We recently caught up with one of our Certified Service Sales Partners (CSSP’s) that shared how they took a single service lead provided by Schneider Electric and turned it into one of their largest accounts over the course of just three years.
In previous posts, we have discussed how service sales can help build customer relationships and ensure annual revenue with renewals. But, we’ve also talked about how services can be your foot in the door. This story is an example of how beneficial that can be.
In early 2011, as a CSSP, this partner received a service lead from Schneider Electric for a local hospital. The lead was for two Preventive Maintenance (PM) visits for a couple of old MGE EPS 3000s. Since the EPS 3000 had already gone EOL, there was no opportunity for an Advantage Plan, just the PMs. The lead itself represented an opportunity for less that $2,000 of revenue for the partner. Regardless, they made the call.
The customer point of contact was an IT operations manager and when the partner got him on the phone, he was not happy. He had been working with Schneider Electric directly and, while Schneider Electric Technical support was always helpful, he was looking for a single point of contact that was familiar with his facility. The partner took this opportunity to listen to the customer and do thorough discovery. This customer’s need wasn’t complicated. He wanted annual PM’s and he wanted a single point of contact for anything he needed for his UPS and data center. The partner seized the opportunity to position herself as that primary contact to help the customer navigate the processes at Schneider Electric to get what he needed. Within a couple of weeks, the PM’s were booked and completed and the partner had a happy new customer.
As the new primary contact for anything related to power and cooling equipment, the partner was the first call the IT Director made when it was time to renew the services for the hospital’s main data center. The following year, he asked her to take care of the services renewal for the data center at their main administration building. And in the third year, asked her to bid on a large 500W ISX solution to build a new data center at the hospital. Ultimately, the partner won the bid for the new data center. It was a huge win for the partner and, it turns out, it was only the beginning.
The PO for that ISX solution was issued a year ago. Since then, there have been multiple follow-on orders and the partner and the customer are currently in discussions about two more major projects for 2014 and 2015.
It all began with a $2,000 service sales lead that landed in the partner’s POP page back in 2011. Through good discovery, the partner quickly figured out that the customer’s real need was simply a single person to call for all things Schneider Electric. Becoming that person has allowed her to grow that small service lead into an account that has generated over a million dollars of revenue in the past 12 months with more opportunities on the near horizon.
Lesson learned – even the small leads are worth paying attention to. While not all opportunities will blossom into a major account so quickly, there is tremendous benefit to getting your foot in the door. As the partner of record for service renewals, you have an opportunity to speak to the customer at least once a year, you’re already on the approved vendor list, which makes future purchases easier for the customer and makes you eligible to receive RFQ’s for other projects. And, most importantly, it provides an opportunity for you to grow the customer relationship and demonstrate value as their trusted advisor.
When was the last time you took a look at your POP page? There may be leads waiting for you! Log In to your partner page, click on Service Sales APC Assigned Opportunities, and take a look to find what hidden gems may be waiting for you. All it may take to earn a new customer is a single phone call.
Not a CSSP (Certified Service Sales Partner)? We have a Partner Opportunity Program for product-based sales as well! Click here to learn more about POP for equipment sales.