Breathing Life into Document Management Sales4 May, 2006 By: Eric Stavola, Witt Company imageSource
Breathing Life into Document Management Sales
Walking around the ITEX Show in
March, I saw one prevailing theme that resonated throughout the tradeshow floor:
Document Management. While there were many OEMs and supplies booths, there were
just as many exhibitors touting their software or products for use in document
management. Where just a few years ago the options were limited, dealerships
today are faced with many choices and decisions when it comes to document
management. I began to wonder as I perused the ITEX aisles, with so many options
to choose from, how are sales personnel or worse, potential customers, going to
grasp the concept of document management enough to feel confident in buying or
In an effort to simplify the document management sale, I have come up with five
easy steps to hopefully help you narrow your search and breathe life into your
company’s document management sales.
Step One: Use CPR to Define Document Management
Document management applies specifically to the management of documents and
images throughout their lifecycle, which includes acquisition, organization,
versioning, access control, and archiving. Let’s simplify this definition even
further by using CPR as an acronym. Document management is simply how we
Capture, Process and Route documents within an organization.
Step Two: Be Prepared To Answer “Why?”
As salespeople, it is our job to create a need or at least a perception of a
need to the customer about why document management is important. Here are some
staggering statistics to empower your sales staff when educating potential
> Filing a document costs 25-30 cents per sheet
> From 3 to 5 percent of documents are lost or misfiled
> The cost to recreate a misfiled document is $150-$250
> Up to 7.4 percent of time is spent looking for misfiled documents
> Counting lost or misfiled documents shoots the rate to $20/document.
> Nearly 92 percent of information is in manila folders
Step Three: Implement a Marketing Plan
Sales personnel sell what they know, so it’s best to create a basic way to
market document management from the simplistic to the complex. One suggestion
would be to create “Scan Packages” that offer three different levels to sell.
> Scan Package A: MFD, OCR Software, and Basic Retrieval Software
> Scan Package B: MFD, OCR Software, Workflow Software and Storage Solutions
> Scan Package C: Full-Blown Enterprise Document/Content Management Solutions
The key to these packages is breaking down the document management cycle into
easy building blocks. This makes it easier for salespeople to understand and
sell. Furthermore, having preset packages simplifies the entire process and
empowers your reps to feel confident selling a solution.
Step Four: Ask the Right Questions
Many times sales personnel miss out on potential document management sales
because they ask, “Do you have a need to scan documents?” or “Have you ever
thought of a document management system?” When they are empowered with a
marketing plan that they understand, it allows them to execute that plan by
asking probing questions of the potential customer.
> How many file cabinets do you have?
> Why do you keep the file? What is the business purpose?
> How many documents do you file daily? Monthly?
> What is your system for filing documents?
> How long is your document retrieval process?
> What happens if a document is lost or misfiled?
> How many people access stored documents?
> Do off-site employees need access to stored files?
> Is there time lost searching for documents?
> Do you use off-site storage?
Step Five: Document Both Successes & Failures
As you venture down the document management road, you will have many successes
and failures. These experiences are a necessary step to the eventual triumph in
“value-added” sales. Remember, only through proper documentation can we change
our behaviors to ensure our successes in the future.