Winning benefits of Document Workflow Analysis6 Jan, 2009 By: Rob Gilbert imageSource
Winning benefits of Document Workflow Analysis
As salespeople, we often only look
at the benefits that a document analysis and consultative sales approach can
have on us—and our pocketbooks. More often than not, we look at the time
it takes to perform one then weigh that against the relative value that it has
on our commissions.
A Workflow Analysis, however, does have a greater purpose and some far
reaching value, actually benefiting the customer as well as your company. Once
we begin to look at the analysis part of the sales cycle in this way, we can
truly create a positive experience for our customers and ourselves.
THE WIN-WIN PROCESS ENTAILS:
A complete inventory of all document imaging devices
Many customers do not have a complete inventory of all of their own
equipment. This never ceases to amaze me. It’s pretty common in the corporate
environment for different people to handle different aspects of document
workflow. One person handles copiers and faxes, another handles printers and
IT, still another purchases supplies. The days of the CFO giving the IT
Director a blank check has resulted in a fracturing of internal purchasing
practices. The win--win? The customer knows exactly what they have and so does
the sales rep. This builds trust and the rep begins to understand how to affect
the proper solution.
A point of view from industry experts
As sales consultants we are the experts on the products and services that we
sell. We have the ability to be emotionally removed from our customers’
businesses and give a thorough, unbiased analysis of the document environment,
acting as a third party resource.
Most of our competition will only focus on an equipment sale or lease upgrade
so differentiating yourself as a problem solver is a huge competitive
advantage. It can also be perceived as a non-threatening conversation that
really is a value-add to the customer. They now have an advocate for change and
a partner in creating the solution. The win-win? The customer has an ally that
helps them fix problems; you have set yourself apart from the competition and
may have access to much better information within the account.
Reveal areas where the customer can be more cost effective
Very rarely will you enter an account and find it operating optimally in
terms of document production and office technology. The main reasons are
above. Most companies just focus on their own core strength, i.e. healthcare,
legal, government, accounting, manufacturing, or whatever service they provide
to their own base. They use copiers, printers and faxes because they know they
need to, but don’t really focus on how to do it properly. This is really the
incubus for our ability to make the situation better.
As you become more proficient with performing an analysis in these
environments, you will begin to find common sets of issues that take place in
different industries. In essence, customers become our best teachers because we
learn from them firsthand, i.e., the issues that they need to improve on and the
negative impact that they are already feeling. The win- win? The customer has
the revelation that they have need for improvement in specific areas of their
business and finding them solidifies your position as a problem solver.
Introduce the customer to new ideas and solutions for their business
By consulting and positioning yourself in a non-threatening way to your
prospects, they will let down their defenses and listen to you on how they can
operate efficiently. This approach helps the customer to see the “big picture”
and think outside the box in a way they had not done before. By doing so, they
are free to open their minds to new and creative ways to be productive,
including print migration, scanning technologies, in-house color production,
file archiving and storage, etc. These things can be difficult to propose and
sell on their own without a deep knowledge of how the account operates.
find that engaging the customer in the debate and helping them come to the
conclusion that they need is much more productive and profitable. The win-
win? The customer is more open to new technologies and ways of getting business
done, and it is you that helped to get them there. Now you are on the short
list when it comes to them trusting you for help and ideas. This level of
salesmanship is where you want to be. It is rarely where your competition is.
By taking the extra time to ask questions, listen, and provide the feeling of
trust, you have set yourself apart. Shouldn’t this result in greater dividends
for all parties?
Rob Gilbert, Sr., DSM Fleet Management Services, Compass Sales Solutions.
Rob has 20 years experience, including CPP programs from consultation to