget, use case, scope, and functionality, etc.
Content-Format or Layout – Many vs. Limited
B2B Marketing collateral can be developed in different formats like newsletters, video content, etc., and promoted on social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn and other distribution mediums like a business website or landing pages.
Whereas B2B sales collaterals are based on limited formats such as product demos, banners, customer case studies, product comparisons, etc. that can be personalized for prospects during email campaigns and meetings ensuring a higher conversion rate.
What are the benefits of using collateral in a B2B sales process?
Since B2B sales collateral are intended to educate, train, and inform prospects, move them further down the sales funnel, and persuade them to become paying and loyal customers, they help businesses to:
Generate and Nurture leads
Lead generation involves a range of digital marketing strategies to attract, engage, and convert potential customers.
Developing informative and insightful B2B sales collateral is vital for all inbound marketing practices. Begin with the question of how your products or services can add value for the prospects or their business? Then, creating content that is intended to resolve their queries and doubts during the buyer’s journey is an effective way to nurture your leads.
The content can be of different formats like whitepapers, product demos, podcasts, ebooks, purchase guides, or product comparisons. The objective is to offer educational and informative content that prospects find relevant and valuable enough to exchange their contact info for.
Keep in mind that you always have to offer something significant to your prospects in exchange for their contact info. It is also called gated content. If it’s something they can get easily from any other site without subscribing or filling a lead form, they will more likely refrain from becoming a lead.
Give a reason for engagement
Your sales team needs to engage with your potential customers throughout their buyer journey continuously.
There are several other ways you can ask if they’ve enough time to discuss a product or proposal, but B2B sales collateral offers a remarkable opportunity to keep the engagement intact.
Consider offering the information or adding value that can help your potential customer depending on the stage of their purchase journey.
Different formats of sales collateral offer an opportunity to ensure consistent engagement. But customer testimonials or case studies are relatively more impactful in the last stages of their buyer journey. This is because they showcase the overall impact and use case of your products, or services.
Showcase your expertise
It’s vital to strengthen a trustworthy relationship with prospects and B2B sales collateral unlocks an excellent opportunity to flex your expertise and knowledge.
For instance, a SaaS business that offers managed services can offer user guides or video tutorials about using their product or choose from different subscription plans. Similarly, an insurance service can share articles like how to apply for insurance.
Fuels empowerment of the B2B client
The prospect you’ll offer a sales pitch has to convince their business owner, procurement manager, etc. that the investment in your products or services can be fruitful. Another way is to get direct with the decision-maker or business owner on the call, but it’s not possible in all instances.
B2B sales collateral gives your prospect the relevant content to convince the person in authority to give the green flag for the investment. For example, providing your business profile brochure or product guide to the manager or business owner is much more impactful than a plain sales pitch.
You can also leverage a successful customer case study that indicates the remarkable boom in ROI after using your product or service. Similarly, an eBook explains how partnering with your business or buying a particular product from your brand helps them stay ahead of the competition.
Types of Sales Collateral for Each Buyer Stage
Whether you’re an SMB or enterprise-grade organization, you must have an effective sales strategy relying heavily on sales collateral.
Irrespective of the industry, products, or services you offer, the prospects always have a conflict that needs to be addressed instantly. This is the ideal opportunity for sales individuals to collaborate with the marketing team and acquire a unified approach to lock more sales deals.
Your prospect’s journey in your lead generation funnel represents the buyer’s journey that involves profound research and decision-making before actual purchase. Therefore, your sales collateral must be relevant to the current stage of your prospect’s buyer journey. By doing so, you can lead your prospects from the Awareness stage to the Consideration stage and then the Decision stage.
Below are some proven and impactful B2B sales collateral examples for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
B2B sales collateral examples for the Awareness stage
- Tip Sheets
- Business Portfolio Brochure
B2B sales collateral examples for the Consideration stage
- White Papers
- Spec Sheets
- FAQ Sheets
- Product Video
B2B sales collateral examples for the Decision stage
- Spec Sheets
- Case Studies
- Product Video
- Product Demo
- Competitor Comparison
- Post Sale Customer Service and Support
10 Tips for creating an effective B2B sales collateral
Let’s discuss some proven sales collateral management approaches that you must follow to achieve remarkable milestones with your sales strategy.
