Many printing companies now offer a range of Web-enabled services for their customers. These services help customers automate the process of procuring, managing and submitting printing jobs. This offering is commonly known as Web-to-Print and is often written as W2P.
For salespeople, Web-to-Print services can create a significant differentiation for themselves versus their competitors. In the last few years, we have all seen significant advancements in software that allow customers to gain major improvements in their workflows and interactions with their print provider. These improvements have helped salespeople show measureable ROI in cost and time saving for their customers. With the growth of remote Web-to-print hosted software or Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, even small printers can provide these services easily and at a much lower cost.
Providing an engaging W2P demo to a qualified customer is now a critical skill for graphic communications salespeople. There is no such thing as a “cookie cutter” or “scripted demo” in a personalized and customized world and this is especially true when conducting a W2P demo
Since printing is still a relationship business, every demo is unique to each customer and vitally important for the sale. There are many types of demos that can be provided to a variety of customers for different purposes. These types of demos include a quick overview demo, an executive demo, a technical demo, an end user demo, an IT demo and the selling demo. The selling demo generated by the salesperson is a vital step in the sales process.
Many Sales Reps Fumble through the Demo
For those of us who have had to sit through thousands of hours of on-line or face to face demonstrations of a variety of W2P offerings ranging from simple to very sophisticated, it can be an awful experience. We can almost predict that we will walk away confused, unimpressed and certainly not willing to pay a penny more for the capability. Watching a sales rep fumble through the user interface or go through a boring review of endless features or capabilities that are of no interest to the customer can lead to a failed opportunity.
Because of a lack of confidence, some printing companies do not encourage their salespeople to conduct demos. They designate technical resources to conduct demos. We discourage this strategy unless there is a requirement for a technical or customized end user training demo. Salespeople need to sell and there no better way to sell than to conduct an effective selling demo. If a salesperson cannot adequately conduct a demo using their own W2P system, how would anyone expect an end user to comfortably use the service?
Web-To-Print Demonstrations Are Often Poorly Executed
Here is the problem that many salespeople face. Unless the demonstration is tied directly to the customer’s business, the customer is actively engaged and customer can readily recognize measureable benefits, there will be little or no perceived value-add for W2P. In fact, many customers are unwilling to pay anything more for the offering. Some customers have told us that they should pay less since it seemed that the W2P services demonstrated seemed to help the printer more than the customer.
Recently we, Intellective Solutions, worked with a large printer to help their experienced salesforce to take a new set of W2P services to their customers. It was not hard to train them on the features and functions of the software, but the greatest challenge for us was to help them execute and deliver an effective software-driven demonstration. This is not a skill commonly held by printing salespeople.
Elements of an Effective Demonstration
Delivering a great W2P selling demo is often not only the difference between getting the order, but is required to get better price margins.
Based on our research, there are three general elements are that are common for great demos: