Sales collateral is the lifeblood of any sales team. Without collateral, your sales pros lack powerful aides to explain products and services – as well as ways to persuade targets to sign on the dotted line.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of well-designed sales collateral. But as a provider of sales collateral materials, we’ve seen a lot of bad collateral – material that doesn’t attract attention, inspire, excite, engage, or convert.
A great piece of collateral requires a lot of different elements to get it just right. But there is one thing you can do right now to immediately improve your material.
Keep it Simple Stupid
The best thing you can do to improve your sales collateral is to Keep It Simple.
Our natural impulse, when designing anything (or doing anything, really), is to make it as complex as possible.
When it comes to sales collateral, we want to cram everything we know onto one brochure or one sheet or one image. That’s because we’re experts – we have a lot to share and we think a prospect needs to know everything we know in order to close a deal.
The opposite is actually true. Buyers don’t care about 99% of what you do. They only care about one thing: “How does what this person is giving me help me and my business?”
That’s what they’re looking for whenever they view a piece of collateral. If they even get that far. Many pieces are thrown in the trash because, among other things, they look too complicated and complex. That triggers the buyer’s mind to think, “It’d be hard to find out if they can help me by having to slog through all these pictures and words.” The moment they think it’d take effort to read your piece, they toss it in the trash.
That’s why keeping it simple is so important. You don’t want to overwhelm. You don’t want to detract from your message. You want to lay it out as plainly as possible: “We can help, and here’s how.”
How to Keep it Simple
To simplify your piece:
• Use fewer colors. Only a couple of main colors (and maybe an accent) should be used
• Be concise. Don’t use two words where one would do
• Avoid technical jargon – unless that’s how your buyers communicate.
• Use design to guide your viewer along the correct path – the order in which their eyes should take in the material. Make it easy for them to scan the document
• Use headers, bold words, and bullet points. People don’t read sales collateral; they scan it.
• Put the most important information first. Grab their attention immediately.
• Illustrations speak volumes. A picture can share more info in a short amount of space than a paragraph of text.
Above all, use a designer who is experienced with creating effective sales collateral materials. You’ll benefit in the long run as you get more business.
And your collateral will look really good, too.
For more help, check out our blog post on “Mastering the Perfect Sales Brochure.”