LMI BLOG

5 Common Print Assessment Mistakes Salespeople Make

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Fri, Jan 15, 2016 @ 11:06 AM

5-Common-Print-Assessment-Mistakes-Salespeople-Make

Maximize your probability of success by avoiding these common print assessment mistakes too many Managed Print salespeople make in their hopes of securing an MPS contract!

MISTAKE #1 – FAILING TO ENGAGE AN EXECUTIVE LEVEL SPONSOR

As you can appreciate, there will be plenty of people in middle management looking to take you up on your assessment offer. However, without an executive level sponsor engaged before you perform the assessment, you may find yourself doing a lot of work for a so called “decision maker” that can only say no. Make sure someone at the top knows what you are doing and agrees to meet with you to review the findings.

MISTAKE #2 – THINKING THAT A PHYSICAL WALK-AROUND ISN’T NECESSARY

As great as your data collection software may be, a picture still says a thousand words. Only by physically walking around your prospect’s print environment will you truly get a feel for device positioning, workflows and supply cabinets and also have the chance to engage directly with end users. This type of direct access to the entire printer fleet and some of the power users will prove to be very beneficial when you look to optimize the fleet or suggest employee productivity improvements.

MISTAKE #3 - PRINT ASSESSMENTS ARE FREE

Although your client may not receive an invoice for your assessment service, assessments aren’t really free. Both you and your customer are looking at an investment of time and effort. In some cases, if a top performer establishes a value for the assessment but the prospect selects another vendor, the salesperson reserves the right to invoice the client for the agreed upon amount.

Too many salespeople fail to place a value on their time, or create a perceived value or trade-off for the service they are providing, because it’s “free”.

MISTAKE #4 - THE COMPETITION IS DOING AN ASSESSMENT SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO

As you should know, it’s likely that many of your competitors will offer print assessments as a way to engage new MPS prospects. In the event that a competitor has completed a print assessment for the prospect, try to do one yourself as well if you believe a true sales opportunity exists.  Stats indicate that the vendor who performs the assessment has at least a 30% better chance of winning the business because of their familiarity with the print data and the environment. So when possible, offer your prospect a second opinion so you can showcase both the professionalism of your assessment capabilities and collect the information yourself.

MISTAKE #5 - AVOIDING DEVICES THAT ARE NOT NETWORKED PRINTERS

When you perform a print assessment, you need to take an inventory of every device that puts marks on paper. Every page counts if you are trying to build a solid business case for Managed Print. Too often MPS salespeople tend to focus only on printers that have an IP address (network connected) and fail to identify offline devices or even fax machines that should be considered in an overall print strategy. If you really want to grow your TCO and truly optimize your client’s print environment, include all devices that have a paper tray.

Establishing the customer’s current print-related spend is a critical component of any Managed Print sales cycle. That’s why awareness, and the ability to avoid these common print assessment mistakes, can often be the determining factor in achieving success with a solid MPS prospect!

proposal cover

Tags: Sales strategies, LMI Solutions, managed print sales, sales tips for MPS, managed print services, Managed service providers

6 Reasons Why MSPs Should Consider Managed Print Services

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Fri, Nov 06, 2015 @ 11:12 AM

LMI top six

The profile of tomorrow’s Managed Service Provider is likely to continue to morph itself as the appetite to outsource non-core competencies continues to gain momentum. Today’s business leaders know they need to be leaner and meaner than ever; especially SMBs, a segment that most MSPs are focusing on right now.

Over 70% of Managed Print agreements are either initiated, or approved, by the IT leader in SMB accounts.
Managed Print Consulting, 2015

As their customer’s needs change, so will the stack of services MSPs will offer to meet the demand for new technologies, products and services to grow their recurring revenues. Some call it “winning more wallet share” through traditional and nontraditional offerings that solve business problems.

