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4 Areas Where Field Service Can Uncover New Opportunities for Partners

John McVicker

Uncovering new sales opportunities from new or existing clients, is the lifeblood of every partner organisation. Finding new and additional services to sell to prospects and clients keeps many sales professionals focused every day of the week. And yet, it is often difficult for sales professionals to constantly innovate as they search for new opportunities to maximise client engagement. 

The natural focus for many sales professionals in the technology industry is to look for the latest technology trend and associated fast-growing start-up. They learn the pitch and see how it applies to their client or prospect base, hoping that this "shiny new thing" will deliver some new opportunity to unlock revenues and deepen the relationship between them. 

However, there are new opportunities to be discovered that do not involve learning new technologies! But focus on using onsite services as a way to deliver revenues faster and easier than taking a new vendor to clients and prospects – using a relatively mundane "technology" to help Partners uncover new opportunities. 

Here we discuss the areas where partners can use onsite Service to uncover new and profitable opportunities quickly.


1. Change the commercial model, using onsite services, to support client sites in a way that redefines the opportunity

Like the rise of "Buy now, pay later," businesses like Afterpay and ZipPay have demonstrated that changing the commercial model to facilitate a transaction can have a profound market effect and make it easier for people to buy. People who use the service to facilitate their transaction, have a high likelihood that they will buy again in the future. 

One can apply that mindset to onsite service, as unlikely as that might seem, as a way to frame a commercial model in a different way to a client, to win a deal. When supporting or installing client sites, a more conventional approach is to sell the upfront-priced vendor support for each piece of vendor equipment at the start of the contract term, saddling the deal with significant upfront investment. Some clients may have the budget for deals framed in this way, but there might be a better way – a way that may not frighten off the client and may make the barriers to purchasing much lower.

Imagine using field service pricing so that rather than presenting an upfront CapEx price to cover installation and ongoing support and maintenance services, you submit a price that is either a fixed price-per-piece of equipment for a given term or a fixed price per site; for a given period? There are no upfront costs, the shared risk with the client, and a different commercial model that completely redefined the commercial opportunity. Worth considering?


2 Complementing Managed Services accounts with onsite support & maintenance services

Many partner organisations have embraced Managed Services as a way of delivering outsourced services to clients on a predictable monthly commercial basis. This facet of a partner's business provides a genuine opportunity to generate additional revenues and margin from onsite services.

Often, Managed Services contracts will manage a client network, collection of sites or equipment and be responsible for any outages or service issues that might arise. However, in the event of any difficulties that cannot be triaged or diagnosed remotely, these will require a site visit by a technician. It is these site visits that are usually charged to the client on a one-off basis. The resources need to be identified, scheduled, equipment delivered, articulation of the problem to be resolved, costs agreed, and a client to be appeased at a difficult time. 

With this in mind, onsite services can complement Managed Services by providing a similar subscription commercial model. This takes care of all of the support and maintenance for that client Managed Service, as part of the monthly service fee – no more locating or scheduling resources, worrying about pricing, no more agreeing to a total one-off invoice with the client, not more delay. The Service is just covered.

And with the cost of the Service blended across the contract, this provides partners with a means to increase revenue from the deal and delivers an improved margin of $$ for that opportunity – an easy win, delivering a better service and improving customer loyalty still further.   


3. Consolidate support & maintenance services where there are lots of different pieces of equipment deployed 

With a country as dispersed as Australia, providing onsite support & maintenance services to diverse locations is virtually impossible. The array of technical equipment in a fast-food restaurant includes about 24 different pieces of technical equipment ranging from order printers to wireless access devices to POS terminals and cash drawers. 

This means in the event of an outage; a store manager will need to find which supplier to call to fix the problem! And with so much equipment deployed onsite, this can waste time selecting who to call, coordinating their response and keeping the restaurant operational. 

Partners can see the need to engage multiple-support providers to support one of these restaurants sites as an opportunity for additional sales (and derived customer locks in). By considering providing services to act as a single point of contact for supporting that client – the client can call a single provider that aggregates all support providers. 

In turn, the partner can use a national provider that provides support across multiple pieces and types of equipment to provide efficient post-sales support for those disparate sites. Again, a different opportunity, completely differentiated, and the other changes to the potential commercial model provide real value to the client. 


4. Provide services to customer sites that cannot afford 24 x 7 support but need NBD support at an affordable price

For those locations that are outside of metro areas, the idea of site support is a worry for many. Sites in these areas rely on their technical equipment's swift support if it fails and often struggles to find commercially aligned support. For example, support that understands if a POS device is offline for a day, then a location cannot function and has to close, losing the shop owner money.

The default support situation is often one that is "best efforts. " Work will be completed when it can be done, engineers will attend site when they can, and parts will arrive in a few days – commentary that is riddled with uncertainty and likely sees the site offline for a few days.

Providing clients with a guaranteed Next Business Day service changes the game – it gives the partner something differentiated to sell to their clients. It includes support for their business when there are outages or issues, with certainty that it will be fixed during the next business day, no matter their location. 

Providing assurance and guarantees around problem resolution, coupled with the innovative commercial models that are becoming more mainstream in onsite or field Service, means that even these more remote, non-metro sites can enjoy service levels previously only available to their metro counterparts.

It isn't difficult to see that Field Service or onsite Service can help partners uncover opportunities that enable them to differentiate with their clients and build longer-term relationships with them. Changing the thinking around commercial models, availability of resource, and general guarantees on supporting clients in a way that they understand can help partners uncover and exploit an array of really exciting opportunities. 

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