The material handling industry had an interesting year in 2020. The extreme demand for quarantine staples strained supply chains (who could forget the great toilet paper shortage?), and social distancing measures changed how many companies managed their warehouses. Some small businesses had to cut down on expenses and shut down operations altogether, leaving suppliers without work. If you made it out of 2020 relatively unscathed, you’re probably looking to ramp up your present sales and bring in a steady supply of customers to make up for lost business.
Choosing a material handling service provider isn’t an easy task. Your potential customers have to trust that your equipment, parts, and automated systems will keep their warehouse running at peak efficiency. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to convince a lead to switch from their current provider or invest in your services. For your lead generation strategy to be successful, you need all the help you can get. And while marketing collateral may not be the first thing that comes to mind, it can be a tremendously powerful addition to your pipeline.
A few pieces of marketing collateral used at strategic points in your B2B appointment setting process can provide the extra push potential customers need to choose you as their material handling partner. These are the three essential pieces of sales collateral you need to take your material handling sales to the next level.
Would you buy a product from a company you know nothing about? If that product is a $20,000 forklift that will cost thousands each year to maintain, the answer is likely a hard no. Your leads aren’t going to hand over a massive chunk of money to the first company that calls them—they want to know they’re getting the best product at the most affordable price from a reputable supplier.
A company brochure or highlight video is the perfect way to introduce your company to prospective customers in the first stages of the appointment setting process. When you cold call a lead for the first time, and they only have a few minutes to chat, you can spend those minutes asking questions about their business. Towards the end of the conversation, you can ask for their email address and send them a link to your brochure PDF or video after the call ends. By doing so, you build trust with the lead by showing them you care about their business and respect their time limitations while still communicating valuable information about your company.
Company brochures can contain any information you feel is important to know about your company, including:
- Company history: By showcasing your story, you can demonstrate to potential customers that you’re an established, reputable company. When leads feel connected to your company and background, they’re more likely to choose you as their material handling equipment and service provider.
- Mission and values: Your prospects want to work with like-minded businesses, and mission or value statements are an excellent way to highlight what’s important to you.
- Your products and services: If a prospect is looking for specific services (e.g., preventative equipment maintenance, emergency repairs), they’re not going to entertain a partnership until they know you can meet their expectations. When they see your product and service offerings on your company brochure, your leads can decide if your business is the right choice for their service needs.
- Awards and certifications: In the early stages of lead generation, your top goal is to build trust with potential customers. If you can show leads that you’ve received stamps of approval from other customers and recognized organizations, you can begin to foster trust.
Your company brochure or video should give leads the essential facts about your business while still leaving them wanting more. Well-crafted company brochures aren’t just an information source; they compel readers and viewers to move further into the pipeline. After your leads close your company brochure or watch the final few seconds of your overview video, they should have additional questions about specific services. This brings us to the next type of marketing collateral every material handling business should have: a sell sheet.
Company brochures hit the main points of your business, but they don’t delve deep into your products or services. This surface-level overview is intentional—leads who are still at the entrance of your pipeline don’t want to be inundated with information about services they might not even need. Instead, they want to learn about your company and decide if you’re a viable potential partner. Once you make it past their screening process, you can start sharing detailed information tailored to their needs using a sell sheet.
Sell sheets are concise, one-page advertisements for a particular product or service. They give leads a rundown of what you’re selling without overloading them with information. Additionally, sell sheets allow your sales team to spend their phone calls discussing pain points and establishing a rapport with your leads instead of delivering a one-sided sales pitch.
Leads don’t want to spend five minutes listening to your sales rep list every piece of warehouse equipment your company offers. They want to have a conversation about their current equipment, the issues they’re having, and the specific features their new equipment needs to have. You can use that information to craft a personalized email and share a sell sheet highlighting a product that fits their needs.
For example, let’s say a lead tells one of your sales reps that their current pallet stacker is slow, hard to handle, and too big for their narrow warehouse aisles. Your sales rep could launch into a minutes-long description of your newest product, but that’s not a good use of their time. Instead, they tell the lead that they understand their frustrations and ask what their ideal pallet stacker would look like. When the conversation is over, your rep sends an email with a sell sheet highlighting a new pallet stacker with all the specifications the lead mentioned.
Once your lead receives the email and the sell sheet, they browse the information on their own time without feeling pressure to respond immediately. If the sell sheet draws your potential customer in with an eye-catching design and addresses their pain points with carefully written copy, they might make a decision then and there to buy your product. In this scenario, the lead views your sales rep as a problem-solver, not just someone trying to sell them a product.
Incorporating sell sheets into your B2B appointment setting process is a win-win for your sales reps and your leads. Your reps can focus on developing relationships instead of memorizing details about your products and services, and your leads can learn about the products most relevant to them in a pressure-free environment.
Need an experienced marketing collateral partner for your material handling business? Schedule a meeting with our creative experts today.
Company brochures nudge your leads into the pipeline. Sell sheets nurture them through and bring them closer to a purchase. Pitch decks are helpful during the entire sales pipeline, but they typically come into play at the very end of the buying process. Once you secure an appointment with a potential customer, you can use your pitch deck to guide your sales presentation.
Though you should personalize each sales pitch to fit the needs of a particular lead, you can create a universal pitch deck as the base of every presentation. Pitch decks should include:
- Title page: Every presentation should begin with a compelling title page. Include your contact information, company name, slogan or motto, and an image demonstrating your services.
- Introduction/company overview: If you sent your lead a company brochure earlier in the sales process, they should know a few critical details about your business. In your pitch deck, you can build on your company brochure and add additional information about the clients you serve, your success stories, and what motivates your business.
- “Why Us?” slide: There are dozens of material handling competitors your leads could buy from. Why should they choose you? Give them reasons they can’t argue with.
- Products and services overview: You should tweak this slide based on the products or services your lead might purchase. Add to the information on your sell sheet and highlight differentiators between you and your competitors.
- “Meet the team” slide: Your leads want to know who they’ll be working with regularly. You can add a personal touch to your sales presentation by introducing your potential customers to their service team.
- Onboarding and pricing information: Leads won’t sign a contract for services if they don’t know the cost. Let them know what their service or equipment rental contract will look like and clearly outline the onboarding process.
- Conclusion and next steps: At the end of each sales presentation, it’s crucial to outline next steps. Will you follow up in a few days with a sample contract? Does your lead need a few days to consider your offer? If you leave next steps ambiguous, you risk losing contact and missing out on a sale.
Pitch decks are an essential piece of marketing collateral because they make your job easier during the sales presentation. Plus, they can provide the final push your lead needs to buy.
Many material handling companies overlook the power of collateral, but it can transform your sales pipeline and boost your marketing strategy. If you’re not sure how to turn your marketing collateral vision into reality, Abstrakt can help. We have over a decade of experience creating all types of custom collateral for material handling clients, from simple sell sheets to professional company overview videos. Our collateral team also creates white papers, case studies, social media covers, infographics, and custom branded materials curated specially for your business.
Get in touch today to learn more about how we integrate professional marketing collateral into our B2B appointment setting program.