LMI BLOG

Mapping 2018:  Cascading Objectives

Posted by Doug Johnson on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 @ 11:51 AM

 

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In this final blog of my three-part series on the importance of planning, I’d like to discuss the idea of Cascading Objectives.  The general purpose of Cascading Objectives is to “cascade” your executive/business level objectives, strategies, and metrics down through the organization. Which enables each function, department, and even individual, to tie their activities, projects, and tasks to the key objectives that will drive your company’s success.

Let’s start with the Executive (Business) level objectives.  During your strategic/business planning process, you should identify three to five Key Objectives that will drive success.  These are usually breakthrough objectives that, when achieved, are differentiable.  These objectives should not be focused on objectives like “grow revenue 5%.”  If you have that objective, what are the BHAGs (Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goals) that will largely contribute to achieving that overall result?

Once you’ve established those objectives, determine—for each objective—the  Key Strategies your company will need to undertake to achieve those objectives.  As with each Key Objective, you should limit the Key Strategies for each Key Objective to three to five.  Don’t boil the ocean and list every possible strategy you might undertake.  Be thoughtful and focus on the most impactful strategies. 

Each Key Objective must have Metric(s) that are measurable and clear indicators of achievement to the Key Objective.  The same is true for Key Strategies.  A great rule of thumb is if the Key Objective or Key Strategy cannot be measured, it is not a good Key Objective or Key Strategy, it should be re-evaluated.  Once you have established the Executive Level Key Objectives, Key Strategies (for each Key Objective), and Metrics, you are now ready to “Cascade” these throughout your organization.



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In most organizations, the next level down from the Executive team are the functions (Sales, Marketing, Finance, Operations, Service, etc.).  Task each functional lead with identifying Key Objectives for their function that tie to one or more of the Key Strategies identified at the Executive Level for one or more Executive Level Key Objectives.  In other words, your Executive Level Key Strategies often become the Key Objectives for one or more of the functions in your company.

As they identify their three to five Key Objectives that contribute specifically to one or more of those at the Executive level, they will then repeat the process of identifying their Key Strategies for each Key Objective, as well as the measurable Metrics for each.  This process cascades down from the functional level to the department level and so on.  Many companies often cascade all the way to the Supervisor or even Individual Contributor level as well.

Once complete, you will now be able to “roll up” all efforts across the company that tie to your Executive Level Key Objectives and Key Strategies.  It helps you see where you are progressing and achieving results and where you are not.  It also more importantly aligns the organization from top to bottom (everyone is rowing in the same direction), and as noted earlier, makes it much easier to identify activity that is not directly aligned to the Company’s overall goals.

That’s it.  Simple, huh?  I know—no, it isn’t.  But, putting effort on Strategic Planning and driving execution using Cascading Objectives can drive real change in your organization faster than a “best efforts” plan, and empower your organization in ways you may have never thought possible. 

Good luck.  See you in 2019.

 

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Further Reading:

Mapping 2018: Your Starting Point

Mapping 2018: Creating a 10-Step Business Plan 

 

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Tags: creating a 2018 strategy, new year resolutions for businesses, business plan, 2018, business planning, business strategy, mapping a successful 2018, 2018 goals, mapping2018

Mapping 2018: Creating a 10-Step Business Plan 

Posted by Doug Johnson on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 @ 06:35 PM

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In my last blog, I talked about the importance of strategic planning to drive effective execution within your organization.  Done right, strategic planning is a natural part of how you manage your business, and can drive competitive advantage, particularly in complex markets like ours, where the water has been lowered over the last few years and we are all “feeling the rocks” now in our respective business models.

There are many great reasons to do strategic planning:

  • It gives your team the direction and focus necessary to achieve success and market leadership.
  • It aligns your organization and key resources around your most important objectives.
  • It enables the broader resources and partnerships—outside of your company—to be effectively leveraged.
  • In addition to providing the overall guidance for functional plans (sales, marketing, operations, etc.).

 

Great business and strategic planning is also often more about what you are NOT going to do than it is about what you ARE going to do.



