Managed Print Guru

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MPS Tip of the Day: Assessment Paralysis

Assessment paralysis is defined as over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.  Too many times, MPS deals never make it out of the assessment stage because MPS consultants don’t understand their audience and get caught up in details.   MPS consultants must understand who their audience is and know that an assessment is essential to the MPS process, but a drawn out assessment can paralyze the MPS process.  When selling solution or technology, details can slow the process and during the assessment details can cause assessment paralysis. 

1.  Speak the right language and don’t get into technology jargon.

2.  Don’t allow yourself to get too detailed.

3.  Know your audience and who has the true pain points.

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July 28, 2010 Posted by | Marketing Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

C-Level Executive: How will my company benefit from MPS?

Many C-Level Executives are asking:  “how will my company benefit from your MPS solution?”

Here are some answers:

1.  It will improve workflow and productivity.

2.  It will eliminate investing MONEY in stocking materials.

3.  It will increase availability and uptime of all devices.

4.  It will eliminate IT from spending time on printer-related issues, allowing them to work on issues that require their true expertise.

5.  It will reduce help desk calls and down time with remote monitoring.

6.  It will allow for techs to have to right parts on demand for devices keeping productivity up.

7.  It will be designed around your core business and strategic goals.

Dear C-Level Executive:

Before you go out to purchase another printer or multi-functional device, make sure know what you currently have in your office and what it is costing to you operate.  Better information about your environment will allow you to make better decisions!

July 26, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

The MPS ANALOGY

Many people ask me how do explain to customers, what MPS consultant is….. 

I always tell customers that a MPS consultant operates much like a General Contractor.  To follow this analogy, a General Contractor assumes the overall responsibility for the building or remodeling of a home or building, yet they will retain the services of different sub-contractors, like a carpenter, an electrician, and a plumber to perform the installation of these particular parts of expertise.  The MPS consultant employs various vendors (sub-contractors), as well as different resources and practices to deliver a MPS solution that meet the customer’s corporate goals and strategies.

When people are building a home or doing a large remodel, the homeowner’s goal is to get the most return on their investment or the most bang for their buck.  The same goes for a company who looking for a MPS solution because companies are looking to cut overhead expenses without harming productivity.  The MPS consultant has the task like the General Contractor of meeting those two goals of boosting productivity without requiring a capital investment and containing costs without harming productivity. 

Remember not all General Contractors are the same, the same goes for MPS consultants!

July 23, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

Managing the MPS Process

In order to sell a MPS solution, a MPS consultant must go thru the MPS process: the MPS pitch, the MPS assessment, the baseline cost, the agreement of cost, etc., etc…  Well, many times, the MPS process can be very long and take some detours and wrong turns because the MPS consultant it not managing the process and staying in the decision maker’s good graces.

1.      Demonstrate Passion and Make it Personal to help this customer.                      

As a MPS consultant you are busy, I know this, but you must demonstrate PASSION for your service and solution and demonstrate to the decision maker that you are giving 110% to this process.  Many MPS consultant act like they are selling a box, it is about a relationship.  SHOW PASSION from the start and never lose it throughout the whole MPS process.

2.  Define a follow-up schedule.

The main reason I tell MPS consultants to use a project charter because the frequency of updates and following a detailed scheduled demonstrates professionalism as well as that you are PASSIONATE about helping your customer.  A project charter is a working document and can change, I understand that, but if you a follow-up schedule in place it keeps the decision maker’s interested and focused so when it comes time to make a decision, they are ready and informed.

3.  Don’t assume anything or walk in with premade solution.

Don’t fall back on your MPS knowledge and what you do for other customers.  Make sure you are asking probing questions and carefully listening to your decision maker’s needs and frustrations.  Not knowing their needs and frustrations and trying to make your customer fit your MPS solution will derail the MPS process during any part of the process.

4.      Tackle the issues that have direct impact earlier.

When you are learning the needs and frustrations of your customer, there are going to be 200 issues that all seem critical, but you need to understand that only a few will have a large immediate impact.  Agree on immediate issues resolve those, but remember the secondary issues as things to focus on once the primary are resolved.  Again, this will demonstrate you are a go-getter and it will not make the MPS process longer than it already is.  Secondary issues can be resolved, once a MPS agreement is in place.  Resolving secondary issues help build trust and a strong consultant/customer relationship, but they can also slow the MPS process.

July 21, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

So you want sell MPS in today’s world!!

In order to sell a Managed Print Services Solution:

1.  You must bring value to the table

2.  You must be a good listener

3.  You must know who your customer is and what they do and how documents effect their business

4.  You must keep in mind that every business is always going to be different

5.  You must understand their NEEDS and their CHALLENGES

6.  What are true pain points

7.  You must demonstrate PASSION  in your solution and why your solution work is the right solution

8.  You are just as much of a partner as they are

9.  You must provide fact based decision making that reduce the risk of the partnership

10.  You must know what it is going to take justfy this investment in a MPS solution

 

July 20, 2010 Posted by | Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

MPS: Why are MPS deals really lost?

A hot topic many MPS consultants have been asking me has been why they are losing deals.  Most MPS consultants think they lose a deal because of PRICE.  PRICE is not the main reason MPS deals are lost, in fact a lot of times even in today’s economy it only plays a small factor.   Here are some of the top reasons MPS deals fall short and some helpful hints to make you win more MPS deals:

1.  Lack of Executive Buy-in:  MPS consultants find buy in with a someone in the an organization and start the whole MPS process only to find out at the end that person cannot sign the deal.  The MPS consultant must have C-Level Executive suppport and a NDA signed before starting the MPS process to ensure there are sponsors engaged in this study.  Make sure you a CIO or CFO knows what you are doing and you have his or her support.

