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The IT Market is Red Hot. Is it Time to Jump in?

20 February 2019 | Norm McConkey


 

 

This is a problem all dealerships must solve. We are in the midst of an IT boom. 89% of businesses expect to increase their IT spending in 2019. The drivers? New employees, security concerns, and upgrading old technology. Yet, when we look at hardware alone, print hardware accounts for only 5% of that spend. That’s not a big enough slice of the pie. Is it really that hard for imaging dealers to sell IT? Nope. But there are some sacred cows that need to be taken to the butcher shop if you want to finally break into the market.


 Top-factors-leading-to-budget-increase-in-2019

Source: Spiceworks - Technology Purchase Blueprint for the Coming Year.

hardware-budget-breakout-for-2019
Source: Spiceworks - Technology Purchase Blueprint for the Coming Year.

 

The numbers are astounding here. There has never been a better time to be a B2B technology reseller. Tax incentives have led to a hiring spree, and small businesses are driving the economy. A few years ago, businesses needed specialists for almost every IT practice. Telephony, networking, print, security, mobile telephony, productivity software, and laptops and PCs were often serviced by dedicated, specialist resellers. That has all changed. One word: Cloud. OK, another word: SaaS.

 

The reality is that it’s technology. It constantly changes, it’s what it does! Print is also a technology, and so, it is changing.

 

Given the state of flux in technology, customers are bound to look for stability in a partner. If you think print has had a tough few years, can you imagine selling PBX phone switches? How about Microsoft Exchange licenses? IT VARs that built businesses on these practices have either diversified or died. Print dealers have always held an advantage here. You’ve seen technology come and go, and yet you persist. You are a known and respected partner.

What needs to change?

 

Speed.

Let’s keep this simple. The print dealers have a difficult time with the speed of business today. Technology is pulled from customers, and not pushed by salespeople. Traditional print sales are done on predictable 4-5 year financing cycles. There is a predictable sales dance. When the company adds a new hire, they don’t give IT a long runway to acquire the software, laptop, and ancillary technology the new employee needs. They expect a 1-2 day turnaround on this.

 

Speed. You probably won’t even get a phone call or email. The pull economy demands e-commerce. Your reputation and longevity will get you in the door, but it won’t get you IT sales.

 

Do you want to see fast? Watch this one minute video on how to order an IT product online.

 

 

 

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About the Author

Norm McConkey

Norm McConkey has been involved in the print, imaging, and software/tech business since 1993. Holding executive level positions in a number of emerging technology firms, he founded PrintFleet in 2003, and Tangent MTW in 2009. A founding member of the MPSA, an award winning author and presenter, Norm has spoken at various industry events around the world including the Lyra Imaging Symposium, Photizo confernece, ITEX Tradeshow, Regional BTA conferences, Remax Europe, and World Expo. He has been contracted to consult and build go to market and sales training programs with several OEM manufacturers such as Canon USA, and HP, and distributors such as Parts Now and Supplies Network, as well Resellers including Office Depot. Norm’s current project, MPSToolbox (www.mpstoolbox.com), is a software platform which helps technology dealers develop and maintain e-commerce websites.

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