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As I mentioned last time, I am a fan of the 10-Step Business Plan.  It is a proven model that guides you through asking the right questions to help drive focused execution.  It is an iterative process; which means you will often find that you are “circling back” to earlier steps to refine your thoughts as you work through the steps.  The first step is your Business Purpose.  This may be obvious, but why does your business exist?  This often is described as your Vision and Mission Statement.

Step 1 “sets the tone” against which you will measure the rest of the plan.  For example, LMI’s Mission Statement is to provide market-leading, best-quality products, services, and solutions that leverage IoT, Cloud, Big Data Analytics, and emerging technologies to enable partners around the globe to deliver an array of market-leading Managed Business Services to business customers of all sizes.  While it is a mouthful, all decisions we make as an executive team are within the context of this framework.

Step 2 in your plan is to lay out at least your three year objectives and key milestones.  What success do you want to achieve over the next three years?  Make sure it is written in terms the team will understand, and by time horizon (at least by year, if not semi-annually).  In this second step, you should also include the assets (tools, resources) and competencies (knowledge, skills) by function the organization will maintain and/or develop over those same time horizons.  At this step, it is also very helpful to list the assets and competencies you will partner or outsource that will nonetheless contribute to achieving your objectives.

Step 3 is about your market.  First, describe the overall market opportunity for your business model.  Then total the number and size of customers for your products, services, and solutions, current and new customer potential, local, regional, and national opportunities.  Prioritize the target customers from this macro list.  I recommend a rolling 3 or 4 quarter plan, updated at the end of each quarter based on results.  And, of course have a mix of small, medium, and larger customers to prevent the team from only whale hunting.

In Step 4, you will describe your top competitors in the business and geographic market you’ve defined and prioritized.  Who are the top competitors for your current customers and new target customers?  What is their current offering, including programs, product lines, and partnerships?  Develop a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) for each key competitor.

Step 5 is all about the products, services, and solutions you are bringing to your customers—current and new.  Be specific about each area of offering.  Again, by describing what you are specifically offering, it is easier to identify and eliminate activities in your organization that are not aligned to your specific offering.  Describe the elements of your offering you provide, and which elements you intend to outsource or partner on to complete your solution portfolio.  And finally, how does this offering differentiate from your competitors’ offerings?

In Step 6 of your business plan, you now describe specifically the resources and capabilities, over time, you need to develop and/or partner to deliver the portfolio in Step 5.  As noted earlier, what are the assets (tools, resources) and competencies (skills, knowledge) necessary within each functional area?  This is a key step in your plan, as this fully engages each functional and department head in a “good look in the mirror” to objectively look at the function or department’s capabilities and compare them to what is needed for success.

Step 7 of the business plan is designed to articulate the business network and interdependencies to achieve your business goals.  What are the alliances and partnerships required to deliver the whole solution to the customer?  How do they enable or maintain competitive advantage over time?  How to they evolve to meet your needs as they evolve over the plan horizon?

Step 8 is all about the rubber meeting the road—the financials.  You will want to describe your financial objectives, forecasts and resulting revenue and profit goals—by product, service, and solution categories as necessary.  This step should describe these goals over time, highlight risks and sensitivities (a sensitivity analysis is key to quantifying risk), with the customer base stratified by product, service, and solution categories.  This last element helps identify more specifically which customer sets are really paying the bills over the plan horizon.

Step 9 is for the naysayers in the organization.  This step lists all of the issues and potential problems with this great plan you’ve put together.  In short, what are the biggest risks to the successful implementation of the plan?  And, what steps can be taken to mitigate or eliminate these risks? 

Finally, in Step 10, you and the team pull together the first year tactical plan.  This will include specific goals and objectives pulled from the overall plan.  As I noted in my last blog, if this type of planning becomes just a natural part of the way you do business, you can have a rolling four quarter plan, updated based on results from the prior quarter.

That’s it.  Simple, huh?  J  But worth it.  Next time, I’ll discuss how to take the goals and objectives of the first year tactical plan and cascade them down through your organization to drive complete alignment.

