Are Printed Collateral Expenses Holding Back Your Migration to More Beneficial Digital Sales Methods?

May 16th, 2014 by admin

Digital PresentationDigital sales methods continue to provide more benefit than printed sales collateral, in cost, efficiency and effectiveness. We have updated analysis in both mediums with the latest market data, in hard costs and soft costs, for your review and audit. 

What Are the Hard Costs of Printed Sales Collateral? 

Hard costs of printed material span from labor, to printing and postage.  Trying to keep consistency in these costs, we have factored the costs in quantities of 500, unless noted otherwise.

Layout and design – Professionals employed in this field have a median salary of $45,000 per year or $20 to $70 per hour for freelancers.

Writing – Those with literary expertise have a median salary of $56,000 per year  and outsourced talent is slightly higher than designers.

Printing – Low cost, do-it-yourself tri-fold color brochures average 30 cents.  Presentation folders are priced at 94 cents.  A standard flyer starts at 65 cents.

Letterhead is a necessity which should be budgeted at 40 cents per sheet. Small #10 envelopes are an additional 30 cents each.

If you are selling with catalogs, printing costs will start at $2 each for orders of 500 or more.

Postage – Stamps have climbed to 49 cents for a standard letter and if you need to ship a larger envelope, a first class mail parcel costs near $2 for local distribution.

What Are the Soft Costs of Printed Sales Collateral?                 

Processing requests from the sales department can be a sizable hidden cost according to

Suppose that your company has 150 outside salespeople and that, on average, each salesperson submits one request for collateral documents per week. This means that you are processing and fulfilling about 7,800 requests per year (150 requests per week X 52 weeks per year = 7,800 requests per year).

Average request processing time – Assume that the average request requires 20 minutes to process and fulfill.  This means that you are devoting about 2,600 hours per year to processing and fulfilling requests (20 minutes per request X 7,800 requests = 156,000 minutes per year) (156,000 minutes per year / 60 = 2,600 hours per year).

Hourly processing labor costs – Suppose that the average base wages of the employees involved in processing and fulfilling collateral requests is $45,000 per year. To get an accurate picture of total labor costs, you’ll need to consider other labor-related costs such as payroll taxes and employee benefits. If these costs amount to 20 percent of base wages, then the “all-inclusive” labor costs would be $54,000 per year ($45,000 X 1.2 = $54,000). Assuming that employees work 2,000 hours per year, the hourly labor cost would be $27 ($54,000 per year / 2,000 hours per year = $27 per hour).

Annual request processing cost – Using these example numbers, your total annual labor cost of processing and fulfilling requests for marketing collateral documents is $70,200 (2,600 hours per year X $27 per hour = $70,200).

What Are the Hard and Soft Costs of Digital Collateral?

Hard Costs – With digital collateral, design and writing costs are consistent with printing collateral.  Printing costs are reduced to printing materials only when needed on calls. Processing costs are eliminated. In fact many prospects and customers prefer electronic format and this can completely eliminate printing, sending and related expenses.

Soft Costs – Presentation software in the form of PowerPoint or Adobe are standard software offerings on low cost tablet computers.  Microsoft Office for Windows 8 and iPad is priced at $100 per year while many versions of the Adobe viewer are available for free.

Visual selling applications (, which create dynamic and high impact presentations from PowerPoint, PDFs, videos and all other digital content are available at affordable rates.

Additional Benefits of Digital Collateral

Avoid Obsolescence – Printed materials become obsolete very quickly.  Digital collateral can be easily edited and distributed by the marketing department or in the field by sales professionals.

Multi-Use – Digital collateral can be used as a presentation, a kiosk at a trade show, a tablet in a coffee shop, a website, or be viewed on a smartphone.

Distribution – Once produced, digital content can be distributed to social networks and email, connecting your brand with vast audiences.

Responsiveness – Viewing digital sales materials on websites and email leaves analytical information which adds to responsiveness. Also, after a sales call, the salesperson can immediately email customized content to the participants with current visual selling tools.


We can help you.  4DSales allows your sales team to go completely digital. Our customers find that helps them drive more revenue, but as you can see from the above information, it also allows you to save money. Take a look at this video from Regina Pritchett, owner of Turf Team, and se what she has to say about driving more revenue and saving money on printing brochures. Email us at or leave a comment on this post. One of our advisors will quickly contact you to answer questions. Let’s think this Call to Action thru so we get more responsiveness

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