If you own the network, why not include printers and consumables in your stack of services as well? Advancements in remote monitoring and supplies fulfilment now make it easier than ever to deliver Managed Print Services under your company brand.

Here are 6 reasons why MSPs added Managed Print Services to their stack in 2015:

  1. Lucrative Margins - Most Managed Print Providers are making 30% to 50% gross margins each and every month. You receive a wholesale cost-per-page that includes everything you and your customer need to print in black and white and color.
  2. Recurring Revenue - Most Managed Print agreements are for a three year term with auto renewal options to extend the customer’s commitment.
  3. Same Buyer - Over 70% of Managed Print agreements are either initiated, or approved, by the IT leader in SMB accounts. Printing is perceived by most IT leaders as the bane of computing.
  4. Account Protection - The more end points you manage, the stickier you are with the customer.
  5. Account Acquisition - Some MSPs do not offer Managed Print Services, making it a vulnerability you can capitalize on as a point of entry.
  6. Turn Key Infrastructure - You simply sell the Managed Print Service and your customers will receive the products, service and support with little to no effort on your part.  

Whether you’re an IT VAR, an MSP or a CSP, you are probably looking for creative ways to scale your business and grow your recurring revenues. For many of the larger MSPs in North America, Managed Print Services has been proven to strengthen their value proposition and their bottom line with nominal effort.

 MPS Opportunity Calculator

 

 

Tags: managed print sales, how to grow MPS business, managed print services, Managed service providers, MPS value proposition, Value added reseller

How to Prepare for a Quarterly Business Review

Posted by LMI Dealer Content Team on Wed, Sep 16, 2015 @ 09:03 AM

LMI QuarterlyReview

Although the overwhelming majority of Managed Print providers would agree that quarterly business reviews are a critical part of their recurring revenue model, too few are actually completed on a regular basis.

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
 

Depending on the size, scope and complexity of the client environment you’re managing, your QBR strategy may differ slightly by client. In general, most customers will expect you to provide them with a fresh mix of quantitative and qualitative data in a manner that’s easy for them to see that you’re in fact adding the value you promised to their organization.

To help you prepare for an effective QBR, here’s a checklist of five things we see the top MPS salespeople do in advance to prepare themselves for success.

QBR Preparation Checklist

  1. Review the Customer’s Website - Here you’re looking for recent changes or new corporate initiatives. Recent press releases and social channel activity will most likely provide you with what you need to be up to date on most clients.
  2. Preview Individual Social Channels - By reviewing the social media channels of the person or people you’re meeting with, you’ll learn what’s top of mind to them. This information could come in handy during your meeting.
  3. Interview Vocal Users and Key Operators - Take the time to collect some qualitative feedback on your MPS program from internal sources so you aren’t caught off guard by negative comments and can share any positive feedback received from key people within the organization.
  4. Send an Agenda in Advance - Although your agenda may not differ too much in structure from quarter to quarter, most customers appreciate knowing what you want to cover in advance of your meeting. It also gives you the opportunity to talk to your customer about preparing for areas their input is required as well.
  5. Speak with Your Service Technician - Ask them to share what they see as successes and opportunities for improvement within the account. Just a quick conversation with your technician can provide you with equipment and end user insight you simply can’t get with your data collection software.
  6. Review Your Last QBR - Brief yourself on what you discussed during your last meeting and review what commitments you may have made. Chances are, your last QBR documentation will be what your customer is reviewing in advance as well.

As the old adage suggests, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Perhaps now is the time to review your QBR strategy to make sure you are showcasing the contribution you’re making to your customer’s business each and every quarter!

Jumpstart MPS sales

 

Tags: managed print sales, Sales superstars, quarterly business review, QBR, Managed service providers

Official Managed Print “Win Rate” Checklist - How Do YOU Stack Up?

Posted by Gary Willert on Thu, May 15, 2014 @ 09:55 AM

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In today’s tough economic climate, your business needs to stand out from all of your competitors. There are a lot of companies selling Managed Print Services, what makes your company different? Here’s a breakdown of five areas that are often overlooked, but play a huge role in making your business shine!

