marketing sales app

If you are like me, you don’t look forward to getting invoices from the printer for new sales collateral.

It can be pretty hard to justify those expenses since once the brochures are gone, they are gone.

No tracking, no magic lead scoring, no way to know if that budget had any effect on the bottom line.

I looked forward to the Tooth Fairy leaving me money under my pillow for pulling my baby teeth out.

If only there was a fairy that could leave marketers more budget…

Like many marketers, you may be turning to mobile sales apps to distribute materials magically to reps in the field in an effort to save budget on printing and shipping brochures around the world.

But does the math justify the app?

Let me back up for a second and lay some context out before I lay some math out. That’s right, a marketer is going to attempt math. Brace yourself.

Marketing budgets are reported to be on the rise in 2014, as much as 3.4 percent according to a Forrester’s Marketing Budget Online Survey. Over half of the same marketers polled in the Forrester survey also said they plan to increase spending on multiple marketing fronts.

The trend over several years in marketing has been to improve campaign efficiencies and honing in on target markets for the highest probable conversion rate. More recently, the trend has shifted towards improving the efficiencies of how marketing operates. Or, simply put, where can companies sprinkle some pixie dust to shave existing marketing dollars to go towards new productive campaigns.

Well I’m here to tell you that the Marketing Budget Fairy exists. And no, it’s not a bunch of pixie dust or waving of a wand that gives marketers more budget while still obtaining their campaign goals.

It’s simply collateral management.

Say for example a company has two dozen sales reps in the field, plus dealers and distributors. They all request the same collateral from marketing to hand out. And marketing creates dozens of different pieces of sales materials for all these groups. You’re talking about thousands of potential requests for collateral a year.

The design firm, the printer, the paper, the shipping—these costs all adds up fast. And let’s not forget about shipping extra collateral to trade shows too.

But all of those print collateral management costs can shrink with the implementation of a sales app. Time to prove this isn’t a fairy tale with some math.

Breaking Down Collateral Management Costs

Let’s say your company has 200 sales reps in the field, and each rep makes a request from marketing for collateral materials once a week.

200 requests/week X 52 weeks = 10,400 requests/year

Now depending on the market, product demand and other variables, you could be ordering 5,000 to 50,000 units of collateral for a single type of collateral.

Remember you might have one sheet brochures, multiple sheet brochures, catalogs, spec sheet and other types of collateral.

Let’s say you have 20 different types of collateral and, just for simple math (because I certainly need it) the average order per piece of collateral is 10,000 units for simplicity sake.

20 pieces of collateral X 10,000 units = 200,000 units of collateral ordered

Depending on the size, number of pages, type of paper, ink, etc. the cost of each unit of collateral could range from $.35 to $4.00—or even more. A 40+ page catalog could run as much as $5.50/catalog. Let’s just call it $1.00 per unit.

200,000 units X $1.00/unit = $200,000 in collateral printing costs

This is the average printing charges for one year, and it doesn’t even include shipping or reprints to handle over 10,000 collateral requests.

While this is an example to illustrate the slippery slope collateral management entails, where is the revenue recouped from all of that collateral? How a company tracks which piece of printed collateral led to a sale is very difficult.

Is that the soft flutter of fairy wings I hear?

Marketing Budget Fairy to the Rescue

Using a sales app for your collateral management will drastically reduce costs on print, and increase options for additional campaigns with left over marketing dollars.

Yes, you’ll still have the up front cost of creating collateral digitally. But after that, the amount of printing goes drastically down. Armed with iPads, your sales reps in the field won’t have to keep requesting additional collateral. Which means you won’t have to order and reorder collateral from the printer.

Additional up front costs would include the purchasing of iPads, if your company hasn’t already deployed them, and purchasing of the right sales app. Purchasing the device is only a one time expense, and many apps either offer a monthly subscription or an annual fee depending on the number of reps. Either way, this route is much cheaper than print.

And regarding tracking which collateral closes deals, with a sales app you’re able to track real-time analytics from many sales apps available.

Finally, marketing has budget to play with and data to show tangible results. And we have the Marketing Budget Fairy to thank.