Sowing The Seeds - How To Engage Your Staff In The Web To Print Experience

February 6th, 2012 - Posted by Ellen Hurwitch, Director of Operations - The Americas

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Along with the upheaval experienced by the print industry over the past few years have also come a plethora of opportunities. Capitalizing on these opportunities is a matter of changing the mindset and focus of the people you employ by getting buy-in from everyone in your team.

One of the opportunities to arise recently is the offering of Web to Print as a new service to existing customers whilst also using it as a vehicle to engage potential prospects. However first of all we should consider our existing personnel and ask ourselves whether they understand the value of tools like Web to Print? Imagine yourself as the manager of a baseball team, if the players don’t understand the strategy behind what you are trying to achieve, you’ll never get to first base, let alone win the game.

Many times I have walked into a print facility and the people that I am tasked to train on the RedTie software have not been made aware of the merits of this new product. These are the shop floor people stuck in the trenches learning another piece of software, but that’s not the way it should be. These designers and pre-press people are just as much a part of your sales team as your sales people! The people on the shop floor are often the people who have the strongest relationships with your customers. By giving them an understanding of the purpose of the product and the opportunities it presents, you can count on them to work with your clients and your sales teams to open up more opportunities. Print is one of the last bastions of relationship selling, with that knowledge you can harness the power of these relationships to increase your business.

How can you do this? First, give everyone some case studies to read in order to give them some insight into how existing RedTie clients have leveraged the power of Web to Print in order to help their businesses (RedTie can provide these). Secondly, gather articles about Web to Print and discuss what it is that your clients are looking for. Get everyone together in a room and let them discuss the ideas they come up with. The objective is a brain storming session where you engage all parties within the company. This will have a very positive effect on the work ethic of your employees as it will give them input into the future direction and development of the business. Those folks in the trenches now really feel a part of something new and special and with encouragement, will feel like they can make a difference and will go all out with ideas. Sure, some of those ideas may sound off the wall but hear them out, each idea has many seeds and all you need is one good one.

Once you have established your first couple of sites, it’s a good time to have a second meeting with your staff. Sales people need to have an understanding of what is involved in building a storefront and creating the products. The designers and pre-press people can help the sales people understand the time to market (the development time required) for each site. The sales people can give feedback as to how the site was received by their client and they might have a wish list for upcoming sites. This also allows the senior management to see their vision in action. This second interaction could lead to additional positive results for all involved and morale will continue to increase.

In summary, I want to stress the importance of a collaborative, team effort by all of your staff that immerses them in the Web to Print experience. I think you’ll find that, by doing this, you will be able to greatly enhance the range of services your company can offer.