As the calendar turns to March, all Motorola Dealers are getting ready for Motorola’s Channel Partner Expo and IWCE (International Wireless Convention and Expo). For the first time I can remember these events with be held in Orlando next week, March 4-8. Regardless if you are a seasoned veteran that has been to the show many times, or a first-time attendee, I’ve highlighted a few topics you’ll want to take note of to help understand our industry, the market, and to drive business for your dealership when you return.
I think we can all agree that over the last few years Motorola Dealers have had several changes to their standard business models. From the owners and managers that I’ve spoken with, some of the challenges they face everyday are increased competition from other manufactures, pressures on sales margins, issues training and retaining staff, and speed of technology advances and complexity of the equipment and systems sold by Motorola Dealers. As we look forward in 2018 and 2019 these trends will continue, and it is imperative that your Dealership, team, and management all make the necessary adjustments.
Consolidation of Motorola Partners
Last year during the management sessions, Motorola spent a large portion of time discussing consolidation, and starting the conversation for dealers to accurately evaluate their business. Over the last year we’ve seen larger partners like BearCom and Mobile Communications America purchase a few dealerships, but there were also several smaller regional operators that have merged together in an effort to grow. I think in the years ahead this trend will continue, and Dealer principles will be challenged to decide what is best for their Dealership long term.
Changes to Motorola Dealer Programs
As all Dealer owners are aware, last year Motorola announced a major change to the Dealership scorecard and incentive metrics. Last year the message was very clear – going forward, Motorola is looking for consistent growth throughout the year with quarterly targets, required loyalty to Motorola to hit top incentives, and to achieve those incentives you’ll need to sell a lot of Motorola equipment and services. The new program has only been in place a few months, so I wouldn’t think there would be any changes yet, but you can be assured that the message on the new program will be driven home to dealers.
Higher Margin Services
All Dealers have felt pressure on margins over the last number of years. Whether from internet dealerships or competitive manufactures releasing compelling products, keeping healthy margins in Dealerships is essential to growth for the long term. Motorola over the past few years has been talking about their services offering, and profitable Dealers have been adopting higher margin revenue streams. Regardless if it is RaaS (Radio as a Service), licensing and engineering services, or extended warranty or maintenance agreements, having these as offerings and delivering on them for the customer are critical for the Dealership. While at Motorola’s CPE or IWCE, take time and talk to peers from around the country to see how they’ve implemented these higher margin services to help customers and help their Dealership.
It’s great to have high margin services, but its even better if those services are billed every month. As a business owner it is urgent that you build a long term, reoccurring revenue stream into your business model. This could be as a system operator of a MotoTRBOTM network, rentals, or product or maintenance services. Regardless of the path you take, starting each month at “greater than $0” would be a great place to be.
The trend of integrating communications devices will be a major topic this year at CPE and IWCE. Last year Motorola announced Wave OnCloud during CPE. I’m not sure it had the pickup over the last year they had hoped for, but regardless, you will continue to see traditional radio connections being made on other devices or apps. This requirement is being driven from the customer… so when they speak, we should all be listening.
Industrial IoT Opportunities
As we’ve all seen over the last few year IoT has been the catch phrase for any device collecting and sharing data. As this trend is now part of our personal lives, it is now starting to be part of our customer business lives everyday. Industrial IoT should be on everyone’s radar this year at CPE or IWCE. Customers that can save 1% of their operating cost by implementing these Industrial IoT solutions are massive opportunities for the Motorola dealer community.
Recruiting and Training Sales and Service staff
This is one of the most common topics of conversation between Dealers every year at CPE or IWCE. Last year Motorola announced a more immersive sales training program, and they do have ongoing technical training. The issue I hear from most Dealers is the cost to onboard someone new to the industry, regardless whether they are in sales or service. Also, once the investment is made to add staff, the challenge to keep that new hire as part of the team. I’m not sure there is a silver bullet for this topic, but what I would suggest is networking with other Dealer managers and seeing what is working for them.
Partnership with Marketing and Sales to drive results
I find that each year I go to CPE and IWCE, I come out more motivated and inspired to help dealerships drive more results. This year I want to challenge everyone coming to CPE to take some time and think about how your Marketing team or partners are driving results. Some of the questions you need to be asking are:
- Is my website producing actionable leads for sales?
- Are our marketing activates engaging our customer to solve their business issues?
- Our we telling our story and value proposition well?
I would also do a review of your sales team and confirm you have the right people “on the bus.” I have two major criteria when I look at sales people.
- Attitude – Are they excited and energic to be working in your dealership, selling Motorola radios? Are they passionate about helping customers to be more successful and safe with your products and services?
- Behaviors – Each day do they execute on tasks and requirements to drive revenue and allow them to be successful at this career?
If I have these two benchmarks as a starting point, then it’s a great place to start and invest your time to train and educate so you have a long-term sales star.
At M4D we are proud to be a Co-op and MDF approved vendor for Motorola Solution Channel Partners. We understand the Land Mobile Radio industry, and the challenges that Motorola Dealers face everyday. We are passionate about helping our customers drive revenue and grow their businesses with proven marketing and sales strategies. Please stop by our booth #402 at Motorola Channel Partner Expo and meet the team. If you’d like to do a deeper dive on your specific revenue questions, click to book a 1-on-1 time with us.