Jennie Fisher, writing for The Imaging Channel, has an interesting blog post about the strategy of selling Managed Print Services (MPS). Doc agrees with some of her basic premises, especially that MPS represents a tremendous opportunity.
There's a services model sea change going on, and most are either wanting to get there in the future or trying to master it now. While there's no "easy button" for changing from a hardware-focused business to a service-centric model, there are good reasons to evolve in that direction and better resources today than ever before to make it less painful.
According to our GreatAmerica Annual Dealer Study, 59 percent of respondents have implemented an MPS strategy within their business, up about 7 percent from last year. MPS was also hands down the most highly mentioned "most significant opportunity" for the coming year among our dealer respondents. Of those that have not yet implemented MPS, more than 50 percent of them plan to enter the MPS market within the next year or so. But where will they start? And who will help them get there?
Many in our industry have embraced Photizo's Expanded Customer Adoption Model. When looking at Photizo's four stages – 1) control the print environment, 2) optimize it, 3) enhance it and 4) converge other managed services into the equation – you can see that a different mentality is required of dealers to be successful today. Rather than going in and getting that MFP replaced, dealers have to think more holistically about their customer's business and engage at a more strategic level.
It is also important to consider that in these changing times, businesses must do what they can to protect their market share. Under ideal circumstances when selling MPS, you'd simply go in and refresh a customer's fleet from the get-go, but with so many other companies calling on your customers (paper companies/toner companies/VARs, etc.), it's not that simple. It may now make more sense to go in and apply the "land grab" approach before someone else does. But a "land grab" (going in and protecting your relationship with your customer by getting all service and supplies under contract) requires a consultative sell.
Jennie has more, and concludes that getting into MPS may not be simple, but is easier now than ever before.