June 2015

What do the experts find to be sales and marketing best practices? We decided to find out by asking a few questions of some industry leaders, giving them the opportunity to answer some or all of the questions. The answers, like our panelists, are diverse, surprising and informative. Our panel this month:

by Jim Lyons

Our industry has seen some major developments this year under the umbrella of “the Internet of Things” (IoT). Incorporating If This Then That (IFTTT) services, Hewlett-Packard has worked diligently to offer its hardcopy customers a breakthrough in what I like to call the area of automated printing. In its big reveal, a blog post by HP’s Phil McCoog recently announced, “HP Launches the HP Print Channel on IFTTT Creating Over 40M IoT Printers.”

by Steven Branstetter, Crawford Thomas

In business and in life we set goals; goals that determine the choices we make and the directions we go. One common practice for reaching these goals, popular with top athletes, is visualizing what you want to achieve. In my opinion visualization is one of the great keys to success in life, but it is a useless technique if you do not know what to visualize.

by Martin De Martini, Y Soft

Managed print services, when you think about it, is becoming less and less about print management and more about service. Customers are looking to extract additional value out of their existing fleet investment with improved workflows. The channel is looking to offer value-added solutions alongside hardware as a way to expand their businesses. It sounds like a match made in heaven; however selling software and services requires a different approach.

by Brad Roderick, Tonercycle/Inkcycle

What is the top sales challenge in 2015? According to a recent report by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP), “training and development” once again gets the nod as the biggest challenge. “Competencies around solution selling, communications, virtual presentations, negotiating, closing and the like … training to these skills remains the number one priority,” states the report. This is why I and several hundred other sales leaders recently took a couple of days out of our business to work on our business. 

by Jordan Darragh, PrintReleaf

It’s tough to impart any current best practices for sales and marketing without first providing a refresher on the foundations that are timeless and essential for any sales rep or marketer. For a product to be successful it has to find market fit. For a solution to be successful it has to fit the customer’s need, specifically meeting their goals. It’s the job and responsibility for sales management and marketing leadership to ensure they develop best practices to match products and solutions with market and customer. Failure to do so can only mean reduced sales and lost market share. The ability to do so means more sales and increased market share.

by Toni Clayton Hine, Xerox

When it comes to serving up business printing solutions, solution providers need to remember that hardcopy has a soft side, too. The channel is evolving. Partners are selling and delivering more complex software and services – in addition to hardware – to maintain their status as a trusted IT partner and to grow revenue. 

by Patricia Ames

The Imaging Channel had the chance recently to meet with Dennis Amorosano, Vice President and General Manager Marketing and Professional Services, Canon USA, and discuss how the imaging channel is evolving. Together we contemplate speed, big bets, workflow and taming the dragon. Join me in the SpeakEasy.