How to Help Your Customers Write an RFP That Makes Sense for You

As a Business Partner you want your customers to be successful; their success is yoursuccess. Helping your customers write effective maintenance and support Request for Proposals (RFPs) will help you become a trusted advisor in closing the sale.

The third part of MMI’s Executive Webinar Series addresses the components involved in writing winning RFPs. It shows you how to:

A.  Position yourself to help your customer

  • Know the facts
  • Qualify the Opportunity
  • Understand the client’s pain points, requirements, processes and time frame

B.  Suggest the best questions and RFP criteria in order to have a competitive advantage. Questions should be targeted to:

  • Identify possible solutions favored by the client
  • Develop potential winning themes
  • Define what will make your organization unique
  • Uncover your competitors’ weaknesses

C.  Think strategically when answering the maintenance/support RFP. Some of the answers should:

  • Identify key features and benefits to the customer and highlight what makes you unique
  • List any wins or client solutions relevant to this one
  • Have graphics, illustrations or diagrams highlighting key processes
  • Identify potential key risks and how to prevent or mitigate them

The information required is gathered through a series of conversations with the client, prior to preparing the RFP. The key to winning the proposal is to sell the customer first and then develop a winning theme for maintenance/service. Winning themes include:

    1. Cost Savings
    2. Dedicated Specialist
    3. Free up valuable IT Resources
    4. Flexible Billing and Invoice Management
    5. Contract consolidation
    6. Dynamic Inventory Reconciliation and Credit
    7. Warranty management
    8. Web Portal based system and tools

The successful RFP addresses all the client’s needs and concerns, with solutions custom made specifically for them. It also shows the customer why your solutions make your company unique and have an edge over your competitors. In helping your customer write such a winning RFP, you become not only a Business Partner but a trusted advisor, while your customer gets more business and increases your company’s bottom line.

To see a copy of this Webinar Presentation, please CLICK HERE

To register for our MMI’s upcoming Webinar, How to Build an Annuity Stream and Create Solid Maintenance Forecasts, please CLICK HERE 

For more information on Managed Maintenance contract management solutions CLICK HERE or visit us at www.managedmaint.com

How to Increase Renewal Rates

Service contract renewals is one sure way to maintain the revenue stream of your company. Increasing your renewal rate will provide an immediate cash boost and, managed properly, those maintenance and service contracts can lead to repeat business turning your customers into the kind of repeat buyers that are the backbone of any sound business enterprise.

In order to grow your renewal rates, it is valuable to understand the components that will make those rates go up:

 1.  How well does your team identify all available opportunities, reach the buyers and obtain a resolution

 To ensure you identify every possible opportunity available within a sales cycle, 30% of time needs to be allocated to researching and analyzing each customer’s quarterly opportunity. Once identified, every effort must be made to reach the appropriate contact to discuss upcoming warranty expirations, items exposed, etc. Using today’s available technologies, like MMI’s ONEview contract management tool, you can notify your customers up to 90 days before contract expiration, giving them ample opportunity to take action.

 2.  What is your ratio of up sale

To maximize the value of every opportunity, work with your end users on identifying additional assets that can be added to the contract. Ensure all of their assets are covered. Also, review their existing contracts to see where service level upgrades can be applicable. Remember to show how multiyear contracts and extended contract terms can lock down pricing and save money over the length of the contract.

3.  What is your closing ratio

To boost your closing ratio, you need to communicate successfully the support value of having maintenance contracts. Make sure your sales team is knowledgeable on the various types of support offerings available and their benefits and educate your customer on the risks of having unsupported equipment.

