Sales collateral includes any type of printed or electronic materials that support the sales process. The purpose of these materials is to give prospective buyers the information they need to decide to buy your product or service. The many types of sales collateral range from traditional brochures and data sheets to sophisticated online presentations.
Traditionally, most sales collateral has taken the form of a wide range of printed materials such as advertisements, brochures, catalogs, direct mail letters and postcards, handouts from sales presentations, sales sheets, selection guides, posters, printed white papers or case studies, technical data sheets and more. Materials can contain descriptions, pictures, specifications, charts, data tables, diagrams, testimonials and more to add to the sales process.
With the rise of the computer and the Internet, much sales collateral is now available as Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs or other computer files. Plus, much sales collateral is now online as part of websites. Although all the traditional types of sales collateral can be moved into electronic format, the Internet also offers more options. A business website is itself a type of sales collateral, and websites can contain all the information a business wants to present, without the cost of printing materials. Plus, websites can be interactive in a way that printed material cannot.
Regardless of the form of the sales collateral, to be effective, it needs to clearly present information in a manner the prospective buyer can understand. The specific approach will vary depending on the target market; for example, engineers buying heavy equipment want to see information different from what artists buying supplies want to see and different from what prospective parents buying baby furniture want to see. Effective sales collateral materials need to have a clear statement of features and benefits and a clear, defined, easy way to order. The most effective sales collateral has an appealing visual design while also having the words that clearly communicate details.
*by Carol Wiley 'What Are the Different Types of Sales Collateral?' https://smallbusiness.chron.com