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How to implement “as a service”

February 19, 2021

How to implement “as a service”
 
powered by Sounder


Let’s start basic. What’s “as a service”?
 
It’s a means for an end user to consume technology via a payment stream or a payment structure instead of paying for all of the solution upfront.
 
Launching an as-a-service solution is pretty much a must nowadays.
 
Recently on B2B Tech Talk, host Keri Roberts spoke with Derek Meier, senior manager for Ingram Micro Flexible Payment Solutions, about strategy for implementing as-a-service programs.
 
What they talked about:
  • How to get started, step by step
  • Questions to ask about whether you’re ready for as a service
  • Challenge areas and solutions
  • Success stories from Ingram Micro partners
 

As-a-service questions

There can be as many variations on as a service as there are providers of these programs. It can fit into almost every sector out there.
 
Example: You sell 100 laptops via a monthly payment. At the end of the payment stream, they return the devices and get 100 new ones.
 
The options can easily become overwhelming. Ask yourself these questions to know which direction to take:
 
  • Why am I getting into as a service?
  • Am I product-driven, service-driven, or both?
  • Will my as a service be smooth and appetizing for an end user?
  • Do I have the sales process and people in place to make my program a success?
 


Internal accountability for as a service

Change is hard. Fortunately, there are some simple things a partner can do to make the as-a-service implementation easier to carry out.
 
  1. Find a peer group to talk through the changes (like Ingram Micro’s SMB Alliance, TrustX and Masterminds).
  2. Look outward by implementing a platform for helping businesses change (like traction and EOS).
  3. Find a partner that has experience helping organizations do this (like with built-in networks, tried and true processes, or an abundance of tools).
 

Derek has seen partners transition successfully from selling products to selling as-a-service solutions, and they all do this:
 
“The most successful folks that I've seen implement this program, they are so incredibly good about being consistent with a vision.” — Derek Meier



Data doesn’t lie

If you’re on the fence about whether the change to as a service will be ultimately beneficial, consider these data.
 
  • 70% of the buyer’s journey and sales process is completed before an end user talks with a salesperson
  • 85% of solution providers increased their profit margins by 5% or more with as-a-service flexible financing
 
Adding these up means you need to spread your message about as a service and the business benefits repeatedly before the customer reaches the 70% mark.
 
By the time they sit down to talk about options, they want to ask you about this as-a-service program they’ve seen all over your website, newsletters and blogs.
 
Make it easy for people to find your as-a-service program … before your prospect decides they want to pay a different and unbeneficial way.
 
Learn more at Ingram Micro Flexible Payment Solutions.