European computer dealers want to escape cut-throat competition on product supply by building their service revenues. But few have the skills to operate a true services business.
Sales and marketing skills are particularly poor, according to a Romtec survey of 400 corporate resellers in 10 European countries, which shows the majority rely on technical and product knowledge to pull them through. But the respondents said their top prioritites were to improve their skills as quickly as possible.
Product revenues accounted for 46 per cent of the total business and services accounted for 29 per cent of revenues, across all the resellers included in the study. "Typically these services are product, rather than consultancy or project management related," said Russ Nathan, Romtec MD.
Resellers in the survey reported increasing competition from their own hardware suppliers, as well as from other Vars and dealers. They said their greatest strength lay in their ability to deliver a full service, often multi-vendor and cross-platform.
Training was seen as a strong priority, but it had to make a direct impact on sales, according to the survey. Resellers welcomed formal vendor accreditation - so long as it included sales leads, special support lines and specific account management.
Hewlett-Packard has based the STAR training scheme on the study's finding. This training programme for network resellers was introduced in February.
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