By: Dominic Pontrelli, Pontrelli Marketing 

We are inundated by phrases such as:, ‘leverage your customer relationships’, ‘mine your customer base’, ‘increase customer wallet share’, and ‘100% sold’. We know that these terms refer to upselling an existing customer base, yet we have a difficult time putting these concepts into practice.  We face barriers such as, ‘brand is positioned as a copier provider’, ‘customers do not know our other offerings’, ‘website does not reflect our value added offerings’ and so many more.  We learn of dealers’ difficulties in integrating (copier-led) companies after acquiring a Managed Services or Managed Print company.  So, why do we continue to struggle when it comes to selling value added offerings to our loyal customer base?

One of the key findings is the current use of your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools. For the most part, your current CRM tool is used for sales related activities such as contract renewals, forecasting, proposals, configuration, and sales order processing.  The focus is maintaining the current core business to ensure existing MFPs are managed and upgraded.

According to Webopedia, the true definition of Customer Relationship Management software is:  a category of software that covers a broad set of applications designed to help businesses manage many of the following business processes: customer data, customer interaction, access business information, automate sales, track leads, contracts, marketing, customer support, clients and contacts, support vendor / partner relationships, knowledge and training, assets or resources.

While CRM software is most commonly used to manage a business-customer relationship, CRM software systems are also used in the same way to manage business contacts, employees, clients, contract wins, and generate sales leads.

The majority of your CRM systems have marketing capabilities where you can communicate relevant messaging to the appropriate decision maker to educate and expose your value added capabilities, and help solve their business related issues.  One of the major reasons dealerships do not sell value added offerings is lack of knowledge of who makes the decision outside of the copier purchasing process.

A simple question to ask: Do you know who makes the decision (for MNS, Production, ECM, MPS, etc..) , and do you have the necessary contact information within each customer record?  If you are honest with your answer, we have found that 20 – 30% of the customer records included this data.  We also found your marketing resources do not have a seat license to the CRM tool, as it is predominately used as a sales tool.

The CRM tool is the intersection of Sales and Marketing, where both entities should target their value-added selling efforts.  It takes both groups to align their efforts in order to grow your customer relationships, and capture additional wallet share by selling additional services

ABOUT PONTRELLI MARKETING: Marketing Strategy and Plan development, go to market strategy, with the unique ability to align Marketing and Sales efforts to successfully execute common strategic growth initiatives. We specialize in data-driven analysis to support better decision making. Customers are changing how they buy, blurring the lines between traditional B2B sales and marketing efforts. Use of industry proven rigorous, data-based analyses, technology and agile techniques provide for executable targeted marketing campaigns in areas which yield the highest probability of success. website: