Sales Collateral for Startups

amazing-wonderful-cakes-6With your messaging and website in place, having a handy collection of sales collateral available can help facilitate the buying process.  The key word – facilitate.  No one ever closed a sale because of a mind-blowing PDF or a jaw-droppingly beautiful PPT.  Keep it in perspective.  At best, collateral is icing on the cake.

Here are a few tips for creating and sharing your sales collateral.


  • Re-use and re-word the messaging you have already used on your website.  Don’t re-invent the wheel everytime.
  • If you can, enlist a designer to create a template from which you can build more collateral.  A great option to find an affordable one:
  • If you can’t afford a designer, find sales collateral from a competitor or parallel industry that you really like.  Make your collateral look similar, i.e. don’t copy but borrow heavily.  I have used PowerPoint in the past to build countless product info sheets, then saving to PDF.


  • Don’t send attachments to people you don’t know.  Bad form.  Instead…
  • Create links through or something similar to track how many times your collateral is downloaded.  See which pieces are more effective, try new messaging, test, tweak, etc.
  • Make it easy to find on your website with very clear call-to-actions.  “Download our Product Sheet Here”.  Like that.
  • Resist the temptation to tweet and post collateral.  No one cares.  Instead, follow the 20-to-1 rule.  Give your audience value 20 times before asking them to do 1 thing, like download your PDF.  More on this in a future post.
  • Add a link in your email signature to download a case study or a product sheet.

What to Create [A Few Basics]:

  • Product Sheets for each product.
  • A Case Study, even if it is on your very first and only customer.
  • PowerPoint for demos that are image heavy, not text heavy.  Let your voice be the bullets.  Include your script or talking points in the notes, not on the slide.
  • PowerPoint for sharing that is heavier on the text.  People will want to share your PPT afterwards, and they’ll need 3-4 bullets on the page [max] to remember your key points.
  • Video demo that shows off product highlights, 90-120 seconds in length.  Use the 30 day free trial of Camtasia to build one, or QuickTime’s screen capture feature, or any other screen recording software.
  • Customer Welcome Packet.  What should you send a brand new customer? A welcome email? A tutorial? Figure it out, build it, send it.
  • Pre-built email templates for your sales outreach.  Don’t try to write something new every time.  Stick with your messaging, copy, paste, and go.  Fast.

After you’ve done all of this work, be prepared to edit it every single week, sometimes daily, as you refine and hone your message early during your startup.  Schedule time for yourself on the calendar, and make it quick.  That is, don’t invest too much time in building out your portfolio of marketing collateral.  Much more important is reaching out to, speaking with, and signing deals with new customers.


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