Crafting effective sales collateral is an art and science. For B2B service providers, having compelling collateral can make or break your ability to attract new clients and clearly communicate your value proposition. But where do you start when creating sales enablement materials that will truly resonate with your target audience?
In this post, we’ll walk through a proven step-by-step process for building first-rate sales collateral for B2B services—from identifying your core messages to designing deliverables that make your expertise memorable.
Follow these guidelines to create pitch decks, capability documents, and more that captivate prospects and move them to action.
Step 1: Clarify Your Target Customer Profile
First things first: get crystal clear on who you’re creating content for. Trying to appeal to everyone dilutes your message. So start by defining your ideal customer profile (ICP):
- Demographic Details: Industry, company size, geographic location
- Pain Points: Specific challenges they face
- Motivations: Goals and objectives that drive their purchase decisions
Understanding your ICP inside and out enables you to tailor content that speaks directly to their needs. For example, the message you’d craft for a retail VP of Operations looks quite different than that for a manufacturing COO. Get granular with customer research to build an archetype—this pays dividends across all sales and marketing assets.
Step 2: Identify Core Messaging
Now that you have a sharp view of your target audience, map out the key messages you need to communicate. These are the central ideas that make your service offering resonate and compel the prospect to engage.
Some elements to include:
- Business Challenge: Describe a specific struggle your ICP faces
- Impact of Status Quo: Quantify what happens if customers don’t address the challenge
- Your Solution: Explain how your services tackle the root cause of their pain point
- Benefits: Detail the outcomes and impact customers’ experience after engaging you
- Proof: Provide evidence of success through metrics, testimonials, case studies
Finding the right balance of logic and emotion here is an art. You want to stir up dissatisfaction with the status quo while painting a vivid picture of the future your customers could enjoy by working with you.
Step 3: Choose Your Sales Collateral Mix
Now that your positioning is clear, it’s time to pick the right mediums to bring this messaging to life. Consider developing a combination of:
1. One-Sheeter: High-level overview of your services, ideal for emailing and leaving behind after meetings
2. Company Capabilities Presentation: Slide deck that provides an in-depth look at your expertise
3. Service Offering Datasheets: Dedicated flyers for each service you provide
4. Client Success Stories: Written and video testimonials proving your ability to achieve results
5. ROI Calculators: Interactive tools that demonstrate the hard value you deliver
6. Free Downloads/Tools: Resources that provide value while capturing lead information
Curating this mix allows you to cater to prospects in different stages—from those just discovering you to others ready to evaluate deeply. More touchpoints also increase conversion rates.
Step 4: Craft Compelling Copy
Now for the fun part—writing words that get prospects excited about what you offer. Follow these copywriting tips to develop persuasive collateral:
- Lead with benefits. Focus on outlining the tangible outcomes customers get from your services.
- Use descriptive adjectives. Paint a picture of how prospects will feel and operate differently post-engagement.
- Emphasize ROI. Include metrics, stats, and case studies proving you drive real financial results.
- Keep it scannable. Use short paragraphs, bullet points, headings, and bold fonts to enable easy skimming.
- Tell stories. Spotlight specific customer examples that make challenges and transformations relatable.
- Stay positive. Maintain an upbeat, enthusiastic tone even when addressing pain points.
- Make a clear CTA. Close each piece by directing readers to a specific follow-up action.
Getting feedback from colleagues and even target customers during the writing process helps refine your messaging and copy.
Step 5: Design an Engaging Layout
At this point, you have all the raw content required—time to blend it together into a polished, visually compelling package. Some design tips for sales collateral:
- Use your brand style guide. Maintain fonts, colors, and imagery that express your brand’s personality.
- Balance text and graphics. Images, charts, and white space make your documents more scannable and memorable.
- Spotlight key data. Call out metrics, ratings, and awards with large robust fonts and graphics.
- Limit the word count. Try to cover core messaging in 700 words or less to enable easy digestion.
- Optimize flow. Group related content together into clear sections and logical sequences.
- Use icons and illustrations. Include relevant metaphors and concepts to reinforce messages visually.
- Pick the right file formats. Consider developing collateral in both print-ready (PDF) and digital (JPG, PNG) file types.
While you can develop basic designs internally, hiring a graphic designer to handle layout and imagery is often worth the investment—especially for core sales collateral that will be reused extensively.
Step 6: Make Content Interactive
Don’t just hand prospects a stale stack of brochures and datasheets. Use technology to create an interactive, engaging experience with your sales materials. Options include:
- Digital sales rooms: Curated selection of assets/media stored in a customized online portal
- Microsites: Mini self-contained websites dedicated to a specific offering or campaign
- Interactive calculators: Spreadsheet tools that dynamically display ROI based on user inputs
- 3D/VR presentations: Bring services to life through immersive virtual simulations and modeling
- Video content: Short animated or live-action explainer videos make messages memorable
- Quizzes/assessments: Educational questionnaires gauge prospect needs and challenges
- Live demos: Give prospects real-time access to see your solution in action
Combining digital experiences with physical collateral provides a variety that appeals to different learning styles and buying preferences.
Step 7: Arm Your Sales Team
The final crucial step is equipping your sales reps to put this collateral to work.
- Conduct training sessions reviewing messaging, content, and how to best position it with prospects. Roleplay key questions and objections.
- Create a sales Slack channel to share examples of collateral resonating with leads. Encourage team-wide discussions on optimization.
- Develop a cadence and guidelines for when and how to share assets, balancing targeted outreach with oversaturation.
- Track performance to identify which pieces perform best at different funnel stages and adjust strategy accordingly.
- Solicit feedback on ways to expand on or improve your sales enablement materials over time as market conditions evolve.
With proper coaching, your team can maximize the value of compelling sales collateral.
Bring Your Services to Life Through Impactful Collateral
Well-crafted sales collateral acts as a force multiplier for your sales and marketing efforts. Following this step-by-step process will help you develop materials that grab attention and drive action among your target accounts.
Remember to always keep the end-user experience in mind—what do prospects really need to envision, understand, and feel confident in your services? Meeting those needs is the key to creating content they just can’t ignore.
So put these guidelines to work as you build your next generation of sales collateral. Proper positioning of your value and expertise provides a foundation for sales success.