The IT Services: What Have We Learned?28 Jan, 2014 By: Eric Stavola, MCSE, MCSA, N+, CIDA+
Okay, it’s the beginning of a new year, so time for a recap. What have we learned over the past years about our industry, especially the IT-centric services, and more importantly, what should we know moving forward?
Are you focusing on the following?
1. Selling Services not Hardware
MPS and now “managed services” has made it abundantly clear that we have moved away from selling a commodity to now selling services. As office hardware becomes less and less expensive via competition and is not an ongoing sale (like supplies), companies have learned to sell their knowledge and services to grow and stay prosperous.
- Sales reps have new factors/talking points
For the longest time, all sales really came down to three critical factors:
- Speed – The old adage what are the speeds and feeds of the unit. “ I need that brochure”
- Cost – Are you selling value or the price tag
- Reliability – Why else would you printing those analyst/research reports?
In today’s market, when we are selling services our potential customers still keep those factors in mind however, they are looking for some new factors as well:
- Mobility – Hand held devices and the tablets have made this a necessary talking point
- Accessibility – As we become more mobile, we want the flexibility and access to our documents anywhere on any device
- Unity – As technology continues to develop at record speeds, more companies need a solution to unify multiple data sources and workflows
- Security – Always a good talking point with IT; and as IT becomes more comfortable with the “bring your own device/BYOD” concept, they will want ideas and support for increased security.
It’s still about relationships
I don’t care if you’re selling a copier, MPS, Document Management, IT services, MFP/printer, it’s still about the customer relationship. I work with so many Sales Reps and Managers that get overwhelmed with all the technology they think they need to learn to adapt in this business, while it is important to have a good baseline understanding, one should never forget our business new and old is and will always be a relational sale!
Need to remember this:
- It’s all about team work
The companies I see that are thriving in today’s marketplace, are the ones who have created a Team selling environment.These companies have invested in critical support personal who understand the technical talk track to engage and establish IT needs and paired them with the Account Manager who has mastered the relational sale.
- Push for an assessment not just an appointment
One key aspect in selling services is that from the onset we should teach our your reps to push for an assessment not just an appointment. Appointments are great however, will go nowhere after the first one if not moved towards an assessment. By pushing for an assessment it will allow for you and your team to gain a complete understanding of your potential customers workflow, business systems, and business environments to allow for more opportunities of services and support that you can offer.
- Have a plan
Regardless of what you or your company chooses to focus on, have a plan. It amazes me, the number of individuals or companies I come in contact with, that seem to “cruise” through their day to day with no set plan of action, reacting to events, not planning for them. If you want to go somewhere, get directions, have a plan, and stay the course. Our changing business environment is not the problem; it’s an opportunity to those companies that are prepared to deal with needed change to remain viable.
Eric Stavola is COO of Witt-Company; certifications include: MSCIS, MCSE, MCSA, MCPS, N+, CDIA+ and more. (619) 379-3009 / http://firstname.lastname@example.org