IN THIS MONTH’S NEWSLETTER:
The Feed – Highlights from the 2013 Copier Careers Sales Manager Salary Survey
The Top 5 – Things your clients won’t tell you they want
News In Brief – Announcements from Copier Careers, HP, Konica Minolta, and CompTIA
Sound Off – Our readers respond to last month’s poll
Poll-of-the-Month – When it comes to technology, is your service manager…?
Highlights from the 2013 Copier Careers Sales Manager Salary Survey
The Copier Careers 2013 Sales Manager Salary Survey is now available. Since 2002, Copier Careers has published an annual survey for service techs, sales managers, and service managers. The surveys track a wide variety of data which summarizes how well copier professionals are compensated, how happy they are in their current positions, and how well their employers are meeting their needs.
This year’s survey reflects the responses of 1,033 copier sales managers who work for independent dealerships, regional dealerships, national sales & service organizations, and OEMs. Highlights include:
- Average total compensation for sales managers is up 5 percent since last year, with increases in both base pay and commissions.
- As sales managers have begun to realize the full depth and breadth of solutions, many have adopted a greater interest in cutting-edge technology; some have even left the industry to pursue careers with other types of IT service providers.
- For sales managers who have failed to come to terms with new technology, recruiting quality sales staff has become increasingly difficult — young reps know how much money they can make selling professional services and are reluctant to work for dealerships that don’t support a wide variety of solutions.
Read the full salary survey free online at //copiercareers.com/salary_survey/2013_sales_mgr_salary_survey.pdf.
THE TOP 5…Things Your Clients Won’t Tell You They Want
Tips from the trenches to keep your copier career on track
In a copier dealership, nearly every employee deals with clients at some point, which means that we’re all responsible for providing customer service. It’s a role that most employees, from sales and service professionals to upper management and back office staff, take pretty seriously. But you can’t provide top-notch service if you don’t understand what the customer really wants. Here are five of the most common things clients want but won’t tell you they want:
- They want you to look your best. When clients interact with service providers, they want to be dealing with clean, professional, well put-together people. For sales professionals and leadership, this means knowing the clients’ own standards and dressing to meet or exceed those standards. For service techs, the expectation is a little different. Clients don’t expect you to fix their machines in a suit, but they do expect clean, well-fitting work clothes and attention to shoes, haircuts, and general grooming. If a dress code needs to be put in place, it’s management’s responsibility to define and enforce it.
- They want you to want them. If you have to ask a prospect to tell you about their business, you’ve already lost it: they know you haven’t bothered to do your homework, and they’ll give their business to someone else who has gone through the trouble to learn the basics ahead of time. Mike Michalowicz, CEO of the Provendus Group, advises salespeople to “Go in with all the research under your belt before you start talking. Then tell them what you know about them, and ask them to correct you where you may be wrong.”
- They want you to make it simple for them. As you explain what you can do for a client, remember to keep it simple. You may get really excited about the nitty-gritty details of feeds, speeds, and network capabilities, but they just want to know how your solutions can help improve their business processes and save them time or money. Don’t bog them down with unnecessary details.
- They want to be appreciated. Small thank-you gifts or handwritten notes go a long way toward showing clients you appreciate their business. Clients don’t necessarily expect these things, but they love receiving them.
- They want to be impressed. It’s common for clients to claim they are on a tight budget, but the truth for most is that they do have money to spend — they’d just prefer to spend it elsewhere. Show them the value you provide, and give them a reason to spend it on you instead.
NEWS IN BRIEF”
Copier Careers 2013 Sales Manager Salary Survey Now Available. This year’s Sales Manager Salary Survey reflects the responses of more than a thousand copier sales managers nationwide. Read the full survey for free at //copiercareers.com/salary_survey/2013_sales_mgr_salary_survey.pdf.
HP Announces Leadership Change in Printing and Personal Systems. HP has announced that Todd Bradley will step out of his role as executive vice president, Printing and Personal Systems, HP, to assume a new position at the company—executive vice president, Strategic Growth Initiatives. In this newly created position, Bradley will work directly with Meg Whitman, HP’s president and chief executive officer, on enhancing HP’s business in China and extending the company’s critical channel partner relationships around the world. Bradley also will work with Whitman on identifying potential partnership opportunities with early-stage companies that can contribute to HP’s long-term growth. “There’s nothing more important to HP than our channel partners and the future of our business in China,” said Whitman. “I’ve asked Todd to use his expertise to focus on these areas. I’ve also asked him to study the landscape of small companies and startups that could partner with HP to spur growth.”