 

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Futher Reading:

Mapping 2018 Your Starting Point

2018 Goals: 5 Money Making Resolutions for MPS Sales Managers




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Tags: creating a 2018 strategy, business plan, 2018, business planning, business strategy, mapping a successful 2018, 2018 goals, mapping2018

Mapping 2018: Your Starting Point

Posted by Doug Johnson on Tue, Jan 02, 2018 @ 01:18 PM

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It’s that time of the season where we all roll into the New Year with the promise of a “fresh start”—whether it is a personal resolution to get in shape, be a better person, get rid of a bad habit, or a reexamination of your business to find ways to improve your top and bottom line in 2018. Unfortunately, often the process to improve your business ends up like your New Year’s resolution—you are back to the same old habits by the end of January.

What prevents most of us from applying strategic planning and thoughtful, focused execution to our businesses? Often, the main answers I get to that question are: “Strategic planning is for big companies. I don’t have time to take my team out of the business to plan. We need to hit the ground running in the New Year. I have an experienced team. They know what to do…..” And so on.

The reality is that good strategic planning (and the focused execution that should follow) is not a once every five years or even once a year exercise. Done right, strategic planning is a natural part of the way you manage your business, updated quarterly to semi-annually, and always looking forward 4 to 6 quarters. And, the right process and tools to do strategic planning enable you to make this recurring exercise a standard part of your business without sucking up your most valuable resource—your staff’s time and bandwidth. Strategic planning is NOT just for big companies. It is for any company that wants to grow and remain relevant (or even viable) in our fast-changing industry and global economy.

I like to use a 10-step Business Plan for strategic planning. I know 10 steps sounds like a lot, but there are no bonus points for length when it comes to Business Planning. This isn’t a term paper. A 10-step Business Plan provides the roadmap to look at your business and go-to-market model from every functional and partnership angle. It forces choices for you and your team—which are key to generating focus and alignment across your company. It actually brings to life clichés like getting the team “all rowing in the same direction.” In my next blog, I’ll briefly outline the 10 steps. I’ve used this in very large companies (Hewlett-Packard) to start ups (Print, Inc.) with equal success, so this isn’t just an exercise for the Fortune 1000.

Once you have a solid Business Plan, you have to turn that plan into an executable, measurable set of objectives, strategies, and metrics that run from top to bottom in the company. Everyone in the company should have focused objectives and key strategies with quantifiable metrics. Metrics are key. As Dave Packard famously said: “What gets measured gets done.” They should see how their daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly activities and efforts contribute directly to the success of the company. My favorite technique is to use Cascading Objectives. I will cover this tool set in more detail in a blog following the 10-step Business Plan.

2017 was an interesting, challenging, fun, stressful, (pick your adjective) year for most of us, and I expect 2018 will be no different. Make a commitment to put some effort into a Business Plan and Cascading Objectives early in the year, and you’ll find yourself using a list of adjectives to describe 2018 that is much more positive than negative!

 

Don't miss the next in Doug's series: Creating a 10-Step Business Plan.

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 Additional Reading:

5 Must Make New Years Resolutions for Managed Print Providers

5 Money-Making New Years Resolutions for MPS Sales Managers

 

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Tags: creating a 2018 strategy, new year resolutions for businesses, business plan, 2018, business planning, business strategy, mapping a successful 2018, 2018 goals

4 Takeaways from the 2017 Executive Connection Summit

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Tue, May 30, 2017 @ 04:11 PM

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It’s great to attend industry events to rethink your business strategy or validate that you’re on the right path. If there was a Hollywood version of the imaging industry's elite faces, the Executive Connection Summit could be it.

After two days of thought-provoking speakers and plenty of networking, here are four takeaways we hope can help you grow your business. 

1. Predictive analytics have arrived. The shift from reactive, to proactive has now evolved to a predictive state. Old school copier people remember when 100% of service calls came from incoming phone calls and emails before any action was taken to fix a problem. With advancements in technology, we were able to become proactive in many cases to prevent an issue from happening, and now we’re seeing more and more predictive analytics to improve our execution and the customer experience. This new predictive posturing comes from tremendous strides in technology such as the Internet of Things and Big Data that provides more insightful and actionable information.