 In short, to increase your renewal rates

  • Research and analyze to discover all opportunities and make every effort to reach the appropriate contact
  • Use technology to notify your customers in advance of their upcoming expirations
  • Grow the value of the opportunity with service level upgrades, addition of assets to the contract, extended contract terms and multiyear contracts
  • Communicate the support value by being knowledgeable and educating the customer
For more information on how Managed Maintenance can help you accomplish your service revenue objectives, please contact : Claire Millsap at cmillsap@managedmaint.com
 Visit our website

MMI’s Tina Lux-Boim Recognized as One of the Top 100 Women of the Channel

CRN Top 100Managed Maintenance, Inc. is proud to have its CEO and President, Tina Lux-Boim, selected by CRN Magazine as one of the top 100 Women of the Channel for 2012. This is Tina’s third consecutive year in this list of exemplary women, who are chosen based on their achievements as executives, and the degree to which they influence the technology channel. It is her first year as one of the top 100.

Since co-founding the company five years ago, Tina has used her extensive experience in the industry and expertise in hardware service and maintenance, and software licensing, to lead the MMI team down a path of innovation and expansion. We have grown from a small start-up to a well-known, highly respected SaaS specializing in building annuity business through consulting and outsourcing.

Under her leadership, the team at MMI is focused on growing the business, increasing profitability and introducing new offerings for technology manufacturers, distributors, and value-added resellers and their customers; as well as continually improving MMI’s signature contract management software, ONEview.

We congratulate her on the well-deserved recognition, as she continues her efforts to bring MMI to national, and eventually, international prominence.

To view our press release: MMI News in Business Wire
To read more in CRN Top 100 Women of the Channel: CRN Online
To learn more about MMI and its products, visit: Our Website

Finding Hidden Money in Your Contract Renewals

 This past June 13, MMI conducted the second segment of its four part webinar series. This session educated our business partner community on how MMI, by analyzing the client’s enterprise and addressing their pain points, can increase business partner’s revenue from warranty and maintenance contracts.

 

There are some interesting facts to note pertaining to technology products maintenance and service, such as:

  • Market research found that 61% of companies have no knowledge of their asset base or used spreadsheets and rudimentary discovery tools to track the information
  • 1/3 of new products are not covered by contracts and 1/2 of original maintenance contracts are not renewed.
  • Research on Service Revenue, showed that existing service contracts drive 31% of overall service revenue, with new contracts and warranties making up 15% and 7%, respectively.
  • Annual maintenance contracts contribute to 1/3 of technology OEM’s overall revenues, generating 70%-80% of manufacturer gross margins.
  • 80% of total annual maintenance is from channel-driven sales.
  • Market for technology maintenance products and services in the US is $38 billion with annual growth of 6%. Worldwide it exceeds $140 billion.

To get your company to cash in on the potential revenue that exists in maintenance and service contracts you have to create intelligent views of your client’s enterprise, design multiyear contracts suited to the client’s needs and leverage amortization and revenue recognition strategies to build your company’s value. Some of the steps MMI follows to help business partners accomplish this are:

Discovery – it includes, among others, client’s business processes, maintenance/service contacts, pain points, expectations

Data Collection – study of their contracts, items on warranty, assets, contracted software

Analysis / Impact – covering contract design and impact to the client, service level options, potential risks, financial liabilities

Recommendations and Proposal – provide an executive summary of key observations to increase recurring maintenance revenue growth

These steps result in the ability to design contracts that offer solutions to the pain points of the client, as well as on-going consulting with the customer, continued process tuning and improvements, and continued education on new sales initiatives to be added to contracts.

The benefits to the business partner are in the increased value of the company to the client, decreased liability for the company, and an annuity stream that is guaranteed revenue on long term basis. For the sales force the annuity revenue becomes guaranteed income even on slower sales cycles, which can ensure longer term retention of top sales people. Additionally, there is less commission exposure when sales people leave prior to a contract end and renewal sales cycle begins.

In short, using MMI’s systematic approach to finding hidden money in your contract renewals will help you build a more valuable business with guaranteed annuity revenues.