2.  Poor Alignment:  Many times the MPS consultants have not aligned their MPS solution with the company’s corporate strategy.  If the MPS solution doesn’t align with the corporate strategy there will be no executive support to make sure the deal is completed.  To make sure you understand the corporate strategy, use a MPS charter to avoid unclear expectations.  Throughout the MPS process, continue to monitor the MPS charter with the executives and decision maker.

3.  Bad Assessment:  The assessment or discovery stage of the project has to be taken very seriously.  MPS consultants must identify key pain points, workflow issues, needs, wants, and most importantly understand their costs.  Doing end-user interviews and not using assumptions during the assessment will help ensure a great assessmentAlso, during the cost consensus meeting, have the decision maker sign off that he or she agrees with your findings and cost before moving forward with a solution.

     Now this are not all the reasons MPS deals are lost, but they are 3 of the main ones.  As a MPS consultant you must make sure you continue to get Executive buy-in and support, do a great assessment, and make sure you align your MPS solutions towards the corporate strategy of your customer.

Cheers

July 13, 2010 Posted by | Customer Service Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | 2 Comments

Standard Register: Enterprise Print Management

Standard Register has many solutions for business and one happens to be Enterprise Print Management.  I could write all about what Standard Register offers, but instead check out their website and some of their Insights.  They have excellent Managed Print Services information on their website.  Below is a link to a great article about the Desktop Printing and the Myth that many people think, it’s free.  Enjoy.

Enterprise Document Management Part 2: Desktop Printing Outlook: Ulitization Up, Costs Out of Control

July 9, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors, Marketing Tips, Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MPS: Multiple Vendors, Multiple Bills, Multiple Purchase Orders

      When a MPS consultant is performing their assessment and delivering their solution, one cost that they don’t emphasize is the cost of working with multiple vendors, paying multiple bills, and producing multiple purchase orders.  MPS solutions are formed to alleviate the stress of paying multiple vendors, as well as managing multiple vendors.  When reviewing different MPS proposals and doing assessments with different MPS consultants, I have noticed they don’t look at the managing and paying multiple vendor process.  This a huge selling point for a MPS solution and needs to be demonstrated to the customer over and over.  MPS consultants preach it in their sales pitch, but never demonstrate as a RIO or as part of the close. 

Here are things MPS consultants want to demonstrate to their customers:

 1.   Industry studies indicate documents claim 20-40% of total labor costs and between 3% of company revenues…

2.  Industry studies indicate that the average purchase order costs a company $ 60.00 to process

3.  Currently, ABC Company pays more than sixty invoices each month for print costs

4.   Transfer responsibility of Service, Maintenance and Supply fulfillment to ONE COMPANY & ONE BILL

To learn more about this overlooked cost and how MPS consultants should demonstrate the how their solutions saves companies in other ways, check the article link below by Standard Register. 

 

Fragmented Document Practices Add Cost, Undermine Productivity and Increase Risk – from Standard Register

July 8, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

MPS: CHANGE

CHANGE inside a Managed Print Services solution can be the one factor that can potential derail the whole strategy.  Customers always have emotional and normal reactions to change.  During the MPS process, an MPS consultant will see normal and emotional reactions to change two different times: assessment and implementation stages.

1.  The first time an MPS consultant will see customers’ emotions due to assuming change is during the assessment process.  When a MPS consultant does a map of the facility and meets with end users about individual printers and why documents are received and processed a certain way, people will be very defensive about their personal printer or the way they do things.  People are creatures of habit and do not like change, so it is very important that during the assessment phase of the MPS process, the MPS consultant must make the end user comfortable when asking him or her about their printer and process.  Make a big deal about their job and celebrate the how their process is vital the business.  Make sure you include them in the assessment otherwise if feel threatened or left out, it will be tougher for you to get buy in from end users.

 *** Now many MPS consultants say who cares about the end users, the C-level Executives is the one who makes the decision. Well, when you can demonstrate buy-in from the end users during your close, your MPS solution will be a slam dunk!!*** 

2.  The second time an MPS consultant will see emotions due to change is during the MPS implementation stage.  When people see a new process or new technology they automatically become resistant.  A MPS consultant must have an action plan for implementation and must take great care in teaching and mentoring end users about the new solutions and technology.  

***One way to combat change is to do a controlled test of a new MPS solution with end users who are not technology literate.  During this test, the MPS consultant must truly teach and be there for the end user to make sure it runs smoothly.  If the non-educated tech people can get comfortable with the new solution and technology during a controlled one-on-one test, the MPS implementation will see less emotional and natural reactions.***

Cheers.

July 7, 2010 Posted by | Customer Service Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | 1 Comment

PrintCare: Southern California’s leading provider of print solutions

Every couple of weeks I enjoy looking at different MPS provider’s websites to see how they are marketing their brand and offerings.  Today, I took a look at PrintCare – Managed Print Solutions, which is located in Southern California.  PrintCare is the MPS solution for image Source, an authorized Sales Agent & Dealer for Xerox. 

Things I like about their website:

1.  Even though image Source is a Xerox Sales Agent, they illustrate clearly that their MPS solution, PrintCare is a solution for everyone regardless of printer makes or models.  This is key, many businesses like certain hardware and as a great MPS providers make and model should not matter.

2.  I like that they have a name for their Managed Print Service Solution.  PrintCare is a good name and this a good marketing technique.  This is a great way to make your MPS solution standout.

Check out their site to see what MPS solutions are being offered in Southern California.

Cheers.

July 6, 2010 Posted by | Marketing Tips, Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment