Roundtables are a trademark of the Total Tech Summit, bringing guests together to encourage collaborative brainstorming for pinpointing powerful business solutions.
Last year, the Summit brought together all three market segments—CE Pro, Commercial Integrator and the brand new Security Sales & Integration—for a roundtable session entitled “Generating Ideas for Improving and Transforming Service.”
“This is a great moment to finally have all the market segments here together,” said AE Ventures president John Galante, as he took the stage to moderate the panel.
The panelists joining Galante were John Brady, owner/president at TRG Associates; Wynne Walker, vice president at Symbio Lighting & Control; and Frankie Escribano, senior vice president of integration and engineering at Yorktel.
Each panelist dove into their own respective practices for managed service business models, setting the stage for audience members to collaborate and expand on these solutions.
“Our view of life is that everything has to revolve around RMR, especially service,” said Brady, representing the SSI market. “We have a culture in our business where everybody understands that service is part of the sale.”
Brady believes the entire sales team needs to believe in the value of service models. Companies cannot be shy about putting a service section or addendum to a service section into their contracts.
Additionally, companies need to track the services they provide, from managed services to standard safety tests. “You need the historical records for a given asset,” said Brady.
Wynne Walker, representing the CE crowd, stated that managed service is a topic that the industry has discussed for many years, yet many people are not doing it successfully.
“Clients have more technology than they’ve ever had before. It’s becoming pretty invasive,” said Walker. “Because of this, we’re seeing more incidents, which means more service calls coming in. So we have to ask ourselves, how are we going to manage these services and how are we going to train our sales team to handle more incidents?”
According to Walker, clients now expect instant responses from integrators. He compares it to the Apple Store model, in which customers can bring in a product and receive immediate attention. He also notes that clients believe these instant services are a right, not a billable service. They do not expect to be sent an invoice for a five-minute phone call.
“They don’t want to be billed like you’re an attorney,” said Walker. “We have to figure out, as an industry, how to provide instant support and do it in a way where we can monetize it, while also not leaving the client dissatisfied.”
Frankie Escribano finished off the panel by representing the CI audience and discussing his experience with managed service and sales. Escribano’s company, Yorktel, began as a standard A/V company, then transformed into a more managed services model.
The goal was to move from a reactive to a proactive sales model. Escribano developed his own platform for the company to monitor and manage clients’ devices. From here, Yorktel began monetizing every service provided to customers.
“One thing we began to realize is that the bigger the customer is, the more they expect of you. They expect everything free or cheaper. So, our goal was to create more and more services that provide to the customer and meet their needs,” said Escribano.
This managed service concept, according to Escribano, will help lead to future sales.
He concluded, “The more engaged you become with the customer, the more they will be asking for future technologies. If you do it right, the customer will immediately see the value of what they are paying for.”
You can watch a condensed version of the roundtable presentation below, or see the full panel here.