April 2016

McLaughlin 120by Ed McLaughlin, Valderus

As an industry we are really very good at understanding the internal metrics that lead to a well-run business and thus profitability. But what about the customers and their metrics … what are the metrics for measuring our performance against the expectations of the customer?

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Pulley 120by John Pulley, Prospect Builder

Early in my sales career I had the pleasure of speaking with Tom Hopkins. Tom Hopkins is my sales hero; and author of numerous books on the art of selling. 
We met briefly while walking on the way to breakfast during a two-day sales seminar. As we walked, this titan of the sales profession introduced himself to me. My reply was an outstretched hand and, “Pulley, nice to meet you.” 

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Roderick 120by Brad Roderick, TonerCycle/InkCycle

Months away from the Presidential election and it certainly has been anything but dull so far. Maybe it’s not the most colorful of all time (or maybe it is), but we do have some interesting characters running. Regardless of which side of the aisle you are on, there is little question that the presidential race has been more engrossing (like something you really know you don’t want to look at but can’t help yourself) than many of the previous races. From the first Republican debate with more racers than lanes, to the most recent Bernie/Hillary brawl, to Trump’s antics/theatrics, as the time draws closer to voting day there will be no shortage of fuel for Facebook posts. (As a side note, how in the world did debates among some of the world’s most influential and potentially powerful people become sponsored by Facebook?) 

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McIntyreby John McIntyre, The Imaging Channel

In 1987, Tom Wolfe’s novel “Bonfire of the Vanities” and Oliver Stone’s film “Wall Street” depicted an amoral investment universe in which decisions are inevitably driven by whatever the numbers dictate is best for investors and their invested dollars. In financial terms this is logical: we do live in a capitalistic society, and a business’s investors (or shareholders) are the literal owners of the company and ultimately get to decide what the company is and does, who runs it, and what they expect in return for their investment dollars.

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channelchatWhat do the experts find to be sales and marketing best practices? We decided to find out by asking a few questions of some industry leaders. The answers, like our panelists, are diverse, surprising and informative. Our panel this month:

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Weiss 120by Amy Weiss, The Imaging Channel

Marketing, like any dynamic component of the business world, evolves with the times. In a definition adopted in 2013, the American Marketing Association says it is “… the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

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Pearl 120by Steve Pearl for The Imaging Channel

Have you ever considered implementing a vertical marketing strategy for your company, but felt it too much of a burden to really pull off?  A recent conversation with the CEO of an imaging software retailer brought this to mind. He stated that incorporating a vertical strategy for his business was basically an inefficient use of time, money and resources. Why focus on specific industries, he said, when more than 75 percent of his customer base has common challenges?  

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Henderson 120by Sarah Henderson, Clover Imaging Group 

As the managed print services business model matures, I often hear from dealers that MPS programs have become more about offering the lowest cost per page (CPP) rather than about selling solutions. While many providers focus on the benefits and value proposition of MPS, there is a range of providers and competitors who may be willing to quote a lower CPP. 

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