To get more detailed information, click here to VIEW PRESENTATION

To learn more about Managed Maintenance and its many services click here to visit  OUR WEBSITE

NEGLECTING EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE – A PROBLEM FOR END-USERS AND BUSINESS PARTNERS ALIKE

Broken ComputerNot properly managing the maintenance on network equipment is rapidly becoming one of the major downfalls for many businesses, and a major cause of customer dissatisfaction for Business Partners. Because of lack of resources, knowledge or maintenance planning, end-user equipment is sometimes left without hardware and software maintenance coverage. In fact, in a survey conducted by IT solution provider Softchoice, the results showed that 36% of the equipment in most companies had no vendor maintenance coverage and 23% were at or approaching “end of support” – devices in use but no longer supported by the manufacturer.

Lack of maintenance management exposes the end-user organization to outages, increased costs and decreased business performance. When there is a malfunction, repairs or replacement can take days and can be expensive. If the equipment is no longer supported by the manufacturer, no replacement options nor on-site support is available.

Additionally, the survey found that, without maintenance management, companies were paying for maintenance on devices that were no longer being used or no longer existed in the end-user environment. This is money that the companies could be savings – an average of 10 to 20K per year.  Managing your network’s maintenance ensures the equipment is under warranty or covered after the warranty expires, and that software licenses are current. A contract management, or maintenance management strategy can help a company to save money by eliminating increased or unnecessary maintenance costs, and by having minimal or no operational interruption in daily business operations.

More and more, end-users are expecting help from their business partners to assist them in the management of their maintenance and services contracts and renewals.  As a business partner, this is a valuable opportunity to not only increase customer satisfaction, but to find new revenue opportunities within your customer base and ensure you are capturing 100% of the renewal opportunities in a specific account.   Business Partners that are not pro-actively assisting their customers are not only leaving revenue on the table, but are leaving the door open for competition from partners that do offer these value-added services.

At MMI, we help Business Partners to develop maintenance contract strategies that work for them.  With our ONEview contract management portal, Business Partners are given the tools they need to not only manage their customers hardware and software maintenance, but also provide them with sophisticated reporting tools, pro-active notifications, and one place to make requests, and manage their maintenance and warranty information.

To see a quick demo of ONEview Version 2.0, please click here.

To learn more about MMI, and our offerings, please click here.

Survey information from “The Neglect of Corporate Networks”, ChannelPro – The Insider Guide to SMB, June 2012

TECHNOLOGY IN THE WORKPLACE – ONEview FOR MANAGING MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS AND RENEWALS

The business world of today is more technology oriented than ever. Top management is recognizing the need to incorporate the available technologies in the everyday operations of their companies. In a recent study conducted by IBM, more than 71% of CEO’s worldwide, in various industries, regarded technology as the top factor in drawing meaningful customer insight from available data. More than half of those surveyed plan to use technology to collaborate with other organizations and promote better internal collaboration. “Companies are turning to technology and social media to create more profound relationship with their customers, employees and their partners” states the news article in IBM’s PartnerWorld.

In spite of these findings, not enough companies are using internal tools and processes to help manage their customer data. In the hardware and software contract management and renewal business, many dollars are left untapped because of lack of an effective system to manage this revenue enhancing information. At MMI we have created ONEview to manage this valuable data with a contract management web portal for our partners and their customers. ONEview enables businesses to capture renewal rates and new maintenance opportunities with a very easy to use interface and robust data management capabilities.

Using technology such as ONEview enhances not only better communication and collaboration, but also enables businesses to create better customer relationships while increasing revenue.

Survey information obtained from “IBM 2012 CEO Global Study finds CEOs adapting to a new era of leadership” at IBM’s PartnerWorld  - 2012 CEO Global Study
For more information on ONEview click here More on ONEview

MANAGED MAINTENANCE HOSTS A BOOTH AT ARROW’S MAY DAYS

MMI recently attended Arrow’s annual May Days education and networking event in Atlanta.  We had a booth manned by our Business Development Executive,  Claire Millsap; Maintenance Consultant, Lilliam Contreras; and Marketing Manager, Trish McLoughlin, who provided valuable information to the attendees, as well as fun and useful giveaways. Having a booth at this convention gave MMI the opportunity to have face to face time with many of our business partners and meet new ones.

