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The Inbound Sales and Marketing Blog

How To Make Prospecting a Priority in 2019

Of all the things your dealership could do in 2019 to grow sales, what could move the needle more than anything else?

In the book Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink tells a story that rings true in our industry. The CEO of a pharmaceutical company had all kinds of new initiatives including:

Google+ Is Dying. What Does that Mean for Your Business?


Come August 2019, Google+ for consumers won't be a thing. We all knew this day was coming. As Mike Elgan puts it in his article for FastCompany:

Why the Inside Sales Model Makes Sense For The Office Technology Industry

Every dealership wants to grow net-new business. However, using field sales reps as the sole source of prospecting leads to inconsistent results. That’s why most technology companies outside the office equipment industry have inside sales teams with Sales Development Reps (SDR’s) focused exclusively on developing new business opportunities.

As we’ve been coaching and equipping inside sales teams with the latest automated prospecting strategies combined with monitoring market triggers, I’ve become more and more convinced that inside sales team are an effective strategy  for dealers who want to grow new business. Here’s why:

Position Your Dealership as a Team of Experts

Your prospects have a long list of business problems.  They also have many questions related to how technology could be used to solve these business problems.

Most business leaders are open to getting help in solving their business problems.  However, most people have been burned at one point because they have made a bad buying decision.  This is especially true in the area of technology where many promises are made but the actual results end up not delivering.  As a result, today’s buyer is very skeptical.

How do you earn trust in this skeptical environment?  

Why You Need Case Studies

As you grow new business areas like Managed Services, Document Solutions, Production Print or Wide Format one of the most valuable tools you can have are case studies.  Let’s face it -- everyone knows and trusts you as a great provider of copiers. And, the value proposition for a copier or printer is fairly simple.

The trust you have for office equipment may not immediately translate into these new business areas.  Just because you have serviced someone’s copiers for 20 years doesn’t mean they will trust you with their network support or workflow software.

At the same time, the value propositions for these new areas is more complex than a value proposition for a copier.  Your clients understand what they are buying when they buy a copier (for the most part...) but they may not understand the full value proposition of a cloud-based document management system or a managed network security package.  

These 2 Simple Steps To Connect Your Message to the Right People

One of the culprits of slower-than-they-could be sales is ignoring the many opportunities of social media. Every day, there’s an audience of millions consuming thoughts and ideas that help them choose products or get their jobs done more effectively.

This is an audience you can and should tap into. I’m going to focus on two simple steps you can take to leverage your sales reps’ LinkedIn connection. We’ve found that sales reps have an average of 500 Linkedin connections. So, if you have 10 reps, you have an audience of 5,000.

Three Managed IT Speed Bumps That May Slow Down Your Dealership's Success

Most of the copier dealers we serve either have Managed IT Services offerings or are planning to add this to their business. However, in many cases, the growth hasn't accelerated as quickly as they'd planned. And even if the growth has been good, who doesn't want more revenue?

I believe there are three overlooked areas that may be slowing your Managed IT Services growth. These aren't the only speed bumps. However, if you make sure these impediments get removed, you'll create a much smoother road as you ramp up your revenue.

Today's Buyer: What Are They Thinking?

You’ve probably heard this before: a CEB study revealed that buyers are 70% towards making a decision before they want to talk with a sales rep.

Whether you believe the number is that high given the product or service that you sell, unless there is a glaring emergency to make a decision to fix something that stops working, buyers go through a gradual process before reaching out to talk with a rep.

So, how can you become part of that process to increase your chance of winning? I’ll share a few ideas in a second post. Today, let’s get inside our buyers’ heads and see what they’re thinking before they pick up the phone or fill out a contact form.

Marketing Isn't a Brochure or Leave-Behind

True confession – I used to think marketing was a load of BS.

Yep, before I got into content and inbound marketing, I was an editor. Marketing to me was an endless barrage of crappy email pitches and product press releases.

My job as an editor was to separate the wheat from the chaff to educate my readers. Oddly enough, that's almost exactly what I do now when creating content for clients – with the additional goal of also driving the audience to take an action.

I saw more than my share of bad marketing, brochure-ware websites and other marketing “strategies” focused on the glory of the vendor.

We still see too much of that for copier dealers and managed IT provider sites. No one cares about you. They care about how you can help them solve their business problems.

Capitalizing on Convergence To Grow Your Dealership

If you want to grow your business, you need to look for areas of opportunity. These opportunities are typically found in areas of change. In our channel, we find change where things converge.

Where you find convergence, you find opportunity. Here are three convergence opportunities that could help you grow your dealership’s revenue and profits.