How Copier Dealers are Profitable in Managed IT Services
By: Greg Van de Walker
Managed IT Services, also known as Managed Network Services, has been a trending topic in the copier channel for the last several years. Business owners are attracted to the opportunity to expand their relationship with customers, differentiate from competitors, and gain more recurring revenue to build their business valuation.
It’s evident that Managed IT Services is very different than the traditional copier model. When it comes to Managed IT Services, there are stories of failures, and stories of success. After letting early adopters determine the best way to go to market, copier dealers are more educated now on lessons learned and how they can be profitable in Managed IT Services faster, with less headaches and less risk.
Here are 5 things successful Copier Dealers are doing today to profitably sell Managed IT Services:
C-Level commitment and ongoing involvement
Managed IT Services is a top-down initiative. C-levels who stay involved to show the company the importance of Managed IT Services get more engagement from their team. Managed IT Services requires big changes and C-levels who are not fully committed into Managed IT Services struggle to get the team behind the Managed IT Services initiative. The more involved a C-level is with their Managed IT Services initiative, the more the company will understand the importance and push to make it successful and profitable. Remember how much time, energy, and resources you put into getting your copier business up and running? Treat your Managed IT Services business with the same passion you did when you built your copier business.
Follow a proven sales process
Unlike a copier, IT is viewed as a critical aspect of a customer’s entire business, and it impacts each person in an organization. There are typically multiple people and departments involved in the decision. In addition, the average order size of a Managed IT deal can be over 10 times the total order value of an average copier transaction. This is why it is important to always follow a proven sales process. With this type of transaction, if you skip key elements of the sales process up front it can negatively impact how well you can support your customer later on. Profitable copier dealers follow a proven sales process for Managed IT Services to make sure they aren’t missing any critical elements needed to make the offering and relationship successful. These copier dealers focus on specific verticals where they’ve identified opportunities and as a result, have higher close rates, higher prices per seat and increased profitability.
Dedicate talented staff
Copier dealers trying to convert traditional copier sales reps to become Managed IT Services sales reps tend to close fewer deals because their focus is too broad and the sales process is too different. Copier dealers who are successful in Managed IT Services train their sales reps to find and qualify a lead, and then pass the lead to a subject matter expert (SME) who is dedicated to just selling Managed IT Services. The SME is technical, but also able to have business conversations. SMEs are taking the lead discussions from the copier rep to close the Managed IT sale, only involving the copier rep when needed. Copier reps are compensated accordingly for passing the lead. Successful copier dealers who are hiring dedicated SMEs for their Managed IT Services offering are increasing their close ratio and profitability.
Standardize your technology stack offering
Copier dealers successful in Managed IT Services provide a holistic technical solution that provides everything a company needs for IT. This includes support, monitoring the network, security, backup, email, vendor management, a help desk and other technical solutions. The goal for most Managed IT Services providers is to become the “IT Guy” for their customer. Copier dealers who try to be an expert in everything and provide several different custom services and solutions struggle to reach profitability. Profitable IT companies set technology standards, select specific technologies to work with, and become experts at those specific technologies. Their prospects must standardize on these technologies to become a customer. This allows them be more efficient, better manage the network, and provide quicker resolutions for customers. Copier dealers who are able to create better IT experiences for the customer will gain a stronger reputation over competitors, build their customer base, and do it profitably.
More copier dealers and IT companies are finding value in outsourcing. As a result, it is allowing them the ability to focus more time and resources on things they are most passionate about. These things include can include revenue generating activities like sales, marketing, project work, lead generation, etc. Think about what you and your team should be spending your time on, and what you can hire experts to handle for you. We’ve found an increasing number of copier dealers outsourcing their Network Operations Center (NOC) and Help Desk to reduce the upfront investment from building this on their own, reduce the amount of headcount needed for success, and provide a resource to help customers get their IT issues resolved remotely and quickly.
The technology landscape of Managed IT Services has greatly evolved over the years and looks much different than when it first entered as an opportunity for copier dealers. Copier dealers can be, and are successful and profitable in Managed IT Services. Managed IT Services is a great opportunity for copier dealers to capture more recurring revenue to build their business valuation. If copier dealers are not already down the path to expanding their line of business to offer Managed IT Services, consider the tips above for a jumpstart. Managed IT Services can help you improve your reputation and image, and it also has the potential to greatly impact and increase your bottom line and business valuation.
About GreatAmerica Financial Services Corporation
GreatAmerica is the largest independent small ticket national commercial equipment finance company dedicated to helping manufacturers, vendors, and dealers be more successful and keep their customers for a lifetime. GreatAmerica was established in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1992 and has a staff of over 500 employees with offices in Georgia, Minnesota, and Missouri. GreatAmerica provides financing and niche market-focused services in all fifty states and several U.S. Territories. Our commitment to understand the office equipment industry has positioned us as the unparalleled leader in single invoice solutions (MPS, Managed IT, and other specialized billing options). We also offer innovative non-financial services to help our dealers evolve their businesses. www.greatamerica.com
Collabrance LLC, a subsidiary company of GreatAmerica Financial Services, is a Master MSP located in Cedar Rapids, IA. We build long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with Service Providers committed to making Managed IT Services a core element of their business. Our model enables our partners a low risk way to quickly and profitably scale while focusing on revenue generating opportunities. Our portfolio of standardized technology services, efficient processes, and sales support, results in exceptional customer satisfaction and industry-leading remote resolution rates. As a trusted technology advisor, Collabrance provides the necessary education, personal assistance, and access to best practices needed to succeed. www.collabrance.com