Refining your image
Integrating imaging and business process automation with your core service offerings can be easier with the right solution provider.
Let’s get one thing straight: Paper is going to be around for a long time, but the revolution of digital information has taken place. Remember when having your head in the clouds referred to being out of touch or unrealistic and going on vacation did not include taking your smartphone to instantly respond to work emails or phone calls?
We have come to rely on having information available at our fingertips. We also are familiar with the rapid pace at which technology moves, and this one-way freight train loaded with evolving data technologies, continues to gain momentum.
In addition, regulations and security requirements are only getting more stringent, forcing organizations to make decisions. An example of this for RIM (records and information management) companies was when the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act forced the medical industry to adopt electronic medical records (EMRs).
Although RIM companies are still enjoying profits from storing and shredding paper documents, a dramatic change is taking place in the industry. The role of RIM services providers is changing from records storage and destruction partners to total information management partners.
“Big data,” however, can offer “big opportunities” for RIM companies. Now is the time to add one of several new revenue sources to not only grow your
business but also to compete in offering integrated solutions tailored to your customers’ needs. One such opportunity is document imaging and business
I know you might have heard from your peers about their experiences in this area, have attended trade shows with sessions on the topic, have seen other companies try to offer these services and have even explored offering business process automation services yourself, but the challenges of committing to a technology seem too overwhelming and distracting to take action, even though business process automation is a natural fit.
What is clear is this: Times are changing, and the digital world we live in today is a different ball game that requires a different offensive strategy.
Integrating imaging and business process automation with your core services is becoming less of an option and more of a necessity if growth is your company’s goal. To meet your customers’ immediate and long-term needs, becoming a full-service information management company will not only help you to reach new clients, it also will help you to produce more revenue from existing clients.
Contrary to what many commercial RIM professionals believe, document imaging can drive more boxes to your business, and if you are not offering this service to your customers, someone else will.
Unfortunately, too many records management and secure destruction companies are not looking outside the box mostly because of the preconceived notion of the complexity of imaging and the obstacles they will face when offering this service.
Do any of these excuses sound familiar?
- I don’t understand the technology or business processes associated with imaging.
- The barriers to entry are too high and too expensive.
- My existing staff is not trained to sell or provide imaging services.
- I am afraid of failing with my customers or of wasting time and money to learn imaging.
- I do not think my customer base is ready for or accepting of document imaging.
- I don’t have time to focus on a new service that will distract from my company’s core services.
- Document imaging is too expensive.
Any one of these perceived obstacles is enough to prevent a business from offering or achieving success in document imaging. However, electronic storage is a natural fit complementing physical storage that will enable you to enjoy the same reoccurring revenue without the infrastructure that you have today.
Hopefully, you now are asking yourself this question: How can my company eliminate these obstacles to sell and execute document imaging and business
process automation successfully?
Taking the first step
How can you become a successful imaging reseller if you don’t understand imaging? You need a great teacher. It is critical to choose an imaging partner that consistently will support your company with sales and technical support, providing you with all the necessary resources to be successful. Even if you know nothing about document imaging and lack technical savvy, a good imaging solutions partner will be there for you every step of the way as a resource.
Some commercial RIM services companies that have entered the imaging space have not succeeded. If they did not have a reliable solutions partner behind them, the learning curve might have been too steep.
A reliable imaging solutions partner will provide the information you need to know to be successful and how to best offer a solution for your market. You partner will show you how imaging is similar to and different from other services you offer and will help you understand the business model, the imaging process, client retrieval needs and how to approach existing and prospective clients. Your partner also will teach you where your business revenue can be increased and how to interact with your clients to add value.
Selling imaging services can be complex but also very profitable. Scanning and ECM (enterprise content management) solutions can garner a healthy 50 to 75 percent profit.
Effective use and implementation of business process automation services can yield your clients tremendous gains in efficiency. Becoming efficient saves companies money, and saving money captures people’s attention.
Scanning services usually drive ECM sales because your clients need a place to store and retrieve their documents. This is a gift that keeps on giving for
your company in the form of monthly residual income, just like box and tape storage and destruction services you’re used to, only these are electronic
files stored on a server that once uploaded rarely will go away.
Selling the solution
Selling business process automation services takes a lot of work and patience. You must ask your clients tough questions that uncover costs and inefficiencies in their processes. That is when you will be in the position to propose a solution.
An ideal scenario for an imaging sale involves:
- identifying a prospect from a suspect and engaging with the company’s representative; don’t lead with the solution;
- listening—your contact will tell you everything if you let him or her;
- providing new insights to your clients’ current processes;
- asking to prepare a needs assessment using a list of prepared questions and identifying/creating workflows (Yes, you can charge for this.);
- educating your clients about their present costs;
- presenting a strategic demonstration that meets their requirements and solves their business problems;
- delivering the needs assessment report and proposal; and
- closing the deal.
You can create a template that includes your questions, an ROI (return on investment) calculator, the virtual workflow, etc., to deliver this information in a smooth and confident proposal.
Choosing a reliable imaging solutions provider that helps you to provide all of this critical information to your prospective clients is important.
Most resellers choose a solutions provider, pay a reseller fee, spend money on training and return “gung-ho” to sell imaging only to end up disappointed and frustrated. Why? They haven’t the slightest clue about selling document imaging. They don’t know who is a suspect or prospect, what their prospective clients’ business or technical challenges are, when to offer a solution to fix these problems, where the advocates or opponents are in the prospects’ companies and why these prospects need an ECM solution, justified with a proven ROI.
The solution’s brand has nothing to do with it. In fact, customers don’t care about the brand; they just want their problems fixed. (Do you care what brand of tool is used to fix your car as long as it gets fixed?)
Realistically, your solution is like a scalpel on a surgeon’s tray; it can do nothing on its own. But, in the hands of a capable doctor, amazing things can happen, and lives can be saved.
Your salespeople are the surgeons, and imaging is one of many tools available to them. Regardless of how great this solution is, without addressing your prospect’s business problem, you cannot propose a solution. A reliable document imaging solution partner and proper training enable you to propose a solution for your clients.
With the right imaging solutions provider, document imaging can be easy. Make use of all the resources you can, and imagine a different vision of your company—one that defines itself by addressing client needs with a range of services. Document imaging is a natural fit for RIM services companies, and opportunities await you.
Full Article published in SDB Magazine: SDB Magazine – Tronitech Article (Refining your image)