A Factory In Your Pocket
Posted on 25/04/2012
Mark Curtis-Wood from Nimans says changing times are ahead in an
ever- evolving mobile centric world
Today’s technology trends can be traced back hundreds of years to the agricultural and industrial revolutions and the automation of processes and practices.
When fax machines were introduced 25 years ago, I saw how they worked, loved the technology but I didn’t know anyone that had one. It seems like a crazy conversation but at the time people didn’t realise the true opportunity. The postal strike dramatically increased demand and things started to snowball.
It was a similar scenario with e-mail. At first I didn’t know anyone that had an e-mail address to send them a message. There are now 1.75 billion internet users, sending 247 billion e-mails every day. Things have changed in a huge way.
If you go back 10 years ago I remember talking to sales people about mobile data. They were looking at me like I was crazy. They told me they were just going to carry on selling ‘voice’, because it’s going to be around forever. Mobile communication will never catch on they said.
Today 65% of all workers carry a smart device. Communication on the go has become a part of daily life; most of us are completely reliant on it. There’s been a social media explosion where mobility has helped people break the shackles of their desk. Today’s mobile devices are like a factory in your pocket.
The applications market is set to be worth over £23 billion by 2015. This inevitably relies on data which increases revenue and sales opportunities. Some people continue to bury their head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening. They prefer to wait and see. But changes are happening right now.
Albert Einstein says the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something to change. Some resellers are still doing the same things they did five years ago and hoping to get a different result. They use the same sales methods and business solutions and hope for a different outcome. Unfortunately it won’t happen, something has got to change.
If you keep doing the same thing there won’t be a different result. It’s about accepting what you need to do - having an open mind and an effective business model to achieve your objectives.
For me the only true way to shift customer ownership is through a genuine wholesale mobile model, like the one available from Nimans and O2. Recurring revenue puts more value into your own business. More importantly it allows you to cut out the competition. It’s the missing part of the jigsaw. Your customer wants to deal with one point of contact, a trusted advocate, you the reseller.
So what is stopping you from making that leap of faith? We recently conducted a survey and the three main things highlighted were:
How do I fund hardware because everyone wants an iPhone?
Isn’t it hard to compete with the networks directly?
Do I have the correct sales skills within my business?
To address these concerns you have to change your mindset and that of your customers. There’s a lot of talk about the consumerisation of IP and mobile space. When decision makers start making choices about consumer phones, this feeds through to what is happening in the business market. Resellers need to ask questions in a different way and look at business in a different way. Many of our resellers are using funding options to capture more revenue. It’s about making sure that mobile hardware isn’t just a purchasing decision about a shiny handset. You need to look at everything going on within a business and take an overall view about how they engage with their staff. Do sales people need tablets? Do engineers need a particular type of device?
By offering leasing you can up-sell a multitude of different devices and expand into areas such as printers and computers, much more than just mobile phones. Hardware is becoming a wider buying decision. In the past it was normally a purchasing decision involving an FD or IT Manager but now we are starting to see Sales Directors getting involved to enable people to work smarter and more effectively.
It’s about providing the right advice at the beginning of the conversation, as technology undoubtedly changes and everyone has to evolve accordingly.
How can you work with the networks, engage with them and move forward, protecting and ring fencing your customers? This is another crucial question along with who are you ultimately going to trust as a trading partner?
The days of the transaction sale are gone. It’s about giving customers what they need rather than what they think they want. It should be much more than just a conversation about handsets. The consumer is more important now than they have ever been, from forums, blogs and the internet. Inevitably mobile is becoming a key component but if you’re not taking care of that, then someone from an IT business will be.
The Olympics this year will probably see more people working from home than ever before. It has the potential to be a game changer with many more tablets and mobiles being used for business.
It’s important to think of the future as well as the present. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is becoming more common for example. People who join a company often have their own smartphone so they don’t need another device. Mobile phones are predicted to overtake PC sales by mid 2013, so a tipping point is emerging. Understand how all the different pieces of the jigsaw fit together and your business will be fully equipped to rise to the challenges of today, and more importantly tomorrow.