A well written white paper can be a truly powerful sales tool. In the sales process, white papers:
Generate Leads - Individuals willing to trade their contact info for a paper in your area of expertise is often a qualified lead. For example, IT Directors download an average of 30 white papers a year, granting you great exposure to this critical audience.
Shape the RFP - Forget a level playing field. You want one slanted in your favor. Offer expertise on what should be in an RFP. The first phase in any RFP process is information gathering in order to write the RFP. White papers have heavy play here.
Advance the sales cycle - The longer the sales cycle the more likely white papers are part of it. Touches to reconnect, elaboration on key buying criteria, and offering ongoing expertise can keep your sales team in the game and help you win it in the long run.