Research Highlights Ways to Power Up Wide-Format Sales
Today’s digital wide-format printing devices produce an impressive array of applications from signage to textiles to electronics. If you can envision it, you probably can create it on a digital wide-format printing device. While there are many wide-format application opportunities to pursue, successful providers devote time and resources in developing sales efforts. Profitable firms recognize that selling is a process that requires planning and commitment.
Wanting to find out what sales strategies and tactics were delivering the best results, Wide-format Impressions and NAPCO Research (both units of NAPCO Media LLC), conducted research study (sponsored by the Specialty Graphic and Imaging Association) to:
- Determine the critical challenges management encounters in improving the results of sales activities.
- Identify those strategies and tactics that lead to sales results and enhance sales staff skills.
- Define the common practices followed by companies experiencing double-digit sales growth.
NAPCO Research conducted an online survey in September, and more than 100 print service providers that produce products on wide-format devices responded. All respondents held business management positions and were able to answer questions on their company’s sales efforts.
Actions Driving Sales Success
A key research goal was to Identify the common practices and similarities of wide-format print providers experiencing high sales growth, so that other firms can follow suit and improve their own sales results. While these providers encounter the same challenges as shops not experiencing double-digit growth, they somehow manage to generate annual sales growth rates that exceed 10%, and sometimes even as much as 20%. The question is: how? By analyzing the survey results of respondents that reported sales growth of more than 10% in the past 12 months, the following actions were common:
- Follow a written sales plans; half of respondents reporting double-digit sales growth have a written sales plan.
- Invest in sales staff knowledge and development, as many respondents reporting double-digit sales growth offer sales staff training to enhance technology knowledge and sales skills.
- Leverage referrals to capture sales leads.
- Use a variety of methods to actively promote and attract customers. Market leaders invest in a variety of self-promotional efforts that encompass and combine digital, print, and social media.
- Focus reps on building new business.
- Leverage technology to support business operations. A common characteristic of respondents with double-digit sales growth is the use of software technology to support sales and customer care.
Successful wide-format print providers invest time and resources in their sales efforts. Faced with major challenges such as hiring sales staff, increasing sales cycles, and price competition, those organizations experiencing sales growth are finding ways to overcome obstacles and excel. Download the full report and find out the key strategies and tactics for powering wide-format sales.
Lisa Cross is the principal analyst of NAPCO Research (a unit of NAPCO Media) where she conducts market research and analysis on emerging trends and changing dynamics in the commercial, in-plant and packaging industries, and the market forces that are driving those changes. With decades of experience covering the graphic arts and marketing industries, Cross has authored thousands of articles on a variety of topics, including technology trends, business strategy, sales, marketing and legislation.