The Dream Team

In the previous section we talked about treating your Web to Print solution as a service you offer is a great way to integrate it into your whole company. In this section we are going to pick up 4 critical roles in your Web to Print success. Like we stated in the previous section we don't want to create a department so where we have talked about a singular person you should be thinking in terms of the whole team, e.g. all your sales people.

Senior Director / Business Owner

It is fair to say that without the commitment of someone from the very top of your organisation you are already starting off with a hand tied behind your back. Without strong and determined leadership there is a real danger the whole Web to Print project will never get off the ground. Here are some of the benefits of such a person being involved:

  1. Has the authority to allocated company resources to the project, both in terms of people and money.

  2. Can be a visible presence in key project meetings. This is especially important in the early stages where members of staff often need direction on how important the success of Web to Print is for the company and being told is nowhere near as powerful as being shown.

  3. Can support the project manager by making sure they are getting the internal support they need.

  4. Can make sure the project manager is hitting the targets laid out in the business plan and work to solve issues with them where this is not the case. This can be achieved by having regular meetings about progress and problems.

Project Manager

One person has to be responsible for meeting your business plan and targets. They will hear every excuse for failure, from sales team saying customers don't want it to the product builders saying the software is rubbish. It takes a strong person to realise that there are often underlying reasons for failure that people find hard to say because they highlight a weakness. It is much harder to blame an inanimate tool than admit a weakness in yourself, or even point out a weakness in someone else.

So a sales person saying "customers don't want it" might actually mean "I don't know how to position it". Or the product builder saying "the software is too complicated" (or worse!) might mean they haven't had enough training or don't have the time to really learn the software.

Drilling down to the underlying reasons and solving those problems is going to be key to success. Of course this role will also have to crack the whip to meet targets too. Now we are not saying that the software can't be the reason for failure but if you have done as we have suggested so far then you have given yourself the best chance of finding the software that is right for you and by extension it is the least likely to be the reason for not hitting your targets.

Sales People

You need a sales team that is incentivised, targeted, knowledgeable about the capabilities of your chosen solution and used to solution selling. Below we look at those requirements in a little more detail:

Incentivised:
If the incentives for bringing in new Web to Print business are not equivalent to bringing in other forms of new business then what do you think they will concentrate on? You need to make the business and the sales persons goals align.

Targeted:
If you are giving rewards then make sure they have targets too. It can be group or it can be individual targets (be aware of letting people hide in a group, we recommend that you use individual). The targets should be sufficient to meet your business plan and your sales people should be monitored against those targets.

Knowledgeable:
Our guide will cover team selling at some point and that is a viable option to only needing your sales team to have a superficial knowledge of the capabilities of your software (they will need some knowledge to identify potential customers). However, if you don't want to use that technique then your sales team really needs to know what your solution can and can't do, to at least a level where they can demo those features. Getting it wrong can be costly, saying it can't do something it can could lead to a lost sale, saying it can do something it can't can lead to expensive custom development.

Solution Selling:
Selling Web to Print is not like selling print itself and your sales people will need to adapt their strategies if they want to be successful. Our recommended technique is solution selling, where you identify a problem or problems that your customer is having and solving that problem with the tools (including your Web to Print solution) you have in your company. We will cover solution selling in more detail later in the guide.

Software Specialist

When starting out this is often someone from the pre press department, or everyone from the department. It doesn't have to be of course, anyone with basic DTP and computer skills can train up for this role. It is also the position that as you grow your online business will normally become the first bottleneck and demand a dedicated person or team. This role entails:

  1. Building webstores and products.

  2. Keeping up to date on the new features added to the Web to Print solution and more generally all the capabilities of the software.

  3. Liaising with the software supplier for support on the "Can I?" and "How do I?" type questions.

  4. Being internal support for other members in the company. This can be very extensive if the software specialist is part of the selling process (team selling).

  5. Being the front line support for your customers using the system.

Summary

As stated previously, our recommendation is that the whole company is involved with your Web to Print business plan. Above we have picked out 4 key roles and some of the things to think about those roles. It is important that you get these identified and in place before you sign up because when you sign up there is one big point of failure to avoid and we are going to deal with that next in our wrap up to this part of the guide.


Prv: Integration Next: Wrap Up