Is your sales collateral system a complete and total mess? You’re not alone.
It’s easy for businesses to lose control over their sales materials. What starts out as a rational system rapidly turns into a digital mess and a pile of unused brochures locked away in a back closet.
Based on our work helping companies organize their collateral systems through our sales enablement app, here are our top tips for getting, and keeping, things under control.
1. Make it a rule: ALL collateral must serve a purpose.
Many reps think that every idea they have deserves a piece of sales collateral to support it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everything you develop should support the conversations and interactions your sales reps have with buyers in specific and clearly defined ways. Every marketing piece must be relevant and provide value.
Before developing anything new, ask yourself:
- What is the ultimate objective for creating the piece?
- When and how will the collateral be used?
- How will the material be delivered?
- How will I know if it’s successful?
If you’re not sure about the answers to any of these questions, think twice about creating a new piece.
2. Conduct a sales collateral audit.
How can you know if you need a new piece of collateral if you’re not sure what you already have? Not understanding what materials they have is a common issue for many businesses, especially if they don’t have a centralized content library.
Conducting an audit of your materials may seem cumbersome and time-consuming, but it’s worth it. An audit will help you understand what you have, and whether everything is still aligned with your brand and sales process. It will help you clean things up by eliminating off-brand or redundant pieces. It will also help you identify gaps in your current sales assets.
3. Leverage buyer personas.
Before you work on any new pieces, review your buyer personas or profiles to better understand who they’ll be used with. If you don’t know who the buyer for a particular product or service is, you can’t develop an effective piece to support sales of it. Understanding who you’re communicating with will help you select the messages, images, media, and other things that will resonate with them.
4. Check out the competition.
Don’t fall into the trap of developing the same-old, same-old types of pieces. Mystery shop to find out what types of collateral your competitors are using with their buyers. It’s a great way to get a fresh perspective on what you could be doing and current collateral trends in your industry. It’s worth keeping an ongoing library of competitive materials so you have samples to reference when it comes time to create a new piece.
Tip: Leverage a sales enablement system like Mobile Locker’s to keep your competitive collateral library organized and readily accessible to everyone who needs it.
5. Personalize your collateral.
Even within a single buyer persona, no two people are exactly alike. That’s why it’s important for you to make it easy for your reps to personalize and customize all your collateral to meet every sales need and situation.
A small investment in personalization will go a long way toward making your buyers feel special, which is a proven way to increase sales conversion rates.
6. Publish a content calendar.
Develop a sales content calendar and update it regularly. Make it available to everyone on your sales team. Not only will it alert them as to what’s coming, but it will also encourage them to offer insights on materials while they’re still in development. Letting people know what’s being created, and allowing them to participate in their creation, will give them a sense of ownership that will make it more likely pieces get used.
7. Provide training.
Whenever you release a new piece, offer training on how to use it. It could take the form of a fact sheet, webinar, or demonstration video. It will ensure that reps use pieces at the right time, in the correct way, maximizing their effectiveness and your investment in them. The biggest reason sales content doesn’t get used isn’t because it’s bad. It’s because salespeople don’t know what to do with it.
8. Limit use to the “right” people.
All collateral isn’t created equal and every piece shouldn’t be used with every customer. Do the people on your sales team represent a limited number of products and services or work with certain segments of your client base? If so, a sales enablement system like Mobile Locker’s can help limit access to collateral to those who are authorized to use it. It helps prevent negative client experiences. It also keeps reps from pushing products and services they’re not qualified to sell.
9. Encourage collaboration.
The best way to develop and maintain a top tier content library is to promote close collaboration between your sales and marketing teams. It’s the only way to ensure marketers develop materials that salespeople will use and that will resonate with customers.
A sales enablement system, like the one developed by Mobile Locker, should be your single point of communication, collaboration, creation, education, and performance monitoring for all things collateral. It’s the best investment you can make in getting your sales materials under control.