Commentary & Analysis
Using the Web to Enhance Print Sales/Marketing Success
By Terry Nagi August 12,
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: September 12, 2006
By Terry Nagi August 12, 2006 -- There is no doubt the Internet and Web are changing how the printing industry sells and markets. Although e-commerce has not yet gained strong acceptance by a majority of printers, the Internet has. PDF transfers are now becoming commonplace. E-mails are arriving at most print organizations not by the hour, but by the minute and the digital revolution is turning to a new way of utilizing the web, Web-to-Print, in personalized and short run print and fulfillment. Internet companies have certainly added to the success of the print industry with their need to promote themselves via direct mail, magazine advertising, billboards, etc. Sales representatives are beginning to learn the opportunities of using the Internet to enhance their sales productivity. This begins with e-mails and moves to on-line research of individual clients and prospects. In the future, it will also include using ASPs as their sales contact management software provider. What follows is a brief but important list of other Internet sites that should be of assistance to sales representatives as they pursue their pursuit of prospects, qualification of such, needs assessment, development of "uniqueness" presentations, closing and continuing contact with each. * www.Hoover.com – One of the best resources for researching a company, its sales, company history, current financial information, chief officers, and similar type information. * www.Excite.world.com – Providing profiles of over $11 million companies, business news and customized news based upon what is desired by the sales representatives. * www.edgar.Online.com – Provides free and subscription access to SEC documents for 10,000 public companies including insider filings and annual and quarterly reports. * www.PRNewswire.com – This site tracks information about a company or industry, or can provide customized news from current reports and press releases based upon the sales representative's instructions. * www.Office.com – This web site delivers information on trends and 150 vertical industries. It is an outstanding site for the printing industry. * www.fineswp.com – Personalized by the sales representatives, this site will deliver highly detailed business intelligence about companies, people, products, and markets. * www.USAData.com – Provides a mail list by state or by SIC code. Including locating companies by employee size and job title. * www.dnb.com – This is the Web site of Dun & Bradstreet. * www.infousa.com – A site to help find sales leads, conduct research on projects and look up phone numbers etc. * www.santcorp.com – its ProposalMaster software creates customized proposals. * www.salesproposals.com – its software program provides systematic proposal design. * www.Spinitar.com – Provides advice on how to build presentations and designing multimedia presentations. * www.mimeo.com – Using this may be some heresy, but it will provide the printing, binding and delivery of important documents direct from a PC, overnight. * www.I-mediaworld.com – Create your own multimedia presentations on-line and send direct to clients. Includes both an image and sound library. * www.2thanku.com – Select from multiple personalized notes to your customers, to thank them for a referral or an order. * www.Palmgear.com – Offering thousands of software applications that can be downloaded onto a hand-held, including sales automation programs from Lotus Notes to include customer records, schedules, expenses, e-mail, memos, to-dos, address book, etc. * http://www.podi.org/ – Providing case studies and advice on the success selling of digital printing. * www.Magicaldesk.com – Provides storage space for a virtual calendar, address book, message center and where all sales files are stored, accessible from anywhere. * www.sales.com – A customer relationship management program including prospect research, sales leads, calendars, products, travel, selling tapes, and sales training resources. * www.google – one of the most efficient and important resources on information on current and prospect companies, including a regular review of any new trade press articles on these companies. * www.salesforce.com – A sales force automation service via subscription. Track opportunities, manage contacts, create reports, and access news. * www.MessageClick.com – A way to manage all voice, fax, and e-mail communications by computer and over the telephone. Messages can be forwarded, printed, deleted, or saved with the click of a mouse. * www.eletter.com – A prospecting service that provides on-line services for print, fold, stuff, seal, address, postage, and deliver mail campaigns. The Internet is a prime supplier, on an ever-increasing basis, of solutions to sales representative responsibilities for prospecting; coordinating activities with all parties to a transaction including clients, customer service, estimating, production, etc.; maintaining accurate records, building outstanding visual sales presentations, etc. A regular review of providers in this effort provides an excellent opportunity for today's professional print sales representative to excel beyond their less proficient counterparts.