Successful Design

Collateral Impact: How to Design Successful Sell Sheets

Design Successful Sell Sheets


Are you forgetting something? With so much time and effort going into a sales presentation, there’s a crucial piece of the sales funnel that’s easy to overlook: the sell sheet leave-behind. Without sales collateral, all of that preparation goes to waste when your prospect has nothing to remember you by. Before your next big opportunity, make the most of your sales strategy with sales collateral that makes an impact.

What Should You Consider When Creating a Sell Sheet?

Business collateral is by no means a one size fits all scenario. It is always helpful to have a general piece of collateral that gives a nice overview of the products and/or services you offer. However, having an arsenal of product/service-specific sell sheets is perfect for tailoring a meeting to the prospect. With both general overview and product/service-specific sales collateral, include the aspects that make your company unique.

With sells sheets and sales collateral, printing more isn’t always better. Ordering too many right off the bat can result in a whole lot of wasted materials because of how frequently sales collateral needs to be updated with new products, services, and current images. Starting off with a more conservative quantity also gives your business greater flexibility in testing and measuring what messaging/imagery/content is the most effective.

The visual design of the piece is also an important factor when creating successful sell sheets. As a general rule, cluttered, confusing, or boring pieces get thrown away. Concise, visually compelling sales collateral highlights the most compelling information, including what your business is about, what you have to offer, and how to contact you. While you want to provide the information your prospect needs, too many details can distract from what’s important and can confuse or overwhelm your prospect.

Your Sell Sheets Should Be Versatile

However, versatile doesn’t mean universal. Every business has its own unique target market, and what works for one business won’t necessarily work for yours. As marketers, we encourage businesses to create buyer personas to fully flesh out the kinds of messaging and design that will best connect with their ideal customer. This can help expedite the process of designing sales collateral, while also improving your chances of making a successful marketing investment.

Having a few different sell sheet options tailored to specific types of prospects also helps ensure that your business is able to connect with them in the most relevant way. Specific prospects will have their own preferences in how they communicate and receive information. Having varied sales collateral helps to accommodate those preferences. For example, some individuals will respond better to charts and infographics, while others will appreciate bullet point lists or fact sheets. Your sales collateral should reflect what each of your buyer personas wants to see.   

In addition to crafting visuals that sync up with your buyer personas, sell sheets should also target different customer needs and steps in the sales funnel. By having a variety of pieces on-hand, you can meet your customers where they’re at with the exact information they’re looking for. Some sales collateral can provide a general outline of your business, while other pieces can address common concerns or objections. If your business has a wide range of products and services, having specific sell sheets that describe them in detail is also a major benefit.   

For more tips on designing sell sheets and other sales collateral, connect with a 360 Direct Marketing team member here.

Case Study

Case Study: Paper & Converting Company

Case Study

Client Description

360 Direct began working with an independently-owned paper converting company in 2016. The company has been known for its family business model and problem-solving, waste-saving approach since they opened their doors in the 1960s. This family business has since grown into a major packaging provider for Fortune 500 companies all over the United States.

Originally, their primary marketing concerns included updating the company website, keeping sales collateral current, and having a consistent digital presence. From the beginning, this client understood the need to leverage marketing to reach into new markets in order to meet the company’s aggressive growth goals.

The client’s monthly program started with a new website build and later expanded to include marketing new product lines, partnerships, and other campaigns.


Strategy & Tactics


360 Direct built this client a website that was responsive to all screen sizes and easy for users to navigate. Perhaps most importantly, it was built to be able to grow as fast as the organization was expanding. Since then, new pages have been added regularly as the their product and service offerings grow. This even includes a custom coded calculator page that their sales team requested.

Sales Collateral

The company began with a limited amount of sales collateral. 360 Direct’s first step was creating pieces for every major product line to establish consistency. Now pieces are updated as capabilities change and created for new partnerships and product lines. This ensures the sales team always has everything they need for a new prospect. In fact, some of the projects are requested straight from the sales team!


