Sales Material logistics and Distribution  

Sales Process Management

Sales process covers the effectiveness and efficiency of a sales process. Sales numbers can be flimsy if they are not supported by a robust sales process, helping company to build a long lasting brand.

Sales Material logistics and Distribution

A sales organization uses wide variety of sales material including sales kit, sales representation and sales promotion material. A sales operations function has to leverage upon the capability of other functions to provide efficiency and to stay focused on its core capabilities.

This is a combination of creativity and logistics responsibility. This function is akin to maintaining the supply lines to support the troops fighting on the frontlines.

Examples of Sales Materials-

Sales Kit:

  • Sales Brochure
  • Sales Application Form (If the product requires a customer to fill-up a request OR a form ..typically in services industries)
  • Sales Brochure (product brochure, on going sales campaign brochures)
  • Company Profile

Sales Representation

  • Salesman Bag (containing company logo..)
  • Sales Man cap
  • Sales man batch
  • Visiting car

Sales Promotion

  • Banners
  • Hangers
  • Giveaways
  • Stickers
  • Posters
  • Diaries, Calendars

Success Drivers for an effective sales material designing, development and logistics management

Connect with Marketing, Product Management and operations groups

Marketing provides all the creative and many technical inputs to the designing of the sales material. It is responsible for designing of all sales promotion and also co-shares the sales representation material. Product Management provides many inputs on the sales kit. Operations and order fulfillment provides input on the application form, OR any other documents, capturing details to process the order.  Marketing, products and operations could also take the responsibility for some of the designing, printing and distribution  as well.

TIPS TO IMPROVE the connect

  • Establish Service Level agreement and define expectations. The SLA may not work well for designing phase (as it is a creative process), but for the rest it should.
  • Listen to marketing, products and operations, and not to use them as order takers.

An effective Sales Material logistics management infrastructure

While operations and service organizations are good in logistics management, sales organizations may lack that capability. Therefore, either they can ask Operations to handle the logistics OR create their own infrastructure. The logistics demand also gets complicated, with any sales campaigns running in certain locations and times.

TIPS TO DEVELOP logistics infrastructure

  • Managing logistics is not sales organizations key role, so it should be ideally occupying very less of their mind-space
  • Utilize and leverage on order fulfillment and customer service infrastructure, instead of creating your own.
  • Leverage on 3rd party channels (for distribution within their outlets..)
  • Outsource the logistics

A great ‘balanced’ creative inputs

Every part of the sales material needs a creativity and in-depth end-customer and sales-channel insight. The creative inputs are guided by:

  • The organization’s branding (if your company logo uses particular shade of ‘blue’, your material also need to be aligned with similar color scheme).
  • Customer segment you are targeting (a young customer segment will prompt more jazzy material)
  • The type of your product- A fun OR entertainment product (subscription to a satellite TV) will have different design compared to a mature product (like insurance..)
  • Cost of development
  • Utility and Ergonomics- An application form with very eye-catching design will not work, if it is inconvenient to fill-up

TIPS TO IMPROVE the design inputs

  • Include the end-customer and lower levels of your sales channel to get a more field insight
  • Do a competition tracking on the kind of their designs.

Robustness and Quality of the sales material

As an end-customer, you will have a bad impression of an organization, if the sales persons sales bag carrying company logo is worn out and dirty. The same feeling will emerge, if the person is wearing torn cap. A well designed and developed sales material needs to survive the hard life of a sales person. Therefore, a care needs to be taken to ensure that the material is longer lasting

TIPS TO IMPROVE the robustness:

  • Using hard to wear-out material
  • Design in a way that it can be repaired and services quickly.
  • Create low-cost material which can be easily replaceable. Companies typically insist on the old material to be returned before replacement (as they don’t want the company T-shirt to be seen as being used for washing the car)