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5 Types of Sales Collateral Your Team Needs to Be Successful

January 14, 2020

Quick. That's how your salespeople need to be to win a sale.

Quick to catch a prospect’s attention.

Quick to follow up with them.

Quick to resolve any queries and share relevant materials to close the deal.

And to do that, they can't keep running to your product and marketing teams for help. Every time they do, they will not just lose time but also run the risk of losing the sale.

More than half of all buyers view at least five content pieces from the vendor before they decide to make a purchase. But around 78% of them claim that the salespeople do not provide them with the relevant content they need. This is where sales collateral comes into play. But before we go ahead and list some of the sales collateral, let's first understand what sales collateral is.

What is sales collateral?

Sales collateral is any product or service you offer can be sold only if your salespeople can advocate for its value. Sales collateral, an integral part of your sales enablement strategy, are support materials created to improve the sales team's productivity and close more deals and provide prospects with the information they require to understand your product or service better. With the right sales collateral in hand, your salespeople can influence the decision making of your prospects.

Sales collateral every sales team needs

Now that you know what sales collateral is and why businesses need it, let’s take a look at the five essential collateral types your sales team needs to succeed.

1. Email templates

Provide your sales team with email templates for a variety of purposes. For example, you could create templates for cold email outreach, industry and persona-based emails, follow-up sequence, and specific marketing campaigns. 

This saves a lot of time for your salespeople that is otherwise spent agonizing over framing the perfect emails. While creating a template from scratch, make sure it resonates with the prospect’s needs and pain points. 

Ask yourself the following questions: why are you reaching out to them? What can you do to help? What are the benefits of starting a business relationship with you? And most importantly, make sure to mention other companies who are benefiting from your solution. 

TIP: Alternatively, using an email template builder can help expedite the process by pre-building templates for your entire sales team to use. 

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Here is an example of a personalized email template:

Hi {recipient name},

I am reaching out to you because, being the {recipient’s current role}, I was certain you would know more about the current processes in place at your company for {department}.

Like we’ve helped {your existing customer}, I felt you might be interested in improving your {the biggest challenge for the prospect}.

I did a fair amount of research on your company’s {current system} and I’m sharing a few of my thoughts here which could help you save {the benefit your product offers}:

I noticed that {state the current problem and how it can be better}.

I’d love to share a few more ideas with you and spend more time in understanding your current process.

{recipient name}, could we spend 15 mins this week to chat about this?

Another way to create email templates is to check the best performing emails sent by your sales team based on the open, click, and reply rate. Using these emails, you could identify the best open lines, pain points to address, and calls-to-action (CTAs).

In most cases, you won’t get a reply to the first email you send. There could be various reasons for this: your email is buried in their inbox, or they read your email but didn’t get a chance to respond to you. You will never find out until you send a follow-up email.

Your follow-up sequence template could be something like: 

Day 1: Personalized email addressing the prospect’s pain points

Day 3: Follow-up email pitching your product and what the prospect would gain

Day 6: Email case studies with a brief of how you’ve helped other businesses

Day 8: Email talking about the value-adds and key functionalities on your product.

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind while crafting templates: 

Come up with eye-catching subject lines for each template
One template does not fit all. Have personalized content for every persona and industry
Ensure that your templates have a crisp first line as this decides whether your prospects want to read more or move on to the next email
Avoid hyperlinks and attachments in your first email as it might land in spam
Close with a strong and clear CTA

A common mistake salespeople make is to end every email with a CTA to schedule a meeting. This is not the right approach. Frame your CTAs based on your email content. It could be to read a case study or article that you’ve attached or to reply with details that you’ve requested. The goal is to keep your product/service on top of their minds.

Make it even easier to access these templates by creating them in your CRM software for your sales team. So all they have to do is select the template, make the required changes, and send it out. 

TIP: Find the right CRM software for your sales team's needs, only on G2!

View the Easiest-to-Use CRM Software →

2. Calling scripts

Calling scripts act as a guide for initiating contact with the prospect, carrying the call forward, and ending it effectively. A good script will not just help sales reps start a conversation but also keep the prospect on call.

Remember, your prospects will receive numerous sales calls every day, and the goal of every call is to get a meeting. So while creating scripts, here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  1. Think of your ideal client, their pain points, and how you can address the prospect’s pain points to make them agree to a meeting
  2. Acknowledge the fact that you are interrupting their day and ask permission to have a quick conversation
  3. Show the value of your product in 20 to 40 seconds
  4. Start the conversation by talking about their pain points or interesting industry-specific challenges, trends, or insights
  5. Talk about the benefits of using your product – not the features you offer.

EXAMPLE: 

Sales rep: Hello, am I talking to Jane?