SEO is important for increasing web traffic without relying on paid advertising. Regular blog posts and new web pages have increased the company’s visibility organically. When they first became a client, they ranked for 20 terms among search engines; today they rank for 274. The result is a 30% increase in web traffic year over year.


Content Consistency

In addition to regular blog posts, social media is also active. With so many things happening at the paper company, there’s also a monthly email newsletter that goes out so their customers stay informed of everything they have to offer.

Editorials and PR

While content is regularly pushed to their current lists and audience, the client is interested in expanding their reach with PR and editorials. Press releases are distributed when there’s noteworthy information to share.

In late 2018, the company began pursuing editorials. They have had articles published in Total Food and Packaging Strategies, with three more editorials in two other publications planned for later in 2019. These articles expand the company’s reach and position them as thought leaders in their industry.

Special Campaigns and Projects

There are some opportunities that don’t happen often, and the company wants to be able to take advantage of them when they come along. Part of having a scaleable, flexible marketing agency is being able to grab onto opportunities when they arise. Projects have included:


  • Logos for new divisions and their 50th anniversary
  • Banners and signs
  • Press releases for new developments
  • Customer Surveys
  • Thank you cards


Client Feedback

There’s always something wonderful happening at this company, and 360 Direct is honored to work with them towards their business goals. We love it when a member of their sales team makes a special request, because it means our content has value beyond SEO and branding. It’s providing the sales team with the tools they need and want.

On a recent meeting, the client said, “I think you guys are doing a great job for us. I really do appreciate that.”

This client is thriving and successfully adapting in an ever-changing industry, utilizing marketing to convey those adaptations to their target market. Just as they are forward-thinking in their product lines, they are also forward-thinking in their marketing strategy, and we have exciting projects planned for 2019 and beyond.



B2B Calling Campaigns

B2B Cold Calling Can Work, and Here’s How

B2B Calling Campaigns

“Cold calling is expensive and doesn’t yield a great ROI.” Unfortunately, we’ve heard this claim from business owners more times than we can count. In reality, cold calling done right can raise the profile of a business, connect sales reps with qualified, interested prospects, and help convert cold leads into happy customers. However, there’s a reason why so many throw in the towel when it comes to cold calling: because it’s easy to make a very expensive mess of a calling campaign. On the other hand, when businesses follow the right formula, cold calling can be exactly the right kind of cost-effective tactic to warm up new prospects in their industry.


Why Traditional Cold Calling Campaigns Fail

It comes down to quality and getting what you pay for. Too many businesses throw together a calling campaign with no real strategy, a poorly vetted list, and an ineffective script because they’re worried about spending a lot of money on a tactic that might not work. To make things worse, a burned-out or overburdened sales team member is often placed at the helm to manage it all.

Everything from script writing to the cold calling itself takes a high level of skill, time, and energy in order to pull off. When you haven’t invested in the guidance of cold calling experts, it’s virtually inevitable that a business will spend a lot of money on a brand damaging venture with next to zero ROI. This is just one of many examples for why cutting corners in marketing is more expensive and less effective in the long run.

This doesn’t mean we’re suggesting that a business can simply outsource their calling campaigns to self-proclaimed experts and expect measurable rates of success from any service provider. Another common mistake business owners make is relying on underpriced telemarketing companies to run their cold calling campaigns. These agencies often use inexperienced calling talent who can’t connect well with prospects, and are more likely to do brand damage than serve as effective brand ambassadors.

As with any type of marketing, an ineffectively executed tactic will result in a waste of resources. With calling campaigns, enviable ROIs don’t just happen – you have to work for them.


Modern Cold Calling Campaigns Done Right

First things first: a successful cold calling campaign begins with a strategy and a high quality list, which should include direct mail addresses, company names, the names and titles of individuals at those companies. Narrow down your target market with appropriate demographic information like SIC codes and revenue stats. Using a more narrow, targeted list prevents you from spending resources on lists dominated by unqualified leads and helps your callers make the most of the time they spend reaching out to prospects.