1.  As more business now begins online, you’ll need a strong website.

Today, your website is your new storefront. Study after study has found that 80% of customers search online before engaging a seller. Customers have already researched and formed a strong opinion before ever engaging. If you’re selling MPS, it needs to be prominently placed on your website, noticeable and easy to find on your home page.

2.  You need to have a persuasive presentation online and off.

Today’s consumer is more savvy and educated than ever before. You need to convince them that you have the solution to resolve their pain point. Keep the message simple avoid text laden PowerPoint slides. Explain the benefits of Managed Print Services and offer to schedule a print assessment.  You are your presentation, your props, your voice, your body language and your message. This combination leads to success!

3.  Be prepared for objections, be ready to respond.

Is your sales team ready for objections? Practice makes perfect. Try teaming your sales reps for a little role playing. Have one assume the role of customer and hit the other with the real life resistance that they’d encounter on a pitch. How did they do? Prepare your team to deal with objections.

4.  Put your suppliers in place. Have manufacturers access to high-quality remanufactured cartridges.

The cornerstone of any Managed Print Services program is access to high-quality, low-cost toner supplies. Toner is only one aspect of consumables in a managed print services program, but it makes up to 70% of cost per page and 70% of your profit opportunity as well.  Your toner partner is critical to your profit. High-quality cartridges can minimize service costs due to poor quality toner.

5. Provide an easy to use cartridge recycling program.

You can provide added service and encourage sustainability by putting a recycling program in place. Selling green can be the game changer. Out position your competitor with a turnkey recycling program. Studies have shown that 60 – 80% of all cartridges end up in landfills where they can take up to 1000 years to decompose.

When selling your Managed Print Services program against your competitor, think less about what is different, or what you think is special. Become customer-centric. Think about what they value during all stages of their buying process. Understand and address their pain points. Start by making your website catch their attention and provide them with value. Then prepare a persuasive sales pitch, be prepared for objections, make sure your suppliers are on board and offer value like a turnkey recycling program. If you take these steps, you’ll see your results soar!

Click here for your free e-book on how to jumpstart your MPS sales in 30 days:

Jumpstart MPS sales

 

 

 

Tags: zero landfill program, MPS, print assessment, remanufactured cartridge, Managed service providers, toner cartridges

Make your New Years Resolution at the Technology United EXECUTIVE CONNECTION SUMMIT!

Posted by Gary Willert on Thu, Jan 03, 2013 @ 08:30 AM

Make your New Years Resolution at the Technology United EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS SUMMIT 1

Unless you are selling Managed Services in beautiful Key West Florida or you have lucked out with an office in southern California, it’s tough to beat a few sunny days in Phoenix in January - especially January 21st – 24th, 2013 at the upcoming EXECUTIVE CONNECTION SUMMIT. This industry all star event will be the first major debut of the long awaited Technology United Group that formed in 2012.  The primary charter of Technology United is to assist traditional Copier Dealers, IT VARs, and Office Product Retailers expand their business model with technology services that will grow their recurring revenues and their bottom line.  The TU group features the absolute crème de la crème of Managed Services partners you need to know about. We’re extremely proud to be invited to become a “TU Member” and because we’ve been in on all the event planning meetings we thought we would give you an inside look the TOP 5 Reasons you may want to look at your January calendar.