“Real Time is now too late.”
- Joseph Bradley, President, Vice President, Cisco [Click to Tweet]

2. Managed Business Services offers tremendous growth potential.

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DOUG JOHNSON / Chief Strategy Officer, LMI Solutions

Our Chief Strategy Officer, Doug Johnson, spoke to the prevailing shift from selling products to providing value add services as the way for dealers to maximize their growth potential in the future. During his presentation, Doug suggested that dealers that still have product brands on their business card may run the risk of being perceived as though they sell only “products”, instead of being perceived as a true value add business services provider. References were made to the increasing size of the millennial workforce and how this new wave of business leaders tend to be more comfortable with services and the use of apps to make many of their business decisions. LMI Solutions also announced a strategic partnership with FORZA, the SAP Business One platform and other leading service providers such as Intellinetics, a popular document management service for SMB customers. Just as Doug is suggesting dealers make the shift, so too is LMI Solutions with our new portfolio best-of-breed services that dealers can source and sell as an LMI partner. 

“If you’re just selling MFPs, you’re selling Sony Walkmans.”
Rick Taylor, President and CEO, Konica Minolta [Click to Tweet]

3. Security is a hot topic. If you attended the event and listened to the OEM leaders speak about the heightened awareness around information security, hopefully you have already added it to your value proposition. From HP’s clever new series of videos called “The Wolf” to the headlines about the new “Wannacry” cyber-attacks (a new form of ransomware) we all saw on the news, it’s no secret that dealers now have a compelling reason to meet with more business leaders. Speaking with some of the top dealers in the nation at the event most, if not all, have already launched some form of training and marketing initiatives to make customers aware of the threats and offer new ways to protect their data. Perhaps the most eye-opening news was the simple fact that so few organizations actually report security breaches for fear of damaging their reputation.

“Only 1 in 4 ransomware attacks are reported to the authorities.”
Datto [Click to Tweet]

4. Digital Marketing is gaining momentum. As dealers and technology providers continue to review their cost of sales for lead generation, most of the industry leaders have already embarked on some form of digital marketing strategy. Simply put, in a seemingly commoditized market with more and more customers searching for products and services online, it makes sense to leverage digital mediums to communicate and attract qualified prospects to your website and your sales team. If you would like to see how top performing Managed Print providers are utilizing digital marketing, please ask us for an “opportunity discussion” WebEx.

“Over 80% of people now search online for products and services."
in2communications.com [Click to Tweet]

If you haven’t attended the Executive Connection Summit, it truly is what the name suggests; a venue for industry executives to join in conversation and strategy to benefit the entire industry.

For a view into this year’s event, we invite you to join our friend Andy Slawetzky’s collection of pictures and videos to feel like you were almost there!

Tags: EXECUTIVE CONNECTION SUMMIT

6 Ways to Reenergize Your Managed Print Salespeople

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Fri, May 05, 2017 @ 10:21 AM

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Even great sports teams or elite athletes suffer the odd lull in their performance. The same may be true with your Managed Print program. If so, here are six ways to relight the flame that fires up your Managed Print salespeople.

1. Review Your Sales Compensation Plan – As it’s often been said, salespeople are "coin operated" and the way they’re paid will determine their performance.

2. Create a Campaign – Put together a customer-facing theme, give reps handouts, showcase it on your website and promote it in email campaigns, your social channels or on a larger scale digital marketing campaign.

Here’s an LMI video one of our dealers used as the lead messaging in a recent Earth Day campaign: 

 

3. Target Specific Verticals – Repetitive activities within a vertical market will force you to learn the customer profile and how to sell to them. Our Vertical Market Attack Packs can help with this.

4. Link the Service Technicians in Some Way – Maybe it’s financial spiffs for leads or introductions with the salesperson. Often the technicians have good relationships with the MPS decision maker.

5. Host a Webinar – They’re easy and inexpensive to market, create and deliver. Plus, you can see who attends and also archive your webinar to play around the clock and sell for you.

6. Set a Goal – Make it realistic and achievable with a payout or bonus at the end. Then measure and communicate progress on a frequent basis to keep it top of mind. 

Whether you’re enjoying the growth happening in the Managed Print market right now, or you’re rethinking your next move, perhaps one of the above ideas can complement your MPS sales strategy.

