Sunday, April 22, 2012

Why Sell Copier and Managed Print Solutions by the Penny

I'm going to borrow something from This Week in Imaging and Scott Cullen.  Scott reported that while having breakfast with at the Kyocera Dealer Meeting that a Dealer stated that “the truth is 80 percent of the people out there don’t need solutions.”

Mind you I have no clue who the dealer is or if they are a Kyocera Dealer only or have multiple lines, however the statement that "the truth is 80% of the people (think he meant customers) don't need solutions." is just plain wrong! I'm thinking maybe that Dealer Owner (if it was a dealer owner) doesn't go out much in the field anymore and is listening to reps who don't want to sell solutions or just don't understand the solutions that they have.

I'll admit getting the customer to commit to buying, installing, implementing and training on any of the solutions (Equitrac, Ecopy, NSI Autostore, UDOCX, Global Scan, Digi Docflow) is a tall task. I speak about solutions all of the time for every appointment, I'm finding interest, and in some cases I can sell the solution but have had to back down because "we didn't feel comfortable supporting the solution." What I find in the field is at least 50%-60% would like to have the solutions that we offer. The stumbling blocks that I run across are many and I'll list a few from my point of view and from other Print4Pay Hotel members that I've spoken to or communicated with through the Print4Pay Hotel forums.

  • Upfront cost of the solution
  • The Cost of  the Implementation of Solution (time in the customers eyes)
  • Training (what happens when the person or people I have trained leave, retire or are replaced)
  • Maintenance/Upgrades (who's going to monitor or keep track of the maintenance costs and upgrade when needed and will I need additional training for an upgrade)
  • Change the Process (we're to thin with staff already and to change the process would be a burden on productivity)
  • Support (Who do I call, are you/they proactive, can I get them on the phone asap)
  • What Solutions Can We Support (this is from the dealers perspective, do I have the personnel that is capable of doing this right, or will we dabble and flounder)

My opinion is that in order to sell more solutions and reap the profits is to change the model that we sell. A few of the companies I listed have an SaaS (Software as a Service) model, and I expect within the next year that most if not all of the providers will offer the SaaS model. Print Audit is now offering a Print Audit Premier, what this means to the dealer is that they pay "x" price to Print Audit every month for up to 50,000 licenses.  The dealer can then "rent" the software solution to the customer and this can be accomplished in many ways.  The model I prefer is to add a per click charge to the maintenance agreement  For example, let's say you have a client with 10 devices and those ten devices are generating 100,000 pages per month.  Your existing cost per page is .01, thus you could give them ten seats of the license for an additional .003 per page. This is going to generate $300 per month.  It doesn't have to be .003, it could be what ever YOU want. 

You control the software, you remain sticky in the account, if the account leaves you, well then so does the software.  There is no upfront cost to the customer, upgrades and maintenance is included with the monthly cost to the dealer.  What's even better is that the dealers that are looking to get into managed services can offer at an additional cost (professional hours, IT hours), training, and installation, or just add another .001 to the monthly maintenance cost per page to cover the additional expense. Others may think that maybe a monthly fee for the solution is a better model.  Here you could charge by the device or by the seat. 

It's my belief that if more of the solutions companies adopted a Cloud based SaaS solution for the dealers (different price plans for 5K, 10K, 20K of licenses), this would mean that guys like me could lead with the solution first with the excitement that there is no upfront cost to the customer.  We'll still have the other objections to over come, but the main objection of cost can be quantified with the cost per page model or cost per device model and will allow for an easy ROI explanation.

Dealers need to own/control the software, let me take an inexpensive solution  that sells for $1,200 and then there is the installation cost of $450 and training at $450. So we have a total of $2,100.  The customer is producing 20,000 pages per month on one device.  We have a customer doing 20,000 pages on one device, adding just .003 to the monthly cost per page will generate $720 per year and if they are on a 5 year lease that $60 per month will generate a minimum of $3,600.  Dam, there could even be a cost per page revenue stream (commission) for the sales person.

This is one of my longer blogs, I don't agree with 80% of the customers don't need solutions.  We as sales people, sales managers, and owners are talking solutions but it seems with the uncertainty of the economy, the need to move the box (quotas), and no ongoing revenue stream for solutions, we then apt to settle for the sale of the box. 

If you'd like to learn more about the Print Audit Premier Program then click here and if you are interested in signing up, please use our promo code P4PMaven that will get you some goodies.  Please feel free to comment!

-=Good Selling=-


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The advantage of printing is it has always been a task that promotes something or spread some message. The easiest way to promote a business or trade is by distributing cards, brochures or printed material to as many people as you can.

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Responsible selling is not as easy as getting the merchandise sold because it will also be important to make sure that the customers will be able to meet their expectations and get the value they want out of the money they spent on the product.