Ask 10 in-house marketers what their most vexing issue is and at least 9 of them will respond the same way – sales support. Effectively supporting a sales staff is tough, and no piece of collateral makes this more evident than the sales sheet. You have a fixed amount of space to get a prospect’s attention, convey a lot of information, and get them to act.
So how do you optimize your sales sheet so that people actually want to read it?
“I want to thank you all for such an awesome sales sheet. It has been one of my Achilles heels for past 12 years. We are getting great feedback from it already.
So what are these elements and how can you implement them with your team to make your next sales sheet top-notch?
Sales Sheets Fundamentals
There are five fundamental principles that go into every effective sales sheet. If you want to build out more effective sales support materials, it’s essential that you follow these five steps every time you start working on a piece of collateral.
Step 1 – Simplify
Your sales people will always want more information on collateral. They want to answer all questions for all people, all on one 8.5 x 11” sheet of paper. This isn’t realistic. That’s why it’s your job as the marketer to say “no.” To be effective, you need to pick either one product or one subset of products to focus on with each sell sheet you create.
Make sure that everything listed on your sales sheet has a clear value proposition and a clear narrative tying it together.
Step 2 – Differentiate
Next, you need to differentiate yourself from your competition. This is best done through either a value prop that solves a unique pain point or a data statement that strengthens your case. Either way, make sure you differentiate yourself for every product listed – which is hopefully only a few.
Step 3 – Build Your Hierarchy
This is the most important part of building an effective sales sheet.
You need to establish a clear visual hierarchy on every piece of collateral you create. Your goal should be to have a clear first, second, and third priority that your eye is quickly drawn to. This will help draw the prospect down the page. If you aren’t familiar with visual hierarchies, check out this post on the fundamentals of building one.
Step 4 – Back Up Your Story
Next, you’re going to want to provide some element of social proof. This varies from industry to industry, but we’ve seen this implemented in a million different ways. Whether it’s a verification from the FDA or a testimonial from a client, this should come in the bottom half of your sales sheet to entice the prospect.
Step 5 – Call To Action
If you’ve been marketing for more than thirty minutes, this is obvious, but creating an effective call to action is essential. Make sure it has a relatively low barrier to entry, meaning don’t force them to jump through a bunch of hoops to get there. If your prospects are digitally-focused, send them to a landing page or have them send you an email. If they’re more analog-driven, provide a phone number. Whatever you do, DO NOT give them a number with a robot on the other end. A direct line is usually best.
So that’s it! It’s not rocket science, but a lot of our clients believe that it’s been the rocket fuel that took their sales team to the next level. If you want to learn more about effective branding and collateral.
What other best practices have you used on sales sheets?