1. Keep final objective in frame
Irrespective of the medium or format that sales teams choose to promote or create their sales collateral for the prospects, it must be relevant and informative and align with the buyer journey of prospects. Consider these crucial aspects:
- What is the primary goal behind creating a particular sales collateral?
- How to can you measure the efficacy of your sales collaterals?
- How to use sales collateral for maximum advantages?
- How do we distribute these sales collateral to the leads?
2. Identifying Buyer Personas
Before directly jumping into the process of creating sales collateral, know your target audience. A buyer persona is your ideal customer profile that resonates with your prospects’ demographics, interests, priorities, and problems. Your sales collateral must be contextual and relative to your buyer persona. The content you are going to produce is not for everyone surfing on the internet.
3. Competitor Analysis & Research
What’s going around in your competitor’s circle? First, consider the B2B sales collateral examples your competitors are producing, as they surely resonate with your niche and buyer persona.
Another important reason for conducting competitor analysis and research is to create authentic and updated comparison charts. Incorrect or tampered information can damage your brand image and authenticity. Therefore, you need to be extra careful to stay ahead of your competition and develop authentic B2B sales collateral. Invest time & resources in research to gain rich insights into your competitors’ focus and market trends.
4. Shared Platform & Reporting Dashboard
People need instant access to the relevant sales collateral when they are about to engage the prospect personally.
Sales individuals are under overwhelming pressure and lack enough time to pass feedback to the marketing department. Therefore, it makes it necessary to set up a smooth platform or medium that ensures rich communication between your marketing and sales team.
The said platform offer utilities to distribute different kinds of sales collateral, revamp them based on feedback, offer in-depth analytics on different sales collateral KPIs, and provide a seamless UX to prospects.
Investing time and resources in such a platform helps ensure transparency and availability of sales collateral, a smooth sales process, and rich collaboration among teams. It also helps you calculate ROI for different lead generation.
Your prospects find it valued and respectful when you ensure personalization in your sales collateral.
In this era of digitization, you can leverage different automation tools without acknowledging if your prospects are interested in your offer or content. When you put effort into pleasing one customer by giving a personalized experience, you will have a queue of potential customers in the opportunity corridor.
6. Strict and Consistent Audit Routine
Every business wants to nurture and thrive in the highly competitive market by establishing a highly recognizable brand identity. If you’ve updated your brand theme, you cannot expect your sales individuals to engage prospects with sales collateral having outdated branding or theme.
Timely, audit and evaluation of the sales collateral help you remain consistent and relevant in the market.
For enterprise-grade businesses, auditing can be an overwhelming and daunting task. But, it is mandatory to determine which sales collaterals require instant addition or update and which ones need to be abandoned for losing their relevance.
7. Manage Content Calendar
Share the ready-to-publish sales collateral with your team members. It will help them plan their strategies and schedule properly. Managing the content calendar also enables you to determine your schedule and remain consistent.
8. Data Securtiy & Privacy
Your intellectual property, specifically confidential customer data, cannot be made public and accessible to all staff members. However, controlling and regulating access can help you dodge unnecessary risks or legal burdens later.
9. Reuse Collateral’s Template or Layout
There are different ways to reuse B2B sales collaterals and drive fruitful outcomes. For instance, if you have articulated a case study or product specs sheet, you can reuse the same template for a different product or service by making necessary changes required by prospects. In addition, it helps you spare most of your time and resources for other vital and core marketing areas.
10. Outsource lead generation services
If you lack enough experience and resources to develop and promote sales collateral or don’t have enough time to train your in-house resources, opt for outsourcing services. An authentic lead generation service like ScaleYourBiz with proven experience in serving various industries and clients can help you develop B2B sales and marketing collateral, manage sales collateral, and prepare your sales team to use them effectively.
The aforementioned basics of B2B sales collateral and their usability reveal the importance of sales collateral in a sale process. Designing and developing content for each stage of the buyer’s journey and pushing it at the right time to the right prospect, guarantees a significant improvement in ROI of your lead generation efforts.