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DataMaster Covid Update – Phase 2, Part One: on the ground

19 June 2020

So, here we all are in phase 2 of the future already.  It is time for DataMaster / Printer-Benchmark.com to share our synthesis of what we are seeing across the document imaging and print world.
 
We will be sharing it in two parts. 
  • Part One is about how copier reps are coping, and how the manufacturing brands and related software developers are helping them.
  • Part Two is what the business landscape is like now, and likely to be for the next couple of years as we get used to this new future.
Feedback from our customers, who are mainly copier and office equipment sales teams, is that cold calling is going extremely well.  Not everyone is working full time; most are working from home – but so are their customers and prospects.  Decisionmakers are available like never before.  They are as wary of the future as we all are, but it is a great time to build relationships – and to strengthen existing ones.
 
Manufacturing brands and developers of software solutions have recognized that Covid confinement is a huge training opportunity; and a chance to get complex messages across.   Well-managed dealerships are using this time to upskill their sales teams, benefiting from the content the copier manufacturers and the software vendors are putting out there.  
 
Sales teams have early-morning Zoom huddles which can turn into breakout training sessions, roleplay exercises and mentoring sessions.  There is time to help junior reps to understand their customers business processes better, and for more experienced hardware sales people to get to grips with the new paradigms of distributed workforces’ requirements – and the increased role of software solutions on planet Covid.  
 
Marketing professionals already had good hardware at home, and they are really busy.  It is good to see that this awkward time is actually breaking down some internal barriers.  We have been hearing about techies and sales staff providing content for marketing – even making how-to videos.  Sales teams and technical staff have always had a lot to share with one another, but they didn’t.  The scary side of the Covid world has brought out the tribal primate skill of co-operation in the face of danger, even between sales and technical!
 
Now is not the time for sales directors to scream about volumes and margins.  Every step to customer engagement is a win, and is celebrated as such in an end-of-day Zoom huddle.
 
We are all communicating more than ever before.  This has been a fruitful time.  Content produced now will remain useful for months and years.
We hope you have all been able to use this forced confinement well.  If our kids have been forced to get along, your techies and sales teams should have found it constructive too.  
 
We sincerely hope you all stay safe and well!
 

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