W2P Advice to PSPs: Part 1 – Customer Evaluation

If you happened upon my most recent post titled the Blind Leading the Blind Leading the Blind, I mentioned that PSPs cannot be retaught and need to either hire or partner with those who truly understand and have real world experience with W2P frameworks and working W2P models.

So you’re a successful PSP.  You know the world is changing and that you’ll need to bring W2P into your environment to reap the benefits, keep existing clients and add new clients. Where do you start?

Step 1: Evaluate your customer base.  Your client base is critical in understanding just how you will implement W2P.  In doing so, you’ll need to evaluate what their projects are, how frequently they occur, how they interface with your company and how large their footprint is.  Are they loyal?  Are they simply buying your services because you’re the cheapest or the quickest?  Maybe they’re buying your services just because of your account team?  If this is true, be sure and determine whether or not your account team is capable of moving into this new realm, or not.

Key: Ideal clients for W2P have unusually large footprints.  They have needs which go far outside a single region.  Remember that W2P is not a quantity business, but can be a high volume business once instituted.  It’s small quantity, on demand and an extremely automated program type of business which will bring a completely different form of value-add into your existing relationship.  But in order to undertake such an investment in people, software, process, equipment, hosting costs, additional IT support and so on, one must have real revenue potential.  If your customer base does not fit into this model, then don’t throw your money away.  If the client demands it, outsource it to a firm that helps in order to retain your client.

Most regionally based PSPs only have qualified national clients because they are located in the same region of that client’s headquarters.  If this is the case, and you are serving multiple regions for that client, then you have a qualified candidate.  If you are only serving the headquarters and they are ordering from other service providers in other regions, then you still have work to do.  W2P is disruptive not only to your organization but can be even more disruptive to your client’s internal processes.  The efficiency of W2P cannot be ignored.  It’s logically much better than manual processes.  That being so, it often eliminates payroll on the client side.  This means that your account management team is bringing solutions that will cause disruption to the client.  This can be a win/win for you and the client, or a lose/lose for both parties if not presented to the correct players at the client.  Future posts in the future will talk about just how to propose W2P to your prospects/clients.

Warning: Don’t fall for the tricks of “growing your business” to bring in new revenue using W2P.  99 out of 100 conventional salespeople are unfit for W2P.  They’ll never learn the language.  It’s just way above their heads.  Just like PSPs, they’ve spent their lives pushing quantity.  They live belly-to-belly with the client.  They don’t know process.  They don’t know technology, and they will not be incentivized to learn it.  There’s no money in it for them.  It’s a hassle and not worth their time nor yours.  Those of you who have exceptions on your staff, congrats.  For those of you who don’t, you’ll need to design and adopt a creative sales plan that meets your W2P strategy once you’ve qualified your client base.

In this series, you will find that sales is key to W2P.  Equipment manufacturers and others will tell you to build out first.  Don’t!  Even when you have multiple qualified candidates, they all have unique business models that may require different W2P models/architectures.  The last thing you want to hear is that the W2P system you implemented cannot serve a client’s needs and you’ll have to invest even more to service your client.  True W2P is very costly to implement and maintain as it requires a different type of employee team not currently under your hire.  You wouldn’t even think about adding another 2 or 3 million dollar press for one new client without a commitment to a guaranteed revenue, so don’t do it with W2P.  There are brilliant people out there running W2P systems which you can outsource your work to without losing the client.  Don’t rebuild the wheel, outsource until the demand justifies your own build out.

About marcomstudio

Solutions Architect/President of SPC Marcom Studio - a forward-thinking marcom execution solutions provider.
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