  1. Market Direction – as the captain of your ship, you need to know where the opportunities are ahead. If you look at the agenda, you’ll see this is a different event. It’s clearly scoped at giving you everything but a GPS type display of shortcuts the elite performers are using to achieve breakthrough growth and profitability in 2013.
  2. Monitization of Your Business– we continue to see acquisitions happening in the industry so if you have ever thought about selling your business, this conference could be a “must attend" event. You’ll learn the what, why and how to grow juicy recurring revenue streams to drive top dollar for your business.
  3. Peer Best Practice Workshops – if you look at the event agenda, you’ll see this program has a very unique format. After each 30 minute speaker session (nice and short!) there is a 45 minute interactive workshop for best prectice sharing amongst your peers and you can listen and learn from many of the top MPS and Managed IT Services providers in North America.
  4. Solid Speakers – some people believe the content is more important than the speaker. We think both are critical.  That’s what we like about this venue, it’s jam packed with real world people who are in the trenches everyday so they truly understand what it takes to be successful in the Managed Services business. Look for a lot of practical business execution strategies – not a lot of fluff!  And with a keynote speaker Rick Taylor of Konica Minolta in the line-up how can you go wrong?
  5. Managed Services Focus – we see a lot of the top MPS providers contemplating how they can expand their manged print business into the new “MSP” (Managed Services Provider) model. That is exactly what this conference is all about - Driving Technology Forward.  Maybe it’s time to find out why so many companies are headed this way and what it might take for you to become an MSP yourself.

It really is still all about how you can help your customers and grow your business along the way isn’t it?

If you need some help making up your mind, here’s the link to preview the upcoming EXECUTIVE CONNECTION SUMMIT.

Otherwise we hope you can join us in Phoenix!

executive connection summit

Tags: MPS, how to grow MPS business, managed print services, Managed service providers, EXECUTIVE CONNECTION SUMMIT, Managed Print Summit

Make your VAR more Valuable with Managed Print Services

Posted by Gary Willert on Fri, Dec 07, 2012 @ 01:31 PM

Make your VAR more Valuable with Managed Print ServicesBusinesses know that being successful means staying as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Experienced IT VARs and IT Managed Services Providers (MSPs) know that the key to sales is figuring out what services will help their clients do this. That's why Managed Print Services (MPS) are exploding in popularity among businesses that want to control printing and copying costs and IT VARs are beginning to pay close attention to this growing revenue opportunity.

Because MPS is a logical extension of the usual network monitoring services provided by MSPs, many IT communities and industry advisory associations have endorsed managed print services as a recommended offering for Value Added Resellers. InfoTech rated Managed Print Services as a Top 4 "low hanging fruit" money-saver for CIO's and CTO's, for example, noting that money saved on printing and copying can be reallocated to more important IT projects. Comptia, a leading IT industry association for IT professionals, has even formed a Managed Print Community.

IT VARs and Managed Services Providers are also seeing that managed print can be a profitable add-on offering:

  • Healthy Margins – companies are currently spending 1-3% of revenues on print related activities. A managed print program can reduce that by up to 30% 
  • Easy to up-sell - It just makes sense for Managed Print providers that already manage the network, the switches, the hubs, the servers, and supports desktop machines to also take care of the printers. 
  • Recurring Revenue - Once businesses see the benefit of the cost-reductions they can achieve with a managed print environment, they will want to continue saving which translates into long-term customers and recurring revenue for the IT VAR. 
  • Account Protection - VARs that don't offer managed print services risk letting another MPS provider gain a point of entry with their clients. Recent acquisitions of IT Service Providers by copier OEMs makes a clear statement of the urgency to secure the print environment now before somebody else does.     
  • Low barrier to entry - Printer monitoring software works much the same way as popular remote monitoring software in the IT systems management arena. Technicians familiar with Kaseya and Level Platforms products will easily adapt. Turnkey MPS infrastructure also makes the business case for MPS very compelling with proven fulfillment, service, and training to make managed print a breeze to offer and support.

If you are an IT VAR or MSP, you've probably already heard some of the buzz around managed print services, maybe now is the time to find out what that buzz is all about to make an educated decision for your business and your customers!

click here for your free guide on how to jumpstart MPS sales in just 30 days!

Jumpstart MPS sales

Tags: MPS, IT VAR, managed print services, Managed service providers, Value added reseller