Not all document imaging sales are created equal. Certain types of software, such as advanced data capture for example, typically drive higher revenue and margins. In addition, presenting yourself as an expert in a specific vertical market or horizontal area of business will increase your revenue and profits. On the top line, it will provide you with references and a reputation for success in a certain market that will drive more business. On the bottom line, installing the same type of solution multiple times will make you more efficient at implementation and support, which should increase your margins.
Here are some tips for maximizing your profit potential with document imaging solutions:
1. Focusing on a vertical: Healthcare, government, insurance, and financial services are all organizations that rely on paper for important transactions. Most organizations in these markets have similar processes for tasks such as managing patient records, onboarding new customers, or managing policy documents. Learn these paper-intensive processes and how digital workflows can make them better. Then, speak to the customers in their own languages. Don’t tell them you are selling them a document imaging and workflow solution—rather, explain to a medical practice how you can help it get paid more efficiently, or to a credit union how it can drive more business by improving its loan application process. Presenting yourself as an industry expert, as opposed to product salesman, will enable you to charge for consulting that will hopefully lead to product sales.
2. Selling advanced capture: Automated data capture was once restricted to structured forms such as tax or order forms. Today’s technology, however, can be used to automatically extract data from variably structured documents such as invoices, and do auto-classification of the hundreds of document types in a mortgage file. A direct correlation can be drawn between these types of applications and cost benefits for the end-user. If you can cut an A/P department’s labor in half or help a business substantially increase the amount of early pay discounts it can take, that is something tangible that you can charge a premium for. Generally, users are looking for a 12-month ROI on an imaging project, so the more savings you can show, the better profits you can make.
3. Selling automated workflow: Workflow software, which is used to automate the steps in a business process, is the other main ROI driver typically associated with document imaging implementations. If through imaging you can reduce the number of steps someone in an organization needs to take to get something done, that should create a tangible savings, which contributes to an ROI. In other words, you can charge a premium based on the customers’ savings, not what you are paying for the software.
4. Blending the elements of a system together: There are multiple elements to a document imaging solution. These include scanning hardware, software, storage, maintenance/service contracts, and professional services. Each one represents an individual pocket for driving profits. And though no single area is going to offer 90 percent gross margins, when you blend these five areas into a successful solutions business, document imaging can be a very profitable undertaking.
5. Offering cloud and mobile options: No user wants to get left behind the technology curve. And even though only 39 percent of respondents to a recent AIIM survey said they had a mobile connection to their ECM systems, and fewer than that are currently utilizing cloud-based ECM, customers want to know that if they choose to go those routes, those options will be available to them. They are going to be willing to pay slightly more to know that mobile capture and cloud hosting are available.
Ingram Micro has a solution play for each one of the steps mentioned above. Contact your sales rep if you’re looking for more support, if you need an expert to speak to a vertical and help with the messaging, or if you’re looking to get involved in a new area such as a cloud offering.