Prospect: Yes, this is Jane.

Sales rep: Hi Jane, I am Rebecca calling from Sampleton solutions. I was wondering if you could help me out for a moment?

When you say this with confidence, 90% of the prospects will hint a ‘yes,' and you get the green signal to proceed. If you receive a ‘No’, ask them when you can call them back. Once you have them on call, you could say something like: 

Sales rep: “Great, I really appreciate it. Thank you.” *pause*

“The reason I’m calling Jane, is that most businesses are finding it incredibly challenging to <industry specific challenges>. Does that sound like you?

Prospect: Yes, Tell me more.

Sales rep: You are probably not familiar with us, but companies like <companies in the industry> have relied on us for <value props of your product>, and what they tell is <outcomes of using your product>.

But before talking about the other companies you work with, make sure you don’t have a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with them. Another way to create calling scripts is to record your sales calls, listen to them on a regular basis, and identify the best lines that have worked.

While creating calling scripts is important, the tonality and the confidence of your sales reps play a more significant part in the success of a cold call. You could conduct role plays and train your sales reps to talk to different personas of your target industries. You could also provide call scripts for every marketing campaign that you run. This will help your sales reps get context and carry the conversation forward.

If you’ve had a bad call, you can recover from it by taking it as a lesson. Understand when, where, and why the call went south. Make the necessary adjustments and incorporate it from the next call.

3. Case studies

Case studies are hard evidence that your product/solution has brought value to businesses. It is a great asset to share with clients who are in the decision-making stage. Or even in emails while prospecting for leads.

When you create case studies, it is important to showcase your customer as the hero and position yourself as a mentor or a guide who helped solve their challenges. Make sure to outline your customer’s journey with you from the start and talk about the challenges they faced, the effective solutions provided by your services, and the end results of using it.

While preparing a case study, ask yourself the following questions: 

Who is the customer?
What do they do?
What were their goals?
What were their needs?
What challenges did they face prior to using your product/service?
How did your product/service stand out for them?
How was your product/service able to satisfy their needs and meet their goals?
What are the top three features they like best about your product/service?

Including testimonials from your customers would be a value add for this material. You could also create case studies in the form of videos that are easily shareable and consumable.

When it comes to designing the case study, you have to make it professional, aesthetically appealing, and easy to read. The format should be skimmable, so avoid large chunks of text.

4. Competitor research and battle cards

Your sales team should be prepared for the question: why you – and not them? For that, they need to know what they're up against. Prepare battle cards that talk about two or three areas that are important for your customer and highlight how your product/service is unique. 

The competitor research material should explain the aspects your competitors are better at, and how you position your product with respect to that. It is important to note that this material should not be designed to bad talk your competition but to educate the salespeople and prospects on your unique selling points.

It’s also a good idea to include information about your products/services side-by-side with competitors. This way, it’s easy for your salespeople to compare and contrast prices, features, benefits, and so on.

5. Product cheat sheets

Your sales reps need to be confident while interacting with your leads. They have to know the product inside out to match it with the prospect’s needs. But sadly, this cannot always be the case. Every time a sales rep is stuck in doubt, the chances of closing the deal get slim.

While your salespeople might not have the time or patience to go through pages of large chunks of text, a product cheat sheet can help them quickly find key details they require. It should also highlight in simple terms: 

An overview of the target industry
The best features of your product/service
The most popular packages
What your customers gain from it

You could have cheat sheets that are industry and persona-specific, and provide them in the form of infographics so that it is easily consumable for your leads. 

Before you create sales collateral...

Before you begin, make sure you ask yourself how the sales team benefits from these materials; how the materials fit into your buyer's journey, and what prospects will gain from the collateral you create. Now that you know the must-have collateral for your sales team, start creating them and watch your sales team’s productivity boost.

After you create sales collateral...

Creating sales enablement content is only half the job. It is not enough to create the necessary collateral and hand it over to the sales team.

A detailed study conducted by CSO showed that sales training and coaching is crucial since it has a significant effect on quota attainment. As a part of your sales enablement plan, your sales team needs to know where they can find the sales collateral, what values it offers. and when and how to use it.

Preparing your sales collateral the right way 

A tool like CRM acts as a central hub for the sales collateral you prepare. It also gives you much-needed input of the effectiveness of the sales team. With a CRM, you can also measure the productivity of your sales teams by comparing their metrics over a period of time.

Finally, when it comes to selling the product, salespeople know what works and what doesn’t. It is a good idea to talk to them regularly, get their feedback, and update these materials, increasing their quality with each iteration. 

If you're looking for alternative ways to train your sales teams to be the best they can be, check out the top-rated sales training and onboarding software on the market today and see how it can help with molding the best salespeople around! 

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