If you're still on the fence about adding managed IT services to your hardware-centric business, fear no more! The benefits greatly outweigh the disadvantages. However, it's not something you can just jump right into as an Office Equipment (OE) dealer or Telecom provider. The focus of a sales conversation can drastically change depending on who you're talking to. For example, an office manager may have different motives than a system administrator. Matt Hubbell, Senior Account Manager at Continuum, sits down with us to explain how to approach these different types of prospects, why you should consider adding managed IT services to your arsenal, and how to best retain your clients. Tune in!
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Scott: Hi, and welcome to another episode of MSPtv. I'm Scott Glidden, and with me here today is Matt Hubbell, our new Senior Account Manager for the southeast region. How are you, Matt?
Matt: Good, Scott. How are you doing today?
Scott: Good. Welcome aboard to Continuum.
Matt: Thank you, glad to be here.
Scott: Great to have you. We're going to talk a little bit today about the OE and telco verticals and what have you. First, tell us a little bit about yourself, where you're coming from.
Matt: Sure. I've spent the last couple of years actually working for a managed services provider, working to integrate the managed IT services culture into an office equipment manufacturing organization. I have had a good bit of relevant experience working with how to help the sales reps make that transition from a more hardware-centric sale to a services-focused sale.
Scott: Right, which is a real challenge for a lot of folks in the verticals of both telco and office equipment. In considering what they've been doing for so long, why should they be considering selling IT managed services?
Matt: Really, one of the things that I learned was there are a couple of good reasons why field sales reps ought to be looking to include managed IT services in their portfolio. Obviously, one of the top reasons is stickiness. If a particular OE provider or a telco provider just offers hardware sales, it becomes easier for someone else to come in, bring more value to the table, and ultimately effectively throw someone out of an account. Whenever we bring managed IT services into the fold, it really makes it more difficult to make that transition from one provider to another.
Scott: Yeah, and since they're already in the space to begin with, to some degree, it can be a natural transition for them to begin to have that.
Matt: Sure, plus the added benefit also to the customer of having less vendors to manage. Fewer vendors managing more pieces of the business makes life easier for the customer as well.
Scott: Right. Certainly, it's important on multiple levels that the SMB market is growing. Like we said, they already have the customer relationships and such. They're used to probably having conversations with certain people within their organizations that they work with. Tell us a little bit about who they might be talking to and how to move the conversation.
Matt: Sure. Experience taught me that there are typically a handful of different roles where that relationship may exist, particularly within the OE space. A relationship might be primarily held with a receptionist or an office manager. On occasion, it was an IT staff member, IT Director, and sometimes even a C-Suite, so a business owner, a CFO-type role or COO. Obviously, each of those individual roles within a company carries with it different responsibilities as well as different focus on how they impact the business.
Scott: Right, right. You really need to get to the decision makers and work your way up the line a little bit.
Matt: Yeah. Obviously, the quickest path to winning some managed IT services business is getting straight to the C-Suite typically. A Chief Operating Officer, a Chief Financial Officer are typically the two. President, Owner, or CEO depending on the size of the organization can be a good place. Typically in large organizations they're a bit too removed for them to really feel the pain.
Scott: Right. Bringing in managed IT services whether or not the organization has an internal IT department or none at all really doesn't matter per se.
Matt: No. I think that there's always a home . I came across very few companies who outsourced absolutely nothing IT related. Even large organizations that had an internal IT department, there’s always a good value proposition behind why to outsource part of that department either due to resource constraints or just specialty or expertise for major projects [Inaudible 00:03:51]
Scott: Yeah, there's so much out there today that you've got to be an expert on. I'm a salesperson. I'm working in either the telco or the OE marketplace. Life has been good. I'm selling equipment. I've got a nice sales region. I know my customers. What's another reason why I should be looking at selling IT managed services?
Matt: Definitely another key point to this is typically what I learned inside the office equipment and telco space is typical mentality is you put a box in the field. So, you put a copy machine in the field, install a phone system, and then you wait 60 months for that contract to expire. Sometimes it's 36, but 60 is the standard. So, 48 to 50 months down the road is when you're going to re-engage that customer. For the next four years effectively it becomes difficult to start a conversation and find additional revenue opportunities.
Bringing managed IT services into the fold creates additional opportunities, additional touch points to help solidify that relationship for the office equipment or the telco but also provides additional revenue opportunities in the interim. It could be things like managed IT services. Then, the follow on to that once that managed IT contract is in place is server upgrades, infrastructure upgrades, PC roll outs, new offices opening, expansion, things like that. All those are additional revenue opportunities to capture.
Scott: Life in the IT world is changing. The Cloud is becoming more and more of a primary part of the technology pie. I think that a lot of businesses don't have that expertise that you mentioned to know should I be in the Cloud, what part of it, how much of it.
Matt: Absolutely. Yeah, the Cloud is definitely becoming such a big part. A lot of companies don't understand what that really means to them or how to leverage it and make the best use of it for their individual business. Again, bringing in that managed IT services expertise can really help solidify the customer's path in how to leverage technology for their business.
Scott: Right. Well, we're going to have you back again. We're going to talk a little bit more about this. Partners out there, we will be bringing more resources around sales enablement, talking specifically to the telco and OE space. Attached here below, too, is a sample PowerPoint presentation you might take a look at. It might help you along the way. Certainly reach out to Matt, be happy to talk to them.
Matt: Yeah, be happy to. Again, senior account manager for the southeast region. I welcome any direct questions or indirect questions through the southeast mailbox and real happy to take it from there.
Scott: We'll make some contact information available.
Scott: Excellent, Matt. Thanks for coming on.
Matt: Thank you.
Scott: We'll see you again soon, folks. Take care.
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