How long could your sales and marketing people last without sales and marketing literature? Crazy question, huh? Think about a business start-up. A business start-up with absolutely no sales or marketing collateral. How far would that business get? How many sales would be made? Maybe a couple, if it had some charming, fast talking sales people.

Literature is crucial to your business. There is no way around it. You need the business cards, brochures, sales sheets…but do they always need to be in print form? That’s a really good question to pose to sales and marketing staff. Because odds are you could downsize some of your physical literature needs and save some time and money at the same time.

Obviously there are advantages to electronic literature fulfillment. You don’t have to worry about keeping a physical inventory. Your budget for printing and shipping can be negligible. You can update consistently and then not worry about having outdated materials on hand. With tracking implemented, you can see when the recipient receives the materials, whether the materials are viewed or downloaded and so on. With those tracking capabilities, you can then create personalized follow-up.

But that’s not to say that providing physical materials is a crazy (or budget busting) way to go. The reality is businesses need some sort of physical literature to provide clients and prospects.

And there are ways to make physical literature fulfillment as pain free as possible. With the right program in place, you can manage the inventory and allow for ordering from unlimited locations. You can track the levels of your inventory and analyze the historical data in order to help you with future literature planning.

There are aspects to literature fulfillment that remain the same regardless of their delivery method. Accuracy of materials is crucial. Mistakes are ugly to see, whether they are on a screen or on a piece of paper. Timing is also key. In this day and age, people want what they want, right now. (And sometimes they want it “yesterday”). You also want to keep a library of your collateral, whether it is a digital asset library or a physical library, so that you can have a historical collection of your work. It can help to ensure continuity, analyze the high and low points of your collateral, and help you plot out the future.

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