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Ready for 2015? 6 Preparedness Tips for Selling Managed IT Services

3 Feb, 2015

Office equipment dealers are known for being able to sell, and as such, have built up impressive customer bases. Lack of top notch sales people and customers have rarely been an issue. That is the strongpoint of a dealership. However, in the new world of managed IT services, it’s now about knowing how to sell these new and different services to the existing customer base that’s become the issue. If you are concerned about your preparedness for reaching your goals this year, here are six tips to help sell managed IT services into your existing customer accounts and ensure you stay on track to meet your lofty goals for 2015.

  1. First, are you working with a managed IT services partner who’s allowing you to achieve 60 percent margins? By now, you should have a good idea what margins you achieved in 2014. Did you hit 60 percent? We live and die by margins, and with the right managed IT services partner, you can achieve this number in 2015.  
  1. Are you following a business model that guides you to operational and financial success? When you are busy running with day-to-day tasks, it’s easy to overlook the big picture. Make sure you are following an IT business model that will ensure your operational and financial success this year.  Download our free model here, www.continuum.net/businessmodel.
  1. Are you offering 24/7 IT support? Copier calls don’t necessarily come in at 3 a.m. but IT calls do. If someone is having a computer issue they need help with, dealing with it on a Sunday night is helpful in order to hit the ground running Monday morning. Who really works 9-5 anymore? Not you, not your customers and certainly not your competitors. Offering 27/4 support is a huge competitive advantage. Work with a managed IT services provider who offers it and your customers will embrace you.
  1. Is the new 2015 compensation plan incentivizing the right activity? Make sure you are incentivizing sales reps to sell managed IT services while still keeping a keen eye on traditional copy and print sales. Having managed IT services sales tied directly to the prestigious President’s Club award can also be most effective. Review the November blog post, “Drive Managed IT Services Sales with the Right Incentives,” for more details.
  1. Do you have the right technical resources to support sales? The recommendation is one technical specialist (vCIO) per 10 sales reps for ideal pre-sales support, particularly for backing up sales when visiting potential accounts. Sales people need assistance to work through the technical jargon at client sites. Your chances of landing the new client increase exponentially when you have the right technical knowledge behind sales. vCIOs are the diesel fuel to your IT sales engine.
  1. Are you offering all IT customers a forward-thinking technology roadmap? Office equipment dealers may get hung up on only providing network and IT support, but it’s crucial to future revenue to provide additional, well-diversified IT product offerings that may include cloud services, Mobile Device Management (MDM), file sync and share, and project work. A preferred technology roadmap for each client ensures you are a true one-stop shop for your clients. If this sounds difficult, the right managed IT services partner can help to craft a strategy here to make your offering elite. Be the all-IT services vendor that your clients desire. You will set yourself apart from any competition and sink your teeth deeper into each client relationship, thus increase the monthly revenue opportunity.

Allow your sales team to do what they do best; cultivate relationships and identify pain points.   In addition, leverage your brand name and your footprint to transform your dealership from simply a copy/print vendor to an innovative Technology Services Provider that manages every appliance plugged into the wall and into the network. With the right partner and the right 2015 goals, this is your year to shine in IT.

For more information on accelerating your success in managed IT services, visit: http://www.continuum.net/OE.

Michael Amiri and his dealer support team can be reached at OE@continuum.net

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