Tags: managed print sales

How to Sell Monochrome MPS Programs

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 @ 02:40 PM

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Sometimes going counter flow to what everyone else is doing can create opportunities. This may be the case as we see some elite MPS providers selling away from color output devices with extremely cost conscious customers. They say today's value driven buyer is happy to simplify and save money by restricting users to black and white output only.

The Math:

A typical office color printer that prints 2,000 pages/month in monochrome at 3 cents/page, and 2,000 pages/month in color at 8 cents/page, would cost $220 per month.

A typical office monochrome printer that prints 4,000 pages/month at 3 cents/page would cost $120 per month. That’s $100 less per printer, per month.

Popular Markets:

  • Government
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Accounting

To sell monochrome only programs effectively you need to have the right cost-conscious prospect and know how to sell against a print strategy that includes color devices.

Selling Points of a Monochrome Managed Print Program:

  • Less Expensive – The cost of consumables (toner) to operate a monochrome device is exponentially less expensive than for a color printer.
  • Ultimate Color Control – Users are forced to print in black and white.
  • Simplified Supplies – One monochrome toner cartridge vs. four cartridges (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) for staff to know how to change.
  • Easy Access to High Quality / Yield Remanufactured Cartridges – Selecting the right monochrome printer makes it easy to source high quality remanufactured cartridges with up to 200% more impressions between cartridge changes. That’s less shipping, handling and inventory for you and the customer.
  • 100% Recycled – Both printers and print cartridges can be recycled for future use and avoid landfill.
  • Service Benefits – Monochrome printers tend to have less service issues and fewer quality fluctuations requiring a service call.

You know your customers best. Proposing a  monochrome Managed Print Program vs a color program may not be your lead strategy, but in some cases, a simplified and more economical approach may be a benefit to you and your customers.

 

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Tags: MPS

5 “Must Make” New Year’s Resolutions for Managed Print Providers

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Thu, Jan 05, 2017 @ 05:03 PM

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Every January we feel the surge of a new year beginning with the perennial optimism that comes with company kick offs, sales meetings and other events to start the new year. This year, the number one question we’ve been asked so far is…

What are the elite Managed Print companies doing to grow pages under contract this year?

If you believe the adage ‘success leaves clues’, here’s what you can do to follow in the footsteps of what the top performers are doing right now:

1. Understand your actual costs

Gaining an accurate insight into your actual cost per page means much more than just calculating the price and yield of a toner cartridge. Fulfilment errors, overstocking, waste and premature cartridge replacement are all examples of what elite MPS providers are now tracking to maximize profitability.  If you don’t have a way to measure your actual “hidden costs-per-page”, let us help you calculate where you can quickly add margin by correcting common intolerances that can be easily avoided.

2. Get stickier with customers with value add services and MPS apps

Customers want you to do more than just deliver toner and show up once in a while to fix their printers. Progressive dealers are adding value add services to improve the customer experience, make them more productive and/or save them money. For example, some MPS providers are now leveraging our new app that allows end users to track usage, order supplies and monitor device status – all from their phones. Many MPS resellers are also accelerating their commitment to helping end users recycle their used print cartridges which is perceived as a real value add as organizations place more and more emphasis on reducing their carbon footprint. 

3. Improve the MPS content on your website

You’ve probably already heard the stats, but they are worth repeating. According to Gartner, over 80% of B2B buyers will perform an online search as part of their buying process and the OEMs are now reminding their dealers that their B2B buyers are now 57% into their buying process before engaging a live sales rep. That’s because they’re on your website, so it simply must be great. Today’s Imaging Reseller website needs to be properly optimized for Google Search, have active social media channels, a blog and a way to generate sales leads. More and more dealers are starting to outsource their website to professionals that offer industry specific Digital Marketing Services with a return on investment you can finally measure!

4. Train your salespeople to sell MPS

Do ALL your sales reps have the necessary skills to articulate your Managed Print value proposition? The shift from selling a product to selling a service can be difficult for some sellers without formal industry training. Top reps understand the pain points related to office printing and are able to exploit those imperfections to create more selling opportunities. To date our Peak Performance System has trained over 4,000 Managed Print sales professionals on how to sell MPS. For what it’s worth, we’ve found that most salespeople tend to sell less of what they don’t feel comfortable selling. By training your entire salesforce, you will immediately improve your people’s confidence and their ability to generate more sales leads that can be converted to monthly recurring profit.

