Philie Group Blog

Focus and Alignment — Print Sales Leadership
By Mike Philie

Your customers are slowly emerging from the health crisis. The focus and alignment of your efforts will be critical success factors to how well your company re-engages with them. While the goal is to refill your pipeline and to get some work in the shop, the business, and how you get it may not look the same as it did pre-COVID.


The two key points that I want to emphasize are focus and alignment. Specifically, your sales team needs to focus not only on existing clients and helping them to reengage in the marketplace, but to expand their circle of influence during this time of unprecedented change.


Change creates opportunities. We talk about it all the time, how customers may not change or add a new supplier unless there’s some type of triggering event. Well, this is probably the biggest triggering event we’ll experience in our lifetime. Some of your customers are thriving, and others are struggling. You need to make sure you know the status of each. How you communicate with them needs to be relevant to their current situation. Some of your customers may have had personnel changes. That could be good, or that could be bad—all depends on your status and reach within their business.


You can’t be certain that all of your customers will come back at full strength. That said, you’ll need to expand your tent—get new customers. If you already have a business development strategy that has been successful for you, and you believe it will remain relevant in today’s world, then press forward. If you don’t have a business development strategy, or don’t believe what you’ve used in the past will be helpful today, then you’ll need to rebuild that process.


There are many ways to grow your business, the key here is to focus on one that you believe will be affective for you and your business, and that you can execute consistently.


As you reengage with your customers and connect with new prospects, you may find that the mix of business opportunities may not be the same as they were pre-Covid. There may be an alignment issue with the opportunities in front of you, your staff and the products and services that you can readily deliver.


I am not suggesting that you make wholesale changes to your printing facility overnight. However, you’ll need to ask yourself if you are better prepared for a world that was, and not for how it is today or will be tomorrow. Now, if that is not the case and your customers are all back to full strength, then take a few minutes to celebrate!


Things that you should be working on include helping your sales team to focus on the new realities your customers and prospects may be facing and to make sure that what you can provide is aligned with the needs of today.


Evaluate your position, have a clear picture of where you want to go, and engage your team to make it happen. If you have any comments or thoughts as to how you’ve approached these issues, please send me a note or include them below.


Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at, LinkedIn or email at


This blog originally published in Printing Impressions.



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