Selling complementary IT solutions and professional services contracts are driving this retail VAR’s projected 150 percent revenue growth.
Following several years of flat revenue, Dakota Retail Technologies Cofounder and President of Sales, Lonnie Ladwig, and Cofounder and Director of Technical Services Kory Lindersmith, will always remember 2013 as a turning point in their business. It was during this time that the two business partners enacted several key changes that are now playing a significant role in the retail VAR’s projected 150 percent growth this year.
The Key Steps To Turning Around Sluggish Professional Services Sales
Since its inception in 2004, Dakota Retail Technologies has sold point of sale systems primarily to the hospitality market, including restaurants (quick-service, sit-down, and counter-service), sporting arenas, and amusement parks. The VAR has always included one-year guarantees on all sales, which includes helpdesk and remote support as well as free replacements on defective equipment. At the end of the oneyear period, customers are given the option to extend their hardware warranties and presented with several professional service agreement choices. “We’ve tried several models over the years, but none were very successful,” says Lindersmith. “After looking into the problem a couple of years ago, Lonnie and I realized our service plans typically followed a ‘good, better, and best’ option, and they were too complicated.” For example, the VAR once had a Bronze plan that included phone support and live remote support during business hours only. A Silver option, which was a little more expensive than the Bronze plan, added after-businesshours and weekend support, but no holiday support. The best plan included 24/7/365 phone and remote support. “We’d sometimes get stumped by a customer who asked, “What if I’m on the Bronze plan and call you after business hours?’” says Lindersmith. “We eventually realized that if we can’t keep our own plans straight, how can we expect our customers to do it?”