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Essential Sales Collateral

The central ideas and much of the following are from Samantha Stone’s excellent book on marketing that works called, Unleash Possible. This is a great title because it captures the essential tenant of marketing: opening up possibilities, rather than assurances (keep trying well-thought-out options and pivot quickly until you find something that works).

So your sales rep has made a great presentation, but—as is often the case—the decision maker was not there. How do you help the people that were there make a business case to decision makers? Following are four items that Stone says should be included in this champion kit:

1. Justification Brief: This is an overview of the problem that the target organization faces and an outline of various approaches to addressing the problem.

2. Buyers’ Guide: The decision maker will certainly consider alternatives. This guide/template will be a checklist of options to consider. It sends the signal that you are confident in what you are offering and that it will stand up to alternatives.

3. Value Calculator: Quantify the likely impact your solution will have on the business in terms of dollars earned, risk averted, time saved, etc.

4. Presentation Template: Distill the preceding three items into a PowerPoint that can be personalized. Stone advises keeping the template simple so that champions can apply their own corporate design and present it as their own work.

Here’s my fifth way: A one-page print summary. The best way to stay top of mind among decision makers is to condense the entire business case into a one-page print document. Research on print vs. digital consistently concludes the same two things: 1) People can read the same information in print much faster than digital and 2) People absorb print information better than digital—two big advantages when you are dealing with busy executives. This is a subject for another post.

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