“I’m a technology company. Not just a copier dealer.”
It’s an important step when you say these words. Whisper it into existence; these words need to be a strategy. That strategy needs tactics, and the tactics require resources. A mentor once explained to me that unless you make a change in resource allocation (money and people), you haven’t changed anything. So, what needs to change in order for you to become a technology company, and not solely focused on office print?
Selling print is fairly simple. The problem is well defined:
You print a lot, I have the most reliable and cost effective product for that.
That’s a repeatable process, but it fails when you move from the one category of print to the 100+ unique IT categories. In print you likely sell 2-3 vendors and focus on 15-20 models, each with a few variants. Within the 100+ categories of IT, there are 1200 manufacturers, and over 400,000 active products.
Unless your sales person is a cyborg, they cannot approach IT with the same methodology as print. Many dealerships have solved this problem by leapfrogging over the physical products and landing on a bundle of IT services. The stack!
The good news is that you’ve once again turned the problem into a simple sales proposition:
You use a lot of IT, I can manage it for you better than you do yourself and save you money. Just like with office print, our service is second to none.
Many print resellers have done a great job at leveraging the skills of their sales team, their brand loyalty among customers, and their solid reputation in field service into successful managed IT practices.
The Achilles heel of managed IT is still the same one that has persisted within print itself– transactional sales. It’s confounding. Organizations that have layers of admin staff, local delivery and service vehicles, OEM authorizations, access to hundreds of thousands of products and great customer relationships, struggle when a customer wants a one-off item like a toner cartridge, a laptop, or a monitor.
Why You Can’t Ignore IT Transactions
I’ve heard many resellers suggest that there’s no margin in IT products, and that they’re not worth the trouble. Well, saying something over and over doesn’t make it true. There is a margin in IT. You can make 20-30% on most products all day long. Especially when you combine it with your managed IT practice.
Here’s How IT Product Sales Can Work:
You decided to let us manage your IT for a reason. DIY causes problems. It’s the same with your hardware. If you buy it yourself, you’re setting yourself up for downstream problems. Let us help you make the right purchasing decisions.
By injecting value-add into the decision, you’re giving yourself permission to sell for a higher price than Amazon or CDW. Those resellers are fine, but they have a sea of products. This casts doubt for the customer that they might buy the wrong product, which allows you to offer enhanced value.
Allowing customers to buy hardware from CDW or Staples is like having a chicken go to the fox to get their food. The fox might give them the food, but what he really wants is the chicken. All these companies have IT services, and they sell IT hardware. Even with Managed IT, companies still need hardware for their employees to carry out their jobs. More than a third of SMBs say technology purchases are still focused on core infrastructure, including products such as laptops, desktops, mobile phones, etc (CompTIA). Don’t miss out!
This is MPSToolbox’s ENTIRE value proposition with B2B e-commerce:
You can compete and win in e-commerce when you leverage your relationships and value propositions. Moving to managed IT should be combined with an e-commerce store, and a workflow that enables your team to ring-fence your customers.
Keep the foxes away from your chickens.
Oh, and contact us if you're ready to get started!