What’s the Most Important MPS Sale? Your Own Sales Staff

It crops up time and time again—ask print VARs and MSPs about where they focused their efforts for managed print success and many will call out sales staff transformation.

As a new interview at The Business Transformation Center points out, challenges abound when trying to get the sales operation primed for managed print, including:

• Training the current sales staff to sell contracts rather than just equipment

• Coming up with incentives to get salespeople to commit to the generally longer sales cycles

• Deciding whether to hire new sales representatives with the right experience in selling services because you don’t have enough in-house expertise

• Transitioning the mind-set of the sales team from a product-oriented approach to a consultative sales approach

“With MPS, the sales team needs to approach the customer with a focus on understanding the current business environment—key objectives, challenges, current infrastructure, costs—and developing a long-term strategy to meet those objectives, reduce costs and streamline infrastructure,” says Mike Parmet, executive vice president of Parmetech, a Havertown, Pa., company that provides full-service printing and imaging solutions.

There’s one other transformative step that salespeople need to take—learning how to become the eyes and ears to uncover risks as well as new opportunities when they’re out on the street. “We asked the sales staff to read [a new RFP] and write down a percentage number for what they thought the chances were of us getting the sale,” Parmet says. “Everyone wrote 5 to 10 percent.” Bottom line: Everyone agreed the contract wasn’t worth going after.

What did—or should you have done—to get your sales operations on board with managed print?