What is your visceral reaction to reading terms like “sell sheets,” “sales tools,” “spec sheets,” etc.? Do they give you energy? Or do they make you yawn? Either way, they are ubiquitous in every industry. They are often treated as nothing more than an obligatory nuisance, or worse, a catchall dumping ground for anything and everything about a product. Yawn…for all marketing tech stakeholders, including your customers.
Empowered correctly, sales collateral can be a valuable touchpoint, creating momentum for marketers within tech’s long and winding purchase journey.
How to empower your sales collateral to work harder:
1) Know how it will be used, and when.
Creating one tool for all occasions is difficult and can make for an ineffective experience – both for the seller and for the audience. Instead, try to prioritize the most effective uses. Whom are they selling to? At what point in the sales cycle? What are the customers likely to know about the product already? Asking software leader Fiserv questions like these up front allowed Ignite to think beyond the traditional, instead enhancing the actual occasion for early-stage and late-stage buyers at large banks. The tactic empowered sales personnel to orchestrate custom selling occasions using simple app-based technology to sell their technology.
2) Say what’s different first.
Sell sheets often unfold like a functional tell-all, assuming the audience will migrate from panel to panel. Unfortunately, time-starved customers (and who isn’t?) won’t invest attention unless enticed by a strong intro of WIIFM. Overall product positioning or product names typically get first billing as a headline. When possible, elevate the most important differentiator to a very prominent position. Then assume no one will read past the first panel or screen. Did the customer see the most compelling content?
3) Keep your customer in mind.
Humans are visual creatures, subconsciously looking for friends and enemies of the “tribe.” Consistency in information hierarchy and placement is very important to make the information inviting and friendly. But equally important, is the branded experience of the sales collateral also mirroring the customer tribe? For instance, Ignite helped Samsung Business recognize the need to better segment military audiences for enterprise sales instead of relying on a one-size-fits all that risked alienating the audience.
4) Tell them what to do next.
This is not a passive touchpoint. Why would you ask your in-hand sale tool to work any less hard than an advertisement? Include a specific call-to-action with a specific destination. And based on the purchase journey, make sure to communicate why the next step is valuable to the audience.
Every touchpoint is worth empowering for its special role in the purchase journey. And if it’s not adding value, don’t be afraid to reconsider it. Sell on.
You can learn a little more about Ignite Partnership’s philosophy on empowering every touchpoint here.