While marketing collateral like brochures, presentations, demos, data sheets, white papers, case studies is essential, if you’re not careful, a lot of it really won’t help you sell. Why? Because….
Marketing collateral is very bad at persuading a prospect to buy:
When salespeople try to use their collateral, whether print or web-based, as a tool to help persuade a prospect to buy, they are mostly unsuccessful. You may interest the prospect, but you will not motivate them to buy until you have done the work of helping them define and quantify the problem, and obtaining their agreement that they need a solution to the problem.
In complex selling environments, giving a presentation or a demonstration early in the sales cycle may generate interest, but it also generates objections because there is no context of an important problem that you might help to solve. You are putting obstacles in the way of your sales cycle by using your collateral. So when you use your collateral as a persuasive tool, it’s not helping you sell.
Marketing collateral is very good at three things:
So when you think about when and how to use your marketing collateral, you should think about what collateral is good at. Marketing collateral is good at generating interest; showing a prospect how your product or service works; and proving that you can do what you said you can do. The generating interest part mostly happens before you get there. The prospect has seen your product on your website, looked at your ad, asked for your white paper. The showing how it works part is only useful once there is a problem to solve so that there is context in which the presentation or demo is viewed. The proving part works once the prospect has agreed that they need your solution and wants to be convinced that you can actually deliver on your promises.
The lesson is:
Don’t use your collateral early in your sales cycle. Wait until it has real impact. If you don’t, it’s your fault, not marketing’s, that collateral is not helping you sell.
I’m interested in your comments – how do you use marketing collateral?