If you’re sending a follow-up packet through the mail, you may have to print a cover letter, locate and insert the right brochure, and stuff, address and mail. What does that take — a good 15-20 minutes?
It’s faster to follow-up by e-mail although attaching brochures or providing links to online brochures require a high degree of organization. And the sales rep must know the materials or links are the most current. That requires some sort of version control for centralized documents. In addition, attachments are often large files which recipients aren’t always comfortable opening. If follow-up documents require signature approvals, proof of receipt or other legal elements related to delivery, extra care has to be taken. And extra care translates into additional time. Costs are high when you send documents by courier. If you forget a document, then you have to incur a second charge for sending.
E-mail follow-up isn’t always the most appropriate. Sometimes you want to deliver documents for prospects to hold in their hands. Sometimes you must send hard copies due to legal compliance issues. Given a choice, it’s tempting to sacrifice real mail for e-mail because it’s so much faster. Faster means you can get more done.
What if you could send real mail as quickly and easily as e-mail?
That’s what Advanced Image Direct (AID) asked itself before creating Cloud2Mail. Its core business is large volume direct-mailing in monthly volumes from 10,000 to 10 million pieces. These guys know printing and these guys know mailing. AID recently announced Cloud2Mail which lets sales reps send follow-up materials through the mail with just a few clicks. Cloud2Mail leverages AID’s core competency and patented process for creating, producing, and shipping direct mail.
Here’s how it works. Use Cloud2Mail’s free Salesforce.com plugin, or link it to any other CRM program. With a client record in view, sales reps can order-up branded marketing materials to be personalized and mailed with just a few clicks.
For sales reps on the road with no ability to send hard-copy marketing materials, this is a winner. They can send high quality letters, greeting cards, brochures, or proposals to anyone from anywhere. They can configure an information packet with any combination of marketing materials and have it printed, stuffed into envelopes and mailed on their behalf for less money than doing it in-house.
The company says mailing usually occurs within a day from when it’s requested.
This doesn’t happen magically. Obviously there is a lot of upfront work that needs to be done — usually by marketing. They’ll have to get the brochures and any other document types designed and set up for printing. If letters are to be included, they’ll need to create the various templates and decide which portions can be customized by reps (if any).
But sales will love it because it speeds up the follow-up process. It also helps them know when to take the next step because each envelope comes with an Intelligent Mail Barcode which notifies them — through the CRM system — when the mail has been delivered. Letters and cards cost .50 to .99 each. Brochures and information packets will run you $2 and up.
RPost is “Registered E-mail.” If you’re in real estate, financial services, insurance, or healthcare you have a pretty good feel for the amount of time consumed with paperwork that contains legal elements. These documents need to be tracked carefully for signature verification, proof of delivery and compliance. The cost for managing this paperwork can be staggering. Yet printing and delivery service costs are accepted as unavoidable business expenses.
Why can’t all of these documents be handled electronically via e-mail? They can be with RPost.
Using RPost eliminates paper altogether, minimizes back-andforth time and assures time-sensitive correspondences are delivered to prospects.
For certain businesses, this can have a profound effect on your sales reps’ productivity. RPost would be appropriate for:
- Approval of price quotes or product configurations by e-mail, with electronic signature and proof records for both parties
- Delivery of proposals and responses to RFPs with proof of delivery under deadline
- Obtaining customer signoff on changes to contracts, terms and conditions
- Delivering commission reports and sales policies to your sales team
RPost services can be configured in different ways. Its DealCloser platform includes Registered E-mail, e-Sign-off, opened tracking for e-mail and e-mail encryption. Business packages start at $79 per mo.
PrintSf offers collateral on-demand for e-mailing or sending through the post. Sales and marketing team members use the PrintSF utility through the Salesforce.com dashboard so you have to be a Salesforce.com user.
The utility provides three main capabilities:
- Content management
- Collateral delivery
- 1-to-1 direct mail campaigns
I like that PrintSF delivers a feature-rich collateral management portal that streamlines how you publish, share, print and mail marketing collateral: All from one dashboard. Sales reps have online access to the most recent sales collateral, presentations, case studies, training guides, logos or any file. Authorized administrators designate whether files are accessible by others outside the company, within the company or by specific users.
Any company can use PrintSF for free for up to 5 GB of data storage. You can sign up for a fee-based package if you require more storage. You have to contact PrintSF directly for pricing, which is not publicly available.
Nancy Nardin founded Smart Selling Tools after a prestigious career in high-tech and IT market research sales. She is considered the leading expert on sales productivity tools.