5. Train your technicians to repair printers

Sometimes the investment in service training tends to take a back seat to other training priorities. Experienced dealers know that a trained technician is significantly more profitable than an untrained technician. They also know that you now have a nice mix of live training and online service training options that can keep the techs in the field and avoid travel expenses. In almost every case, dealers tell us printer service training packs a lot of profit to their bottom line. Less parts, less call backs, happier customers and less hassles. If you haven’t trained your techs on how to properly repair popular printer makes and models, chances are there may be a significant payback opportunity on service training. 

Do you already have any of these best practices as New Year’s resolutions?

Perhaps now is the time to select one or two areas you believe would make the biggest impact to your top and bottom line – and act right away. 

If you’re looking for more detail on these best practices or additional ways to grow your Managed Print business - we’re ready when you are.

Click me

 

Tags: managed print sales

5 Money-Making New Year’s Resolutions for MPS Sales Managers

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Wed, Dec 21, 2016 @ 03:19 PM

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One of the quickest ways to grow your sales results and your income next year is to strengthen the competency of your sales managers. With turnover rates in the imaging industry red-lining now in the 60% range (mostly metro centers), it’s hard to argue with the need for a strong sales leader. A recent survey of sales professionals also revealed that the number one reason people quit a sales position is because they don’t like the person they work for. If you have ever worked for a great sales manager, you know what a difference they can make.

To help you and your sales managers succeed, here are five New Year’s resolutions to consider:

1. Focus on sales skill development – not just results. 

It’s hard not to focus solely on the numbers, but if you don’t teach your salespeople the art of selling, they may never become self-sufficient – and stay! Most adults learn by doing, so the key to building selling skills is ongoing reinforcement. Try to create some form of ongoing weekly sales skill development exercise as part of every sales meeting agenda.

2. Create individual rep development plans – focus on the person. 

Every sales rep is different. Each has their own selling style, their own unique motivations and certainly their own expectations. This is why successful sales managers have a specific plan for each rep on their team. The plan is based on their profile including a realistic view of their strengths and weaknesses. Coaching everyone the same may work for some, but not all.

3. Make sales meetings productive – don’t waste people’s time.

Have you ever attended a sales meeting that could have been handled in an email? If you’ve sold for more than three months, chances are you have seen your share of wasted selling time: long, boring PowerPoint presentations, product info that could have been emailed or meetings that lack a structured agenda. Elite sales managers have a meeting agenda, a meeting plan and then they execute on that plan. Think about it, in professional sports would you ever catch a coach without a practice plan?

4. Inject some FUN in the job – keep things positive.

Customers can be extremely challenging and common sense suggests that people will endure more and try harder if they enjoy going to work. That’s not always an easy task which is why the culture of the sales department must be upbeat and positive. Great sales managers have a way of creating fun contests and humorous challenges that make work fun while generating bigger sales results! 

5. Spend more time in the field – but be prepared.

We all act differently in front of a customer. Some can act good...and some, not so good. Take the new hire for example. Who really knows what they’re saying (or not saying) to a customer. Sometimes it can be scary for sales managers to see how their reps engage with a real live customer. Spending more time in the field allows the sales manager to impact more deals, observe the rep's selling skills first hand and coach better than they could behind their desk. If job shadowing isn’t part of your current sales management process, you may be missing a big opportunity to develop people and achieve bigger sales results.

Do you need help with MPS sales training or new hire selling skills? Now may be the time to view what North America’s top Managed Print providers are doing to grow their businesses and their profits.  Engage us today to learn more!

 

 

Tags: Sales strategies, MPS, how to grow MPS business, sales tips for MPS

How to Generate MPS Sales Leads by Partnering with Managed IT Providers

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 @ 11:53 AM

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If you’re a Managed Print Services provider that doesn’t offer IT Services, this blog is for you. 

