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Monday, November 16, 2009

Managed Print Services: Owners/Manufacturers/Sales Managers DO NOT READ THIS: Selling Professionals Only

The blame game is starting up - and as you know, sh*t rolls downhill.

Are you starting to hear the following:

"How many DCA's are you installing a week?"

"How many assessments are you conducting a week?"

"How many face-to-face, C-Level meetings are you having a week?"

"fill-in-the-blank, say's if you close 50 MPS deals a year, you'll be making over $200k!"

"So and so says to get in front of C-Level's or your deal will never get off the ground..."

"What's her name says forget about C-Level, they don't feel the pain, get to the IT guy..."

"don't worry about the compensation on your MPS deals, we'll figure that out as we go..."

"oh, and how many machines are you installing this month?"

I can count perhaps half a dozen, MPS Specific training programs in the ecosystem - third party trainers and consultants.

Add in manufacture programs and you get to around a dozen different MPS training programs - I calculate that adds up to nearly 1,500 PowerPoint slides - LOL!

Have you been a victim of one of these charades?

The More Things Change, the More Things Stay the Same -

If you are in the field, trying to sell this hot, new thing called MPS - how is it going?

Did the two day training class you sat in on help?

Are your scripts killin?

Is your Value Proposition dead nuts on?

Do you have a SOW? Scope document? Standard meeting Agenda?

Do you still have questions about strategy and tactics when it comes to MPS?

Is your sales manager just as new at this as you are?

How about your principals or executive management, can they even spell "MPS"?

No? Nothing? Nadda?

Huh, that's too bad. Or, is it?

Questions, questions...they're just questions.

The same questions selling professionals asked when the first fax machine came out, or back when the first photocopier hit, the personal computer, spreadsheets, light bulb, automobile, steamship, loom, printing press and buggy whip - all paradigm shifting, business model redefining, hybrid generating, advances.

And as much as we all want to believe this MPS thing is "new", it really isn't. It all goes back to the basics, everything good does.

This is nothing to get alarmed over, indeed this could be a generational opportunity for us - for us in the field.

Here's the deal. Your manager and owners alike are at the same level of MPS awareness you are - actually, they are worse off unless they go into the field as you do, every single day.

Each appointment you have, every call you make, every time you talk about MPS, read about MPS, each of these events add to your personal, knowledge base. Tell me you don't learn something new with every "assessment" you perform? Not about assessments, but about the business you are assessing.

Specifically - these instances are "resume enhancing experiences". Wha..wha..whaaaaat?

The world is changing.

Managed Print Services isn't changing the world, bigger things are. The world of brick and mortar is starting to dissolve - are you still conducting 30 demo's a month in your big, expensive showroom?

IBM figured it out two recessions ago and HP is on it now - the world won't need as many distributed pieces of hardware as it once did.

Cloud computing, the Death of Newspapers, iTunes, Androids, Moore's Law and You -

In the 1950's I guess it took maybe 20 admin's to support one or two sales people. From typists, to accounting clerks, order processing, filing, management, out to production.

I have no idea what the ratio is today, but considering all we can do with a laptop and a Blackberry, I can imagine the number of support staff is or should be,much, much lower. (I still remember an email string containing 74 different people on just one of my orders at IKON...74 people touched one order!)

Everyone is doing more with less.

As the number of non-customer facing employees dwindles, the value of those who do, increases.

Consider that statement again.

Other than you, personally, who else will benefit from your increased value?

Your next "employer" that's who.

A better question might be, "will you even need an "employer" in the first place...?"

1 comment:

  1. My Boss asked me why supply sales are down, the obvious was a recession=less printing, less business.
    Also, with layoffs, there are Extra laptops and printings laying around in the closet waiting to be used.
    How can one buy another printer (spend money) when they just let an employee go to save money?
    And more important, we dont need a printer; we have ten in the closet!!
    Why buy a laptop? we just laid 5 people off and have 5 extra!!(5 extra licenses to 5 different programs too!

    The second example I gave was device consolidation was working!
    I am having huge success knocking out little printers and replacing them with MFP's.
    Now, this is the case with most of my current clients.
    The "other reps" (big C, R,) are doing well with this too!!

    Lastly and in relationg to this post "my Old school manager" says: its not the economy, its you!!

    I said to that:

    Boss "X" sales are down right? 50% right? huh?

    So we are at Mid November and the Team is down 50% for the year right?
    ok, so how many less proposals are being created? how much less print is a result of that in OUR company internally?
    It isnt just proposals, there is so much paper generated from a sale...

    Then factor in, layoffs, = less employees, less print in OUR agency alone!!

    Then factor in, we implemented a fax server!
    =no more faxes printing (i love this technology FYI, so nice to get a fax to my Blackberry and forward to order fulfillment people on the road, AWESOME!)

    I mentioned a few more things and used sales tactics on my manager to get commitment from the facts I am presenting.

    He said "yes, we did lay people off, yes we did put in a fax server, yes our numbers are down 50%.

    Then I pulled out my "silver bullet" the "tie down"
    I then said, so if we are experiencing this internally, then don't you think other companies are too?

    The only answer is: yes.
    I backed him into a corner...

    Very simple, and in my mind I am saying "it isn't the territory or sales rep, its the leadership"
    Or the facts I mentioned above.
    Thanks so much for this post Greg!

    and for allowing me to barely scratch the "facts surface".


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