Konica Minolta Launches New High-Speed Inkjet Print Head for Ceramic Printing. Konica Minolta has introduced a new inkjet print head for industrial use. The KM1024i uses an independent drive system, which the manufacturer says allows it to triple the speed of current models. The higher drive speed upgrades the new print head’s performance for industrial-use inkjet printers designed for ceramic or label printing. A high-performance built-in header supports stable print quality when used with high-viscosity inks.
CompTIA Study Finds Conflicts Between IT Vendors and Channel Partners On the Rise. Challenging economic times, new technologies, and new methods for selling IT solutions have contributed to an increase in conflicts between vendors and their channel partners, according to a new study by CompTIA, the non-profit association for the IT industry. Six in 10 IT channel companies say the incidence of conflict has increased in the last two years. Eight in 10 say conflict has affected their business negatively, including 21 percent that described the impact as “major.” The findings are included in CompTIA’s Third Annual State of the Channel Study: Channel Conflict and Deal Registration Trends. “Conflict between IT vendors and their channel partners is not a new issue, but it’s a dynamic that ebbs and flows,” said Carolyn April, director, industry analysis, CompTIA. “Right now, the channel is roiling for many firms.”
SOUND OFF: Our readers speak
Last month, we asked you how you would rate your company’s sales management. Results were mixed, with many people admitting that their service managers are lacking in certain areas, but adding that they are doing their best and trying to improve. The full results of 2,090 votes are:
- Trying to get better (34%, 713 Votes)
- Excellent (18%, 380 Votes)
- Good (17%, 355 Votes)
- So-so (15%, 315 Votes)
- Poor (13%, 273 Votes)
- Terrible (3%, 57 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,093 (May 25, 2013 @ 2:09 am - June 25, 2013 @ 2:09 am)
A few of the comments we received about this topic:
“Nothing like having a great chief around to keep you in line and motivated. Feel lucky to have the best management I have ever had!”
“I rate them so-so. I work for one of the Big 4, and they have fantastic ideas but don’t have the people in mid-management to implement and manage the programs they come up with. It’s pretty frustrating that our own product managers don’t know the products.”
“Successful sales people are driven by creative commission plans created and enforced by management.”
“Sales is in a digital/solution sales transformation and there are growing pains as we adapt to non-traditional selling.”
“Our sales management team recognizes the talent level of all sales reps and works with them at their required level. If a rep is lacking in skills, the manager will work with him or her on those areas. If the rep is tenured and meeting all sales quota, no management is required unless the rep asks for it. Sales meetings are used to train as well as to discuss sales potentials for the month.”
“It would help if management listened to the field from time to time, because it’s obvious that the bean counters are in control.”
“The old adage ‘the sales rep sells the first MFP and service sells everything after that’ seems true. It’s not enough to rely on the break/fix service team to retain customers. You have to have a sales team dedicated to continuously acquiring new business.”
“My company has too many managers who have been in the same position for too long. Everyone from the sales manager to the regional VP are just biding time until they retire. There are long-standing grudges and political battles that go back years, and the current sales team suffers as a result, since none of these managers are willing to try new things or work on creative strategies to drive new business.”
“The industry is so commoditized, it’s very hard for sales reps to be successful. I’m surprised that the face-to-face sales rep is still able to sell to smaller placements of five devices or fewer. The online sources for direct purchasing would seem to be the future, with service contracts negotiated via web meetings, phone calls, or directly with a service department for the local client. Larger clients will continue to need sales reps since these reps carry multiple responsibilities beyond just selling.”
“Too much recent turnover. Too much time spent with consultants, and not enough time selling.”
“When the sales force commissions are so low they can’t pay the lead fees, something is very wrong.”
THE COPIER CAREERS® NEWSLETTER POLL OF THE MONTH
- Behind the times, but trying to catch up (31%, 677 Votes)
- Keeping up with current trends (28%, 615 Votes)
- Way ahead of the curve (22%, 476 Votes)
- Living in the dark ages (18%, 393 Votes)
Total Voters: 2,161 (June 25, 2013 @ 2:12 am - July 25, 2013 @ 2:12 am)