Earlier this year the MPSA held a webinar titled “MPS — What Went Wrong?” which discussed the idea that every dealer is different in many ways including the geographies they serve and the services they provide. The one universal though seems to be that, for most, selling copiers is easier than selling MPS. There are many factors behind this, and a panel of MPSA members discussed these challenges and the opportunities that exist for those who do it right. It yielded a no-holds barred, open conversation with more questions than we could field in the hour allotted to the webinar, so we went back to a couple of the panelists to address those questions. Thanks to Bradon Beckerle and Kevin Morris for taking the time to answer these additional questions:
Will a solid MPS operations and MPS market share contribute to a higher price when a dealer wants to sell his company?
Bradon Beckerle: Yes it should. MPS business is much more sticky than traditional and therefore will make for recurring revenue that is much more consistent and more desirable by the buyer and a higher sale price for the seller.
Kevin Morris: I believe so. When you considering the guaranteed revenue stream for up to 60 months, this is a great value for an acquisition company.
How important is software solution specialism for a MPS dealer?
BB: It is very important. MPS is a solution-driven sales model that requires a technical resource to assist not only on the technology side but also with the sales leads. Ideally, if you could include this resource in the sales process it would also make for a better overall proposal to the customer.
KM: It is important. It is simply another way to protect your base of customers by tying in an extra level to your customer agreement.
Most of the salespeople think that MPS is hard and if the deal is closed then they are not going to get any business from the customer during the duration (3 or 5 years). They are interested in selling copiers. How we can change the mindset of these salespeople?
BB: MPS has a much longer sales cycle than a hardware (copier) sale, but if done right can lead to other revenue streams such as managed IT, document management and user management. This moves the sale from a hardware sale to a solutions and workflow management sale. This should be a better experience for the end user and instead of just a copier guy selling you a copier, you become a trusted advisor with their best interest in mind.
KM: First of all, it is harder than a straight copier sale. However, we typically add on to EVERY contract we sign with additional products and services over the duration of the agreement. The only way to change the mindset is to train these people with real world examples and not that of an average copier dealership.
Would compensation on all pages (copiers and printers) drive the MPS engagement and more MPS contracts? Most MPS plans only include single-function printers.
BB: It is definitely to a dealer’s advantage to try and cover both for obvious reasons, but it also reduces the number of vendors the end user has to work, with which can be attractive as well.
KM: Yes. I cannot imagine only compensating on single-function devices. Our comp plan has included both for 20 years and it works!
Does compensating reps on all pages printed help keep reps more involved in an account?
BB: It is important for reps to look at all the pages, whether A3 or A4, to see what they can capture or convert. How the rep is compensated will dictate their focus. So, yes compensating on all pages makes sense if you capture them all under a contract.
KM: Absolutely. However, the compensation plan needs to be structured to eliminate simple farming by the salesperson.
I hear that copier reps just move on ... do what's easy, so why not have dedicated MPS specialists? People who are paid to do this?
BB: Sales reps are coin operated, so if you want to focus your business on recurring MPS revenue, then you need to have reps focus on selling it by compensating them accordingly. Also, having them specialize in MPS is definitely worthwhile as it is much more to learn versus a traditional product sale.
KM: I firmly recommend dedicated MPS specialists. Only a small portion of copier reps can do this at a high level. It comes down to the salesperson’s abilities.
MPSA members can catch the recording of "MPS — What Went Wrong?" along with the entire archive of webinars in the members-only section. Not a member? Find out what you're missing.