 There were a lot of great discussions with those in IBM’s Business Partner channel. Many of these discussions underscored the successes and limitations many of them are seeing with their contract management strategy, such as:

  •  “Maintenance renewals provide a valuable annuity stream for our business.”
  • “Our customers see value in us helping them manage their hardware and software contracts.”
  • “Utilizing our customer’s contract data helps us uncover new business opportunities.” 
  •  “Competition is heating up, and we need to provide customers with more value in order to win and keep their business.”
  • “We don’t have the right technology to track all our customer data. As a result, we often miss renewal opportunities.”
  • “We don’t have the expertise in house to do contract consolidations.”
  • “Our customer data is unorganized, making it difficult for our sales teams to leverage it to find new business.”

 This is great feedback. It enables MMI to keep in touch with the needs of our partners and develop solutions to increase their revenue stream.

 In case you didn’t know, MMI builds sound strategies for tracking contract renewals, and license and warranty expirations. Without a good system built around your maintenance business, you could be leaving thousands, if not millions of dollars, on the table for your competition to grab.

 

 

Managed Maintenance Introduces Two New Product Offerings to Assist IBM Sales Teams in Growing & Managing Their Accounts

Managed Maintenance, Inc. (MMI) announces the addition of two new programs to their suite of offerings; both tailored for IBM: The IBM Revenue Identification Program (RI) and IBM Software Licensing Review and Management Program.  With these two new additions, MMI seeks to further assist  IBM sales teams by dramatically cutting their work load pertaining to data mining and opportunity identification.  The ultimate goal of the new programs are to help identify new revenue opportunities within IBM accounts, hit quarterly and annual sales targets and ultimately help to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty to the IBM brand.

The objective of the IBM Revenue Identification Program is to allow IBM sales teams the ability to spend their time actively pursuing revenue generating opportunities.  This will help ensure throughout their accounts, 100% of the exposed hardware and software items within their customers’ infrastructure are being captured for maintenance coverage.  With this program, at the request of IBM, MMI will conduct a complete review & analysis of their customer’s enterprise inventory and provide reports identifying all potential maintenance opportunities, including: 

  • machines on warranty not set for post warranty maintenance
  • additional hardware maintenance and software maintenance agreements sold by both IBM and IBM channel partners
  • all exposed machines
  • software services study along with a complete listing of recommended services

 By providing a comprehensive and actionable view of the customer’s infrastructure, this service is designed to not only increase maintenance revenue, but also decrease opportunity identification costs.  In Q4 alone, MMI announced that it had helped to identify and closed more than $1M in opportunity for IBM at the onset of this program.

 The Software Licensing Review and Management Program aims to assist IBM customers who have a difficult time understanding their IBM Passport Advantage Agreements. Software licensing can be challenging and time consuming, especially with multi-core and multiprocessor hardware, virtualization and software-sub-capacity licensing. The service delivers a complete analysis of new and/or existing IBM licensing, support and pricing.  The customer will be assigned an account advocate for license and agreement issues and gain access to the IBMview branded portal 24 hours a day.  End-users can run queries via the portal by product type, install date, PVU count and many other identifiers.  The portal also has the capability of linking hardware equipment to the associated software license.  This program is a go-to resource to help manage software licensing and associated subscription and support contracts, which will help avoid costly audits and compliance issues related to the customer’s software.

To learn more about either of these programs, offered exclusively to IBM, please contact us at infor@managedmaint.com.

 

IBM Business Partners: How to Differentiate Yourself from the Competition and Lock in Your Clients

MMI recently announced it will be hosting a four part webinar series, the first of which ran on March 21st and successfully reached the goal of educating our business partner community on how to maximize revenue streams through your maintenance business.

