Considering whether to add managed print services (MPS) to your line card can raise many questions and concerns — the last thing you want is to move forward with a new offering only to find out your strategy is hindering growth. To make sure you build a solid MPS offering, avoid these four mistakes.
1. Discounting Print-Specific Expertise
IT service providers and network integrators often can’t provide managed print services by themselves. As a result, when managed services providers (MSPs), value-added resellers (VARs), integrators, and other IT solutions providers plan to offer MPS, they tend to outsource their expertise from ‘boutique,’ smaller, more regional MPS firms.
While VARs and MSPs could potentially provide managed print services without in-depth training and expertise, it would be much harder to sell potential customers on it. And it would be much harder to do it well enough to gain a reputation.
However, IT service providers are vital to expanding MPS adoption due to their familiarity with their clients’ needs. For example, Security as a Service is a growing part of the MPS ecosystem.
2. Assuming “Managed Print Services” Means the Same Thing to Everyone
Businesses of all sizes and types can benefit from managed print services, but what “managed print services” means to them can be relative. For example, to a small business, it could mean simply having quick, reliable fixes and replacing consumables. On the other hand, a massive enterprise has significantly different MPS needs. Furthermore, clients come from all over the spectrum of MPS maturity, so needs from one organization to the next can differ greatly.
MPS providers need to clarify what their clients expect and have the capabilities to provide solutions the market needs.
3. Pushing Businesses into Digital Transformation before They’re Ready
Don’t assume that because a business is interested in managed print services they’re ready for a digital transformation across their operation. Leading with that sales pitch can be detrimental.
Do your research, and start the conversation with what the client cares about, their pain points, and their goals. Also, keep in mind that decision makers probably won’t understand all the fundamentals of a managed print services offering. So be prepared to talk basics, educate prospects on how MPS can benefit them, and be ready with examples of how it has helped companies like theirs.
4. Not Having the “What’s Next” Conversation
Don’t wait until a contract is coming to its end to show other areas of value you can provide. By then, your customers have already made up their minds on what they’re doing next. Also, if you haven’t been checking in quarterly and communicating how you can provide additional services, they may think you don’t have anything else to offer. Finally, don’t let your clients make re-up decisions before you get to participate.
Don’t Miss These Opportunities
It’s also a mistake for MPS providers to overlook prime opportunities to sell this service, especially in the healthcare and higher education verticals. For example, organizations in both markets need to manage printing across campuses or disparate locations and need systems and devices that communicate with one another.
Ensure you emphasize the benefits for end users, such as patients, doctors, faculty and students.