Custom Business Solutions, Inc. has a unique perspective on selling restaurant point of sale (POS). CBS has been a value-added reseller (VAR) for 25 years, and eight years ago, launched its own cloud-based restaurant POS software, CBS NorthStar, which it sells through a channel of its own resellers.
Ryan Williams. Account and Marketing Manager for CBS and co-host of the Restaurant Technology Guys podcast, shares three tried-and-true ways that IT solutions providers can pitch restaurant POS as a Service so it has the greatest appeal to prospects:
1. Bundle Solutions
Williams says one of the greatest advantages of selling POS as a Service is that you have the ability to bundle multiple solutions into one offering, which can be an offer too good to refuse for a busy restaurant operator. “When you’re running restaurant, you have 100 things happening at any given moment. If a VAR can simplify life by lumping multiple services together into one offering, and it all works, that’s valuable to a restaurant operator. You may have just taken 20 things off their plate,” he says.
He adds that if something goes wrong, your client can pick up the phone and call you, which saves time calling multiple providers to get to the source of the problem. Making one predictable monthly payment for all of the IT solutions a restaurant needs is also an attractive proposition to a restaurant operator. It makes bookkeeping easier. Saves time. Don’t need to manage invoices and payments to multiple vendors.
Williams points out that bundling solutions is also an advantage for VARs and MSPs. “You can sell Wi-Fi, loyalty, payment processing, kiosks — and every aspect of POS can be leased, maintained, or monetized on a recurring level,” Williams says. It also gives you control over all IT the restaurant is using, so you “ensure the customer experience is top-notch, no matter what.”
2. Do the Math
“The industry as a whole is low-margin, so many restaurants are price-conscious,” says Williams. Restaurant SaaS solutions generally require a lower upfront cost to implement. Williams says the initial investment for a two-terminal system and software licensing can quickly approach $10,000, which is much higher than the cost of two iPads and the first month of a SaaS subscription.
He adds that a restaurant making a CAPEX is buying an asset. You can compare it to buying a car — the next model will have features yours doesn’t have. For the monthly fee, says Williams, restaurateurs always have “the latest and greatest.” Every time a new release or update is available, it’s pushed to the SaaS customer as a part of the service. A restaurant that buys a POS system outright doesn’t have access to those updates — if they want an updated version, they’d have to make an additional investment.
3. Be a Consultant, not a Salesperson
Williams points out there are many options available to restaurants — and they all have their place in the industry. “You need to understand the restaurant’s current needs as well as what their growth plans are and provide them with the right system,” he says. If someone is taking over a small family restaurant and has no plans for expansion, their needs will be very different than an entrepreneur with plans for multiple locations, even before the doors of the first restaurant open. “You want to be familiar with where they are today and give them a solution that can grow where they’re headed tomorrow. Needs change as businesses change,” says Williams, “but you don’t want to force something’s that not a good fit.”
4. Never Stop Cultivating Sales from Your Current Customers
Williams points out that in addition to converting prospects, you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t continue to engage current customers. Williams says it’s difficult for salespeople to manage this manually, but technology can help. Keeping track of the solutions they currently use in your CRM system and using marketing automation to continue to engage them with valuable content can automate upselling while your sales team moves on to new opportunities.
The Restaurant Technology Guys Podcasts hosted by Williams and COO Jeremy Julian is one way CBS continues to engage its customers. Podcast topics cover the impact technology has on the restaurant industry, challenges restaurants face, and insights from guests with industry expertise. You can learn more about the podcasts or listen to archived episodes on The Restaurant Technology Guys’ website.