According to a new multi-client study from InfoTrends entitled Business Development and Professional Services that Work!, over 80% of print service providers and nearly three quarters of in-plant printers indicated that a vendor’s ability to deliver services influenced their decision to purchase equipment or software. Clearly, vendor support services are integral to the equipment purchasing decision. These services are also critical to building volume and the resulting growth in revenue streams related to consumables. Vendors with strong services offerings will have a competitive edge in the near and long term.
InfoTrends’ in-depth study explores the satisfaction levels, expectations, preferences, and spending of printers across three key areas:
Business Development: A variety of services concerning training and education for marketing, sales, and go-to-market strategies focused on driving revenue growth
Professional Services: A variety of services involving workflow integration and optimization, application development, as well as advanced training on software and solutions
Training Services: A variety of training on software and hardware solutions, as well as other business and technical topics such as application development, lean manufacturing, process improvement, and marketing and sales strategies.
The results of the study are divided into two sections: print service providers (PSPs) serving the print-for-pay market and in-plants. While both segments use the same technologies, their operating structures, business environments, and production requirements are quite different. This study offers targeted insights into the needs of both segments.
Barb Pellow, a Group Director at InfoTrends, stated, “Vendors have a tremendous opportunity not only to secure sales of their traditional equipment, but also to expand their offerings by providing the right types of development services. Print service providers are starting to evolve into marketing services and cross-media providers; and to that end they are developing sophisticated go-to-market approaches that embrace new marketing techniques and test online, social, and data-driven marketing. Vendors need to offer effective support and training to their customers on how to implement and sell these new products and services.”
“The market is ripe for services that support such moves up the value chain,” commented InfoTrends’ Senior Consultant Lisa Cross, the project manager for the study. “For the first time, print service providers recognize that the skills associated with marketing and sales are actually more challenging than those associated with production.” Cross went on to say that the in-plant market is beginning to acknowledge the requirement to enhance overall business skills, although it is still primarily focusing on operational expertise.
This study offers essential insight into:
- Training preferences (location, resources, cost expectations)
- Value placed on training and development services
- Pain points requiring support
- Investment plans for hardware, software, and training
- New applications in use