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5 Tips and Tricks for Obtaining New Document Imaging Customers

November 24, 2017

5 Tips and Tricks for Obtaining New Document Imaging Customers

According to Gartner, the ECM market is growing at approximately 6.2% annually; however, it is believed that the mid-market, where most value-added resellers (VARs) focus, is growing considerably faster. That’s because while the upper end of the market has embraced ECM for quite some time, its adoption in the mid-market is still ramping up. This presents a lot of greenfield opportunity for VARs.

But how do you cultivate this opportunity and turn it into sales? Following are five tips and tricks to use for obtaining new document-imaging customers:

  1. Show ROI: This may seem obvious, but it has not always been that way in the imaging market. A lot of vendors like to brag about their technology and how great it works. Guess what? The customer probably doesn’t care. They only care about how you can help them. Imaging can return hard dollars in terms of reduced labor. It can also make processes more efficient, which can lead to improvements in areas like customer service and increased sales, which can be calculated as soft ROIs.

  2. Develop a vertical or horizontal expertise: Being an expert in a specific area has its advantages. An effective imaging system is one that improves a user’s business processes. Focusing on a niche market like accounts payable, human resources, healthcare, real estate, or countless others enables you to hone in on that market’s processes and be able to address them inside and out. It also enables you to present yourself as an expert in that niche, which increases your credibility.

  3. Leverage existing infrastructure: Another advantage of a vertical or horizontal focus is that it enables you to focus on integration with other software that is popular in your chosen niche. In accounts payable, this might be a mid-market ERP system. In the healthcare market, it might be a practice management system. Integration with third-party systems is more in demand than ever as ECM is being thought of more as a utility application than an end in itself. In order to help reduce your customers’ start-up costs, it’s also possible to leverage existing file systems like SharePoint/Office 365 for storing images and MFPs for low-volume scanning.

  4. Offer hybrid on-premise/cloud applications: We’ve cited this survey before, but it’s worth going back to: Taken by cloud IT specialist BetterCloud, this survey shows that 62% of responding organizations indicated that by 2020 they expect to be running 100% of their IT in the cloud. Yes, this includes ECM—even though most current estimates peg cloud ECM adoption at less than 10%. That said, the cloud is certainly gaining adoption among new installations, and most end users are at least considering it. Showing potential customers that you can provide them with an upgrade from on-premise to the cloud if they decide to move that way presents them with the best of both worlds.

  5. Sell more to existing customers: Most organizations have more than one area where imaging can help make document processing more efficient. Yes, it’s always good to start with the highest-volume, most workflow-intensive application, but once you’ve set up the infrastructure and proven yourself as a trusted partner, you can begin looking for other areas where imaging offers a substantial ROI as well. Starting with accounts payable and expanding into HR is a well-beaten path, for example. The key is to make sure your customer is happy with their initial application, so don’t bite off more than you can chew initially. But once you’ve secured a beachhead within an organization, it’s time to start looking for more potential imaging applications.  

These are just a few tips and tricks that should be useful for obtaining new document imaging customers. Of course, you need to back up your efforts with quality document imaging hardware, software, and professional services that can be combined to improve your customers’ paper-intensive business processes.  Ingram Micro has all of the above mentioned to improve your value add to your customers.  Call your Ingram Micro sales rep and ask about the Professional Services division and how they can round out your offering!