Here’s why: most Managed Service Providers (MSPs) tend to focus on their core competency which they call their stack of technology services. Each layer of that stack is a specific service they offer clients such as desktop management, remote monitoring, cloud services and the list goes on.

The gap that exists in many MSP stacks is Managed Print Services. This is because repairing printers and managing a complex stream of consumables isn’t exactly their strength. And as most IT people will admit, printers tend to be a nuisance that distracts valuable IT resources from focusing on higher value tasks. 

Why IT Services companies need Managed Print Services providers like you:

  1. Easy Revenue Generation – If they own the network but their revenue stream stops before the printer, you can help them expand their share of the customer's spend by having you manage the printers for them as part of their SLA. They introduce you as an extension of their service stack and you cut them in on the recurring revenue. Before you wince at giving up your margin, think of how their relationships can get you in front of the right people faster and shorten your MPS sales cycles because of their existing relationships. 
  2. Account Protection / Acquisition – Many Managed IT Services providers don’t offer Managed Print Services which means they may be exposed if another Managed IT Services provider does. By adding your MPS offering to their stack of services they are in a better position to defend against traditional IT competitors and / or an Imaging dealer that uses MPS as a seed strategy to get their foot in the door and then go after the IT Services spend.
  3. Reduce Print-Related Distractions – Depending on what research you read, between 30 to 50% of all IT help desk calls tend to be printer related. Printer jams, print driver issues and toner replenishment tend to top the list. These are all perceived as low value tasks for expensive resources like IT technicians to respond to. By removing the burden of print with your talents and capabilities as a Managed Print Services provider, you can create tremendous value for the end user and the IT Services provider because they can keep their precious resources focused on higher value tasks while you make money managing their print environment for them.

Have you thought of partnering with a Managed IT Services provider to generate Managed Print Services sales leads?

How to Engage with Managed IT Services Providers

Some MPS providers start by contacting the owners of IT Services companies in their area. Others find out who their top salespeople are and request a meeting to discuss how they can exchange leads and leverage one another’s contacts. In some cases, a spiff for leads and a big payout when a deal happens can be very attractive to technology salespeople if all they need to do is arrange a meeting with the right decision maker.

In summary, chances are the Managed IT Services providers in your area have relationships with the people who would buy Managed Print Services. So why not reach out to them to share contacts, gain access to their network of decision makers and generate more Managed Print Sales leads?

 

 

Tags: managed print sales

5 Bottom Line Benefits of Printer Service Training

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Tue, Nov 08, 2016 @ 12:18 PM

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Having an untrained employee at any position in your company can be a scary thought. Elite companies have already awoken to the fact that their people are in fact their biggest competitive advantage. This has led to more emphasis being placed internally on effective recruiting, ongoing employee education and something HR people call “talent management”.

“If you think it’s expensive to train a technician, wait until you pay for the mistakes of an amateur.”

Effective technical training programs are designed to ensure your printer service technicians are knowledgeable, efficient and cost effective in the field. In most cases, a trained tech should be able to avoid common guesswork when servicing printers allowing them to save you and your customers time and money.

Here are five things a trained printer technician can do better to drive bottom line benefits:

  1. Diagnose printer issues quicker and more accurately. 
  2. Shorten service call times to achieve more calls per day.
  3. Save on part costs with the appropriate parts ordered – only when needed.
  4. Less call backs or repeat service calls to resolve the original issue.
  5. Improve customer satisfaction and retention of recurring revenue.

There’s an old saying “if you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur”. That’s is so true, isn’t it? Especially when it comes to untrained service people that may be spending hours in a customer’s office trying to figure out how to correct a problem and then ordering hundreds of dollars in parts that may not be needed. Can you relate? 

Perhaps now is the time to rethink your service training strategy for A4 devices within your Managed Print program or for your T&M customers. Whether you provide access to online service training courses or you send your technicians to attend a hands-on training class, chances are your ROI on service training could surpass your training investments elsewhere in your organization. Often service technicians stay with an organization for several years so the investment tends to have long term benefits.   

Ask us about our online and live service training programs to get an idea of what you can do with your people and your bottom line.

To learn more click here.

Tags: printer service