Once a an IT provider sells a piece of IT equipment, it’s tempting to simply close the door and move on to the next sales opportunity – especially when that product is already under warranty. But warranties expire, which quickly leads to maintenance contracts, which can ultimately lead to profitable relationships with customers. And failure to address and nurture opportunities as they expand ultimately results in hundreds and thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
A successful maintenance practice looks beyond the final point of sale and instead focuses on the lifecycle of the contract and the opportunity to build long-term customer relationships. The challenge most channel organizations face, however, is the lack of resources and expertise to create a successful nurture program. Internal sales teams, for example, may not have the marketing and reporting expertise needed to develop a sustainable growth plan or the technology used to manage service lifecycles may be limited in features and functionality. For most providers, there are critical facets missing in their existing maintenance management program.
Instead of hiring new employees or tackling these functions with a short staff, IT organizations can leverage maintenance outsourcing programs to augment their existing sales force. Outsourcing sales tasks to a team of experienced professionals can alleviate the stress internal teams face going it alone and ensure organizations are maximizing the performance of their maintenance and service business.
The benefits of outsourcing complex management processes to a third-party provider
IT organizations have a lot on their plate. Be it manufacturers, distributors or resellers, channel organizations’ sales teams are responsible for everything from selling products to staying up to date with varying contract lengths. As renewal numbers slowly grind to a halt and businesses begin to see their yearly revenue level off, enlisting the help of a concierge program can provide them with the boost they need to outperform competitors.
When you utilize a service like MMI’s SIGNATUREelite, you’ll receive a team of expert consultants and business analysts who can simplify the intricacies of contract management. Account concierges also offer ongoing support and education to your sales teams, as well as target-market messages to support strategic initiatives and revenue goals. With MMI’s SIGNATUREelite offering, you will receive the marketing tools, sales forecasting and experienced maintenance professionals needed to quickly grow a robust, recurring services stream.
Regardless of where your business falls within the channel, staff augmentation programs like the one offered by MMI offer customizable solutions using methodologies proven to increase maintenance sales. Augmenting
your current workforce with maintenance concierges also enables you to pursue emerging technologies as future sales opportunities. This empowers your sales team to focus on selling your core products and services while third-party vendors like MMI explore alternate revenue streams and ensure renewals and maintenance opportunities don’t fall through the cracks.
What to look for in an outsourcing provider
Once your organization decides to outsource its maintenance program, it’s important to evaluate each partner to ensure they have your best interests in mind. To avoid costs spiraling out of control, for example, look for programs operating on a pay-for-performance model. This guarantees account concierges will not be paid for their services unless your own business is financially successful.
A comprehensive outsourcing provider should also conduct thorough discovery sessions prior to adoption. Every IT provider is unique; to maximize your sales potential, look for providers who take the time to learn about your operations and provide a list of detailed recommendations based on what they’ve learned. After a blueprint is developed, your concierge program should include recommendations covering people, processes and tools and clearly outline how the provider will represent your organization.
And finally, no business plan is complete without measurable performance indicators and benchmarks. MMI’s SIGNATUREelite program increases transparency across all accounts, making it easier for organizations to hold account concierges accountable for their actions using a detailed opportunity scorecard review.
The contract management ecosystem is filled with complexities, from maintaining contract lifecycles to accommodating unique reporting needs. As manufacturers, distributors and resellers look to expand their operations, outsourcing business services is a cost-effective method for IT organizations to build a competitive and profitable maintenance practice.