Sunday, February 24, 2008

Managed Print Services - That "Hot, New, Thing..."

2008

It seems over the past sixty days, we have been approached by all sorts of "consultants" willing to teach our team (SIGMAnet -MPS) how to perform a detail Managed Print Service study.

It seems everybody wants to get on this bandwagon, the "I use to sell copiers, but now I sell this service to help you save more money - as long as we are in the beginning of the month..." band wagon.

Okidata, Lexmark, Konica Minolta, Xerox, Toshiba, Ricoh, can you see the pattern, trend, and characteristic of this new wave? These folks are all Copier Companies. So the problem with obtaining a true, honest, real-world Managed Print Services program is something I like to call being "Hardware Agnostic and Partnering with High Intent". 


It is true that HP is the leader when it comes to getting "marks on paper", but how many companies have 100% HP devices - for printing and copying? Or all Okidata, Lexmark or Toshiba? You can see my point.

With companies searching out every way to cut costs, printing and the reduction of costs associated with printing, is becoming sexy and attracting all sorts of "flim-flam" and "snake-oil" experts. Managed Print Services isn't Brain Surgery, it's Rocket Science!

A copier sales person does not directly translate into a MPS specialist. 


Nor does an IT Services sales person translate into a MPS Specialist. It takes both IT experience and copier experience and a great deal of general, C-level, business experience. That holy grail of Professional Selling, "Business Acumen" .  Someone with the "Big Picture" insight and manage the details of a solution.
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3 comments:

  1. Greg, we have found that it goes back to caring enough about the fact that the customer is trying to solve a problem and honestly assessing whether we can impact that problem - positively.

    While the aggressive sales person will sometimes push a little more, we have found a solid mix of phased assessment activity is the key.

    Overall, I really like the post but my further advice might read something like, "Know what you are."

    That is if you are a copier salesperson, by george sell those copiers. However, if you want to expand your base, look to solution/application based selling. If you can solve my problem, chances are I will buy.

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  2. Darn consultants trying to sell effective MPS Assessment methodologies. Oh, wait, I do that... :O)

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  3. Managed Print Services is the base entry level for a Proffessional Salesperson.we have been doing this for 20 years and 93 % of our business is sold this way.
    Think 2 more levels
    Managed Document Services. What is controlled upstream
    Dictates what is printed down stream
    Managed services is the next level providing and linking I.T. Infrastructure and content management.
    This is where the true value lies to a customer. If you can't
    Reach base 1 you are not in the game.if you don't reach MDS you are short lived in the game.
    If you reach base three your customer needs you and the value you bring to their organization.

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