A last minute addition to the webinar discussed IBM’s MMS for GB program and how to qualify.  This is an important piece for IBM BP’s since IBM now requires that they perform value added services to support maintenance inventories of end users.  These services can improve:

• Customer Satisfaction
• Opportunity Identification
• Visibility to Offer other IBM Services

Qualifying Requirements for IBM’s MMS for GB Program:
1. A minimum of 2 people trained on ISAT (can be designated to the Distributor)
2. On-line capability to manage a customer’s inventory across the enterprise.(Web Portal)

MMI’s Oneview SaaS Portal not only satisfies the second requirement, it provides a new perspective into your maintenance business, enabling your organization to approach maintenance renewal streams with as much efficiency and actionable information as traditional sales approaches. 

4 reasons why you should invest in Maintenance Service Contracts Sales and Management:
1. Substantial repeatable revenue streams
2. Connects manufacturers and channel partners with their end-users.
3. Improved brand/vendor loyalty.
4. Increased communication with customers as a way to boost all sales into the end-user enterprise through improved life-cycle management.

The next segment of this webinar discussed how archaic business practices have a negative effect on renewal revenue streams due to ineffective tools and costly contract management mechanisms… making the secret to increasing service contract revenue the use of online tools with interactive contract management capabilities. 

Online tools should have these key elements:
1. Ability to handle dynamic data and multiple data sources
2. On-demand access and available from anywhere
3. Multiple levels of access and associated security regarding the available data to different parties based on access levels.
4. Performance measurements and metrics
5. Dynamically and in real-time communication electronically between all users in an identified down-line.

Claire Millsap, the presenter of this webinar and MMI’s Business Development Executive then went on to discuss in detail: setting up the database and maintaining the data, multi-level access and security protocols, and performance measurements.

The bottom line for this webinar is to convey the benefits of managing your opportunity.  
 
Increased Pipeline Management = Higher Revenues
• Decreased Cost of Sales Procurement
• Continued Process Tuning and Improvements
• On-Going Consulting with customer
• A More Valuable Business With Guaranteed Annuity Revenues

This webinar drove home the importance of proactive notification to drive revenue through the use of an all in one online tool, as well as how to leverage multi-vendor knowledge in your accounts to block out the competition and shield your customers from cumbersome processes and invoicing mechanisms.

To view this webinar presentation, Part One: How to Differentiate Yourself from the Competition and Lock in Your Clients, click here.

Jordan Lebowitz
Business Advocate, MMI
E: jlebowitz@managedmaint.com / O: 561.869.4399 x 1101
Website: www.managedmaint.com

MMI’s Oneview Portal – Advantages of Software As A Service (SaaS)

In today’s technology oriented business world, more and more companies are using Software As A Service (SaaS) in their daily operations. Instead of purchasing and owning the business applications required to run the enterprise, the company uses applications provided as a service, usually over the internet. MMI’s Oneview web portal is a good example of SaaS.

The SaaS provider hosts the application, which it owns, on secure servers that it owns, operates and maintains. It enables software utilization without major expenditure or extended implementation time frames. Using the SaaS model, MMI’s Oneview, gives your business 24/7 access to view and manage you hardware and software assets and licenses, without having to purchase application software, nor spend time and resources on implementation. It is easy to use and requires minimal training, enabling your users to immediately start tracking your maintenance support needs. Some of the advantages to using SaaS include:

  • Low cost – No hardware or software to purchase, only a monthly access fee to the provider.
  • Faster implementation – Does not require setup of hardware or the installation of software, personnel can get started using the system immediately.
  • No updates or upgrades to install. – Enhancements are made available automatically.
  • Improved support – Support is included with the subscription fee.
  • Access to your data anywhere, anytime.
  • Better reliability.

It also provides comprehensive security, backup and disaster recovery, thus allowing your company to spend less time managing applications and more time on your  core business.

Although its use has many advantages, some organizations might find it difficult to relinquish control or trust a third party to manage their applications and data. Others are in industries that require specific business applications for which there are no SaaS solutions available. However, if your enterprise has clear objectives and defined business processes, consider looking into using hosted applications, instead of on-premise solutions, and start saving time and money.

To learn more about Onveview, visit http://www.managedmaint.com/content/welcome-oneview