6 Tips for Effective Sales Materials to Leave with Home Builders
June 4, 2020
You’ve probably read a lot of articles about how now’s the time to complete a whole host of pet projects. So, we’re not here to hassle you on the importance of home exercise routines or completing that novel you've put off. However, we do think it’s a good time to reassess the product sales materials you send to home builders.
Sales enablement materials, from one-page overviews to pitch decks, are core assets of any company’s product marketing strategy, but chances are they could use some updating thanks to current events. And now could be the best time to think about those updates — not when projects take off again.
We’ve even heard from our brand partner reps that leave-behind literature is more important than ever as people continue to be leery of face-to-face meetings.
And as a trend that’s likely to stick, we’re seeing more and more articles about how home design is changing because of the renewed focus on hygiene, privacy and a home’s flexibility. Right off the bat, if you can speak to these points within your sales materials, that’s an important update to make. It’s also safe to say home builders are going to be price-conscious and possibly open to shopping around, so that’s something to keep in mind as well.
At the end of the day, though, all effective sales materials share some of the same qualities. That’s why we’ve invited Heather Smiles, our product marketing manager, to provide some tips on how to sell a product with the help of the right materials.
These tips are intended for both sales and marketing reps, depending on how your roles are divided at your company.
Make sure your materials are holistic
You’re selling a product, so it’s makes sense to feature it in your sales material, but you don’t want to only provide a product brochure when you’re introducing yourself, Smiles said.
“Focus on how you’re helping customers address their needs,” she said.
Be empathetic with customers and provide materials that show an understanding of the solutions they need... which takes us to the next point.
Address the right questions
Keep in mind the materials you pass on are likely to be shared for review with the builder’s other team members. So, think about how your sales pieces stand up outside of the context of a call or email.
When creating or assessing a sales piece, Smiles suggests asking yourself these questions:
- Do you have a clearly defined audience?
- What pain points do they have?
- What solutions do they need?
- Are we emphasizing our unique brand differentiators?
- Are there regional issues to consider?
- Finally: Is this piece sensitive to what’s currently happening in the industry?
As these questions indicate, the best sales materials address specific buyer personas and will be customized to each of them.
And while pricing can be a touchy issue, Smiles suggests mentioning it in sales enablement materials because it will be a top question for a builder. Avoid including a specific number, but rather provide contact info to discuss pricing instead.
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Work closely with marketing (or sales) to create the best materials
This goes back to our tips on aligning sales and marketing, and it’s an important one. The best sales material will be the result of close collaboration between marketing and sales.
Sales has the customer’s feedback and firsthand knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, while marketing has the templates and brand messaging to take sales materials to the next level.
Smiles’ advice: Have regular check-ins with each other, and cover these topics:
- What questions are sales hearing from leads?
- What objections are sales hearing from these prospects?
- What materials would make the sales process better?
Check-ins will also give you the opportunity to review existing materials and discuss what’s not working and needs to be revamped.
Make content scannable and use plenty of photos
Regardless of whether the content is more in-depth (like an FAQ) or brief (like a one-pager), the content should be scannable.
“Don’t expect it to be read like a book,” Smiles said.
Instead, use headers, bullets, bolding and other stylistic differentiation (like call-out boxes or etc.) to make the content easy to digest.
Photos are also key because they provide visual interest. Use high-quality photos of your own products and keep your audience in mind if you use stock images or photos of your products in use. For instance, if you’re pitching to a multifamily builder, make sure your images speak to condos and townhomes, not single-family developments.
Stay on brand
Your one-pager to your pitch deck to your website should have the same look and feel, and that’s best accomplished when one department, or role, creates all these materials.
“Don't go rogue and start creating or revising materials without marketing and sales working together,” Smiles advised.
It can be tempting, especially when time is short or sales reps just want to make a quick change to an existing sales piece. But doing so could significantly undermine your own brand and cause confusion if different sales reps are using edited variations of the same piece.
Instead, keep an open line of communication between sales and marketing and refer to our third tip.
Use the right materials at the right time
Smiles ranks FAQs and one-pagers as two of the most important pieces of sales collateral. One-pagers let potential customers obtain the quick benefits of your brand and product, while FAQs let them research you more deeply.
If you’re “cold-calling” a lead through email, one-pagers are a good introduction because they don’t get too in the weeds for someone whose interest level is unclear.
FAQs on the other hand are a great asset to send to leads who have already been introduced to your product through marketing emails and have shown engagement (through opens, clicks or requests for more information).
Naturally, you’ll find the right rhythm for what works so you can effectively use your sales materials to help turn leads into customers.
Let us know if we missed anything in the comments!