Be cautious when attempting to utilize email in conjunction with a calling campaign. Most email automation services won’t even allow you to upload or email a purchased list. Work with an expert of using email ethically and responsibly.

The next step is writing a script that aligns with your overall strategy using tried and true script writing styles. A quality script provides answers for all likely contingencies and customer responses to prevent the conversation from actually feeling scripted. This requires writing scripts for leaving a message on an answering machine, for speaking with a skeptical customer, and working your way past skilled gatekeepers. The primary focus of an effective cold calling script should always be on the needs of the potential customer first, while providing just enough information at the right intervals to keep a lead engaged without overselling. With the aforementioned components finessed throughout a script by professional script writers, a cold caller can actually start to build relationships out of cold leads and prime them for later conversations with your sales talent.

However, even with a professionally written script, an inexperienced caller is set up to fail at a cold calling campaign. Professional calling talent dedicate all of their time to working around rude, angry, or disinterested individuals on the telephone and won’t get discouraged or timid after being turned down a few times. Using professional cold callers also allows your sales team to maintain their enthusiasm and put their skills and energies towards nurturing qualified leads and actually closing sales.

If all of that information seems like a lot to digest, there’s no need to worry. Our team of marketing experts, script writers, and calling campaign developers is here to provide additional guidance whenever you need it. To get in touch, visit our Contact page here.



Are your customers falling off the ladder?

Are Your Customers Falling off the Ladder?

Are your customers falling off the ladder?

Are Your Customers Falling Off the Ladder? Every business owner must ask this critical question regularly.  Your customer loyalty ladder profile can say a lot about the health of your business.  One of the primary reasons small businesses and startups fail is a lack of marketing activities directed at customer loyalty.  This failure rate is exaggerated during a struggling economy as customers hunker down with the businesses that they already have established a solid relationship with.  This customer ladder is the path your customers take from the first moment they hear about your business to the final level of interaction in which they choose to engage your business.

Beyond just looking at how customers fit into your ladder we need to look at how your budget is allocated across it.  Where in the ladder will we obtain the greatest return on investment (ROI)? Various experts have identified several different versions of this ladder, some with 5 rungs and some with a few more depending on the level of granularity desired to describe the customer.  Take a close look at your customers and identify what percentage of your sales comes from each of the following classifications.  Then look at where you spend your marketing dollars.

The Suspect – a person or business that has heard or been exposed to your business or advertising.

The Prospect – a person or business that has responded by showing interest in your message.  We can add granularity by identifying a rung for those who merely showing interest from those who are beginning to negotiate how they want to buy.  These would be your buyers or shoppers.

The Customer – a person or business that has purchased your goods or services once.

The Client or Member – a person or business that has made multiple purchases.  These are your loyal customers.

The Advocate – a person or business that refers prospects to your business.  Let us note that a referral will skip the expense of moving from the suspect rung to prospect.  The cost of moving a referral from prospect to customer is significantly lower than new prospects coming through your suspect phase.

The Raving Fan – a person or business that can’t help themselves from selling your goods or  services for you.  An advocate will make referrals but a raving fan is part of your team. A healthy business will spend 30 percent of their marketing dollars on activities that move customers up to the top portion of the ladder.  They will spend 70 percent of their marketing dollars on advertising seeking new customers.  Many struggling businesses I have come into contact with are allocating their marketing dollars in a 5/95 split, consuming most of their budget frantically seeking new customers.  They need this because they are losing customers after a single purchase.  Their customers are falling off the ladder.  They have made a critical mistake of not building a relationship with the customer to increase their loyalty. To bring a suspect up your ladder to the customer level through traditional advertising can cost four times the expense of attracting a repeat customer.  In addition it can take 30 to 50 times the advertising dollars to bring a suspect up to the customer level versus having an advocate refer the prospect. This illustration depicts just how important it is to never lose sight of marketing to your existing customer base.  Loyal customers can be your anchor through the ebbs and flows of a business cycle, and the passion of advocates and raving fans can be more effective than an in-house sales team at bringing highly qualified prospects to your business, all due to the power of a referral.