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“View from the channel” with Martin Randall, Sales and Marketing Director, Vision

Q: What are your customers most interested in?

A: There is not one simple answer to this. I think there are many needs and wants and obviously clients do differ. Innovation is key, value for money will always play a part in the decision-making process, but confidence in the solution and the supporting partner remains a high priority for most.

Q: Do clients have the same understanding of industry terms, such as BYOD, MPS or MDS, as we do?

A: Generally BYOD yes, MPS yes… most of the other acronyms we use these days aren’t isolated to print, they are common IT language so we are rarely explaining them!

Q: Where are you seeing most traction at the moment, are there any verticals that are particularly strong?

A: We are growing in strength in many verticals. What’s great now is that we are starting to see vertically specific differentiators with digital transformation, something we will continue to identify and promote.

Q: When selling MFPs, what are the most popular software solutions you provide and why?

A: Print management software is a given these days, we rarely install without it. Since we target only businesses with in excess of 25 staff, there is always a need for either secure print, cost accounting our rules-based printing, very often all of these, plus a growing need for basic workflows.

Q: Where do you get information on the latest products and solutions, and do you feel that the OEMs are doing enough to educate their channel partners?

A: We are fortunate to have a great team that constantly evaluate the market and our offering, so a lot of the proposition enhancement and education is conducted internally. In terms of the OEMs we find that the levels of support, training and tools that are available, vary.

Q: Is your patch particularly competitive – is it national or local competition that you face?

A: Yes it’s competitive, but Vision is not out competing solely on price, we focus on identifying ways to add value. As a business we face both local and national competition, in general our commercial sales teams are locally focussed, and both public sector and corporate face national competition since they are targeting larger contracts.

Q: How do you spend your week – time on phone, face to face meetings with customers etc.?

A: A very varied week these days which is great! My week has become far more structured over time since there are so many interactions with different teams in the business, though I still enjoy nothing more than being out selling our proposition.

A busy office
A busy office

Q: What would make your job easier?

A: Fortunately we have some great people in the business and a consistent sales team so that’s a hard one to answer… Releasing pressures that would make it easier would also probably make it less challenging and exciting, so I’ll keep it as it is!