Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Water Training Institute Set to Launch Its Certified Managed Print Services Seller(TM) Sales Training and Certification Program [CMPSS(TM)]

It was only a matter of time.

I have never heard of the Water Group.

For 2 years now I have been scouring the internet looking for any mention of "managed print services" and today is the first time this group pops up.

No surprise, "where the is mystery, there is margin...". Today's mystery is MPS and as much as I believe there are a few "unique" aspects to selling MPS, selling is selling.

Well, "solution selling" is "solution selling".

One thing is for sure, this group is not short on content.

And although the content looks and sounds good, I still can't help but be skeptical about anyone claiming to be in MPS for more than 11 years - that would be...since when, 1996?

Somebody help me out, were copiers even digital back then?

Wasn't Apple running "ads" showing the difference between an Apple and PC user?(see above)

Was I using a Palm Pilot back then? Didn't Office 97 ship on 45, 3.5 inch floppy's back then? And don't remember anybody offering to manage a fleet of IBM-Pro Printer's; service and ribbons that is.

And as I read through their squeaky new, freshly painted website, I could not help to think "HP"; it has the look and smell of SPS, which pretty much, well...smells.

And then there is this, "...The team of Water Training Institute associates whom have designed and will deliver the Certified Managed Print Services Seller(TM) program curriculum have collectively sold nearly $1Billion in MPS business...Collectively, our brain-trust have more experience and success in sales and selling MPS than probably anyone in the world...”


Go ahead, divide $1billion by 0.0120 and then divide that by 11 years...whadda get? I don't know, I ain't doing it.

Of course these numbers are accurate, you can't put it out there like that if it ain't true - but then again, it all depends on how one defines "MPS", doesn't it?

According to their documentation, there are 5 separate modules of training - one is webinar based and the test module is $500.00 and must be attached to Module #3, "In-Class Certified Managed Print Services Seller Program"

If taken individually, the total cost is $4,975.00 - but act now by enrolling for September's classes, and the price goes to $2,490.00.

These guys know how to market.

At the recent MPS Conference the most popular "off-line" conversational subject was "...can someone tell me how to effectively put a MPS Practice together?"

Maybe this can be a great first step for rookie sales people - or maybe even old "salts" of the copier world can get trained on moving "solutions" instead of boxes.

Or better yet, perhaps some of "Sales Reps" with IT VARs can get acclimated to real solution selling by attending and getting certified.

But I keep going back to what one of my old sales managers once told me, "...sometimes we just over complicate what we do..." - FIVE modules?

Oh well, if I could get HP or CISCO or VMWARE to pay for it, I would go.

Here is the Press Release:

Voorhees, NJ, May 07, 2009 --( Beginning September 16, 2009, The Water Training Institute (a division of Water, a New Jersey-based Professional Services firm) will offer the Certified Managed Print Services Seller(TM) Sales Training & Certification Program, designed for sales professionals that sell and promote Managed Print Services solutions. Managed Print Services (MPS) is a solution which bundles office printers, copiers/MFPs, fax solutions, software, services, supplies, consumables, usage tracking, support, and management all for a single monthly invoice.

The CMPSS(TM) program is designed to provide sales professionals with a thorough understanding of MPS, comprehensive MPS sales training, a tailored MPS sales acumen evaluation & development plan for each participant, and a Certification Exam that – combined with the other aspects of the program - would substantiate that the successful candidate has demonstrated a certain standard of MPS sales performance and comprehension.

According to Jon Reiser, a Principal at Water, “Our customers tell us the Managed Print Services sales training seminars they send their sales reps to are ineffective and don’t really prepare the reps to effectively sell MPS solutions. So they hire Water to come in, re-train the sales reps properly, get them prepared, and to give the managers a written analysis of each sales rep’s preparedness to sell MPS. In the end, the customers end up paying twice for something they should have gotten in the first place.”

The problem, according to Reiser, is that selling Managed Print Services solutions is a different type of sale than the traditional transactional “box sell.” Selling MPS requires the seller to understand the implications for MPS and to sell more strategically. Unfortunately, most sales training programs are taught by consultants that haven’t actually sold much MPS, if any at all.

The team of Water Training Institute associates whom have designed and will deliver the Certified Managed Print Services Seller(TM) program curriculum have collectively sold nearly $1Billion in MPS business. In addition, they bring impressive sales credentials such as IBM Business Unit Executive (in sales), an EVP and several Sales VPs of Fortune 500 Corporations. “Collectively, our brain-trust have more experience and success in sales and selling MPS than probably anyone in the world.” says Reiser. To support this contention, Water is consulting with former Hewlett-Packard Master Consultant Tab Edwards on the design of the CMPSS(TM) program. Mr. Edwards is the author of “Paper Problems,” “Imaging & Output Strategy,” “The Slip,” and “Coffee is For Closers Only!” and is considered to be the foremost authority in the world on the topic of Managed Print Services strategy and optimizing office output environments.

The first Certified Managed Print Services Seller(TM) Sales Training & Certification Program is scheduled for September 16-18 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. More information and a brochure can be found on the website “We want to give our customers the assurance that if their sales professionals attend the CMPSS(TM) program, they are getting the best MPS sales training in the world,” says Reiser, “and will receive feedback on every participant’s degree of preparedness to sell MPS.”

About Water

Water H2O15 L.P. (d/b/a Water) is a consulting and professional services firm providing business strategy consulting, sales training (through The Water Training Institute), Managed Print Services solutions & consulting, and Marketing services (through Water Creative).


Here's my open question to the folks at Water -

"Is there an option to test out?"

Click to email me.


  1. From 10 years watching trainers and consultants in commercial print, "Be Afraid. Be very afraid."

    Your skepticism is well justified. To be clear I'm not trying to dis these folks. They are probably really smart.

    My problem is always with selling certs. Selling certs is the best business model on the planet. Consider the cost of the ultimate cert. the BA and the MBA.

    "Give me $x. I give you this paper."

    I'm not saying it's worthless. I am saying it's not worth $100K. That's just dumb on the face of it. Meanwhile all the buzz is getting government money to put families deeper in debt to pay those outrageous prices.

    Same thing with this kind of cert. They sell the notion that if "only you get this cert, life will be good."

    Give me a break. Learning happens when you intelligently focus on solving real problems. It was always such. It will always be such.

    A cert might help. But open conversation with experienced professionals doing their job, every day is much more predictable.

  2. Thanks for the post. I like your writing style and sense of humor! Like you I found this release (and your blog) through Google and it was at least good to hear that someone is offering a deeper level of MPS training.

    I run sales for an IT VAR, and have to agree with the MBI survey in that the "MPS sales training" (using the term loosely) I sent some of my new services reps to left a lot to be desired. Unfortunately for me, the "powerful" trainers conducting that training didn't seem to understand the real world complexities that exist for shops like ours that are new to MPS.

    On the positive side for Water Inst. I do know of the HP consultant Tad Edwards they reference (I saw him speak at HP Imageprint a few years ago and I have his book; he's very solid). So if he is involved then it might serve them well.

  3. Sweeny -

    Thanks for finding me and reading and posting.

    I do not doubt that sales training is valuable - I do doubt that MPS 11 years ago(if it existed) is not what it is today.

    But - any solution selling will work in the MPS model - IKON's EDM suite and the training that went with it applies directly to todays MPS Selling.

    Indeed, the IKON FM (as well as others, like Xerox, or Canon) people have been conducting detailed assessments for years.

    It's just business selling, solving problems - it is not running a DCA and taking orders - there, we may have just saved someone $5,000 in tuition...

    Keep Reading.