Our Winchester offie receives a large number of unsolicited sales calls, usually at the most inconvenient time. We could take steps to minimise the problem, but have chosen not to largely because we have an interest in selling and are always on the look-out for successful sales people. This exposes us to a very broad range of sales techniques, many so ill-judged and/or dodgy that you wonder how the cold-caller ever makes a sale. The answer, of course, is that many don’t. So, when Carl Day, Sales Director at Toshiba TEC UK, started explaining to PITR what he thought was wrong with sales techniques and customer engagement in the print industry, his words rang true. It takes a lot of confience and intuition to break with the prevailing orthodoxy, especially when your livelihood is at stake. The Toshiba Masters programme introduced in 2014 gives participants the opportunity to test their ideas with science and evidence-based research. The results, so far, have been very impressive, including a 75% increase in sales of Toshiba MFPs by the dozen or so Toshiba partners that have taken part. What the course has taught Day is the subject of our feature on page 48.
Developing a new sales technique is one way of disrupting the status quo. Another is to adopt new technology. PITR has just returned from the Samsung European Partner Summit in Budapest where there was much talk of changing the paradigm in the printer industry through the use of mobile and cloud technologies. Samsung’s Android-based MFPs give resellers a platform to make real changes to their operations and those of their customers. At the event, which we report on in more detail in the next issue, Samsung made some signifiant additions to its offering, bringing impressive new capabilities to resellers. These include its new managed print service (see page 40) and a number of new apps. Samsung’s desire to bring together its smartphone and printing technologies can look a little forced at times. Some apps are much more useful than others. That said, impressive applications are now emerging that simplify everything from document workflw and device security to faxing (fid out more in the next issue). Talk of a paradigm shift might not be so fanciful after all.
James Goulding, Editor
Telephone: 07803 087228