A sell sheet is like the resume of your product or service. If you’re reviewing applicants for a job, you don’t want to receive a multi-page memoir of a candidate’s experience, you instead want a one-page brief of the highlights.
When potential customers are moving from the awareness phase into the evaluation phase of your sales funnel, they also want to see the highlight reel of your product or service — enter the sell sheet.
A sell sheet is a one-page overview of your product or service that effectively introduces the concept, uses data to present the value proposition, and informs the buyer. Notice here we used the term buyer and not end-user because while the sell sheet can be helpful for users, its purpose is to quickly educate a decision-maker.
The sell sheet often contains visualizations to increase understanding and can include specifications of the product or of service to provide as much detail as possible, as quickly as possible.
Sometimes referred to as a datasheet or brochure, a sell sheet is often less technical and more concise than a datasheet or brochure, respectively.
The sell sheet will differ depending on the product, service, industry, company, and more, but the process of simplifying things down to the most important details is beneficial.
If you’re in a highly technical space, for example, your datasheets might go in-depth across multiple chapters, not a single page. It can be a good practice to have your sales team prune a technical datasheet and identify the key value propositions, features, benefits, and more that should be included on the sell sheet.
This process helps the sales team identify the foundations of their sales pitch while still understanding the product’s nuances.
Now you might be asking, “How do I make a great sell sheet?” Below are the elements that we’ve found to be included in the best sell sheets:
Your company name, logo, and a memorable slogan or tagline are the essential starting points for a sell sheet. The first connection you want customers to make is between your brand and the benefits of the product or service.
Including a value proposition is also a great way to quickly communicate why the prospect should be compelled to read more about your product or service.
Your slogan, tag line, or value proposition should be a surface-level introduction to the concept or solution, but a wisely used paragraph or two elaborating on the product or service itself, including the problems it solves, features of the product, use-cases, and more, can further captivate the prospect.
This is especially important if your company services multiple markets or industries. Your description should be inclusive enough for non-technical people to understand; but also give technical folks an ‘aha’ moment for why your product or service will be beneficial to them.
For example, in addition to the People.ai logo, our sell sheet could also include our value proposition, “AI-powered sales productivity technology built to increase revenue per rep every year.” This gives the reader a baseline understanding of who this product is for — sales and revops teams.
To further validate your sell sheet in the eyes of a prospect, showcase data that contributes to the overall story and customer journey with your product or service. This could include testimonials from individual customers, logos of current high-profile customers, or proprietary platform data that distills the product’s value.
If your company or product has been featured by high-tier news outlets, received accolades or industry ratings, certifications, or otherwise, including those can also add credibility to your sell sheet.
To continue our example of a People.ai sell sheet, we could feature some of the customers who have had success with our product, including Zoom, Okta, and Gainsight, or provide a testimonial from a point of contact with the customer’s company.
One of the most important aspects of any sales pitch is getting the customer to visualize themselves using your product. Show your product in action and combine with detailed specs of dimensions, features, and more. If you are selling a service, provide prospects with a visual tour of the customer journey.
The visual component of the sell sheet typically takes up a large portion of the sheet itself. This is because many people use the imagery to supplement reading and if the image is annotated, it can be enough to convince the reader to learn more and take action towards making a purchase.
For example, our sell sheet could feature actual dashboard interfaces that showcase how our product helps surface insights for coaching reps, inspecting deals, and staying ahead of account risks.
Consider including a QR code or UPC barcode to offer a clear next step for interested prospects who come across the sell sheet, either physically or digitally. You should also include a clear CTA with contact information and typical next steps in the sales process.
If your sales process includes a product demo or consultative call before a deal closes, you’ll want to signal this action directly in the sell sheet. For example, “Schedule your demo now to see how People.ai helps teams drive consistent and predictable growth quarter-after-quarter: https://people.ai/get-demo/.”
Today, the sell sheet is often used as a way to introduce your product or service at a high level and as a leave behind for prospects to consider your product on their own time. More importantly, however, you can suggest that the prospect circulate the sell sheet internally as a way to get buy-in from their superiors and your ultimate buyers.
It’s worth noting that the modern sell sheet can and should be used both physically and digitally. This multi-channel approach to the sell sheet should be approached with accessibility in mind because it’s possible your sell sheet will be viewed on a mobile device, from afar in a slide deck, or in another way you don’t anticipate.
Copy length, color, contrast, font size, and more should all be deeply considered and scrutinized for accessibility.
Now that you know the components of a successful sell sheet, it might be helpful to get slightly more granular and cover an example.
There are some differences when it comes to physical products (hardware) and digital products (software), which we discuss below.
In the example below, 6Sense uses a visual diagram to display supporting evidence about their value proposition of delivering predictable revenue growth.
6Sense also includes the logos of recognizable customers to further validate their product and service as well as build legitimacy and trust with prospects. They also do a great job of answering the ultimate question in the mind of their prospective customer: why choose 6Sense?
The sell sheet of a physical product is usually better able to showcase the actual product. If the product is complex with many moving parts, it can be helpful to highlight the key features in action.
A physical product sell sheet should look to describe the product in just enough detail to be informative but not overwhelming, focusing heavily on the value proposition of using the product.
If you’d like to build a sell sheet for your product or service based on the strategies we’ve outlined above, feel free to download our template as an editable PDF and customize.
Our template includes placeholders for your logo, value proposition, product description, features, specs, data visualization, product imagery, and a call to action.
As prospects are in the awareness and information-gathering phase, the sell sheet can function as a lead gen engine — introducing your product or service at a high level, circulating among stakeholders in a potential deal, and providing the necessary information for customers to take action.
If you host the sell sheet on your website, you can also use it in your ABM strategy, tracking and actively qualifying these leads as they enter the event horizon of your sales funnel. If you use a QR code or UTM-tracking URL, you can understand how the sell sheet is truly converting. Similarly, the use of AI-powered automation can be used to uncover when actions — like interactions with your sell sheet — are driving deals forward.