Quality Sales Materials on the Fly
Thompson West reveals details behind its new online collateral-ordering system where sales reps can customize, get estimates and order sales promotions from their desktops.
Thomson West is a leading provider of integrated information solutions to the U.S. legal market, selling legal books and online services to law students, lawyers, and law librarians. It has 2,000 sales representatives, tasked with promoting the company brand and selling a wide range of legal products.
As in any company, each sales representative relies on marketing material to help him achieve his sales goals. These materials can include: direct mail, product collateral, and event invitations and signage that is customized for their target audiences and product lines.
Traditionally, the sales representatives would work with Thompson West's creative services department to create marketing pieces that were manually tweaked and customized. Consequently, the creative services team spent a great deal of time managing the creation of different marketing materials to meet the changing needs of each of the 2,000 sales representatives.
This system was obviously time-consuming and expensive. The creative services team was spending too much time tweaking existing materials and not creating new design projects. The sales representatives felt challenged because they were not able to respond quickly to competitive marketing efforts.
While looking for solutions to these problems, the creative services department faced an additional challenge. The internal IT department said it would be a two-year wait before they could provide the technical resources needed to develop an online collateral system. The creative services department's goal, however, was to get a system launched much faster in order to free up the staff to work on more design-intensive projects.
The department turned its search for solutions outside the company. It decided to invest in Pageflex Storefront, a turnkey Web-to-print application for collateral management, document customization and digital printing and e-commerce. Using Storefront, the staff was able to launch an initial pilot program in less than three weeks without any formal training on the application.