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10 Qualities of a Great Sales Tool


I learned many lessons during my 18-year career in sales.

Never go into a sales call without a tool.
Features mean nothing without a benefit.
The best sales tools are armed with data and solutions.

As a salesperson, I was a communicator of the sales tools my marketing colleagues created. Marketing was critical to my success. And, as time went on, I began to spot differentiators in the tools I was using.

What did it take to create a sales tool that wound up on the front seat, versus in the back seat in a box? What pieces helped me tell a more powerful story, to ultimately grow my sales?

Here’s are the 10 qualities I look for in a great sales tool:

1. It’s useful. A great sales tool doesn’t have a “zero open rate” or find it’s home in a trash can. A great sales tool gets used and provides ROI through sales growth. How do you know it’s useful? Read on to find out.

2. It considers the audience. A great sales tool is written for its target audience. Questions to ask when developing a sales tool: Who will view it? Who will make the ultimate purchase decision? What information would drive a buying decision? And, don’t forget the salesperson – they are part of your audience, too, since they are the primary deliverer of the tool. Could a new or minimally trained salesperson use it?

3. It’s durable and appropriately sized. A good sales tool will probably travel thousands of miles in a salesperson’s vehicle, so it must be durable. The tools will experience a range of weather and moisture conditions both inside the vehicle and left in the customer’s hands (think extreme heat/cold, humidity, etc.). Also consider size when developing a tool. The last thing a salesperson wants is a poster-like tool that they need three hands to hold. Add an element like wind, and the poster could become a parachute.

4. It’s available in both electronic and hard copy forms. Think about all the potential touchpoints for a customer and ways they receive information. Make sales tools available in both electronic and hard copy formats, for a quick email follow-up or piece to leave-behind after a visit.

5. It tells a story (with solutions). A great sales tool shows data that’s easy to understand and demonstrates ROI. Bonus points if the data is from a credible source. A great tool will focus on solving a problem and will be convincing and believable.

6. It includes 3-5 key takeaways. Make essential content big and bold. If a decision-maker has five minutes with you, what will they remember? The decision-maker needs to make a smart, fast and profitable decision – your content should reflect that.

7. It includes features AND benefits. A feature means nothing without a benefit. Solve problems and sell solutions.

8. It includes impactful visuals. Use photos and easy-to-understand graphs and charts. Make sure visuals are something the target audience will remember.

9. It’s legible. Sales tools are used in varying environments, from the darkest corner of a barn to outdoors on the sunniest day. Make sure your content is visible in any conditions.

10. It’s visually appealing. A great sales tool has some white space! Don’t overcrowd things. After all, most sell sheets have too much information. Craft a sales tool with less information, but information that works harder. Push for engaging titles, high visual appeal and solutions-first copy.

We can develop endless sales tools, however, if salespeople don’t use them, then where’s the value? At Filament, we’re focused on creating impactful sales collateral. We work hard to ensure our sales pieces are useful and deliver solutions to our clients and their customers.

Looking to create an impactful sales tool? Let’s talk!