BTA National Conference 2022 Recap – Top 3 Themes Blog Feature

Office

By: GreatAmerica on June 16th, 2022


BTA National Conference 2022 Recap – Top 3 Themes

The BTA National Conference was held in Chicago, Illinois June 7-8, 2022. The event featured a packed agenda filled with knowledgeable speakers covering a wide range of topics, but a handful of themes were recurring: hiring and culture, diversification, and sales and marketing.  

Whether you had the pleasure of attending and are looking for some additional resources around these topics, or you missed the event and want to get a taste of what attendees were buzzing about, we dig into each of these themes below. 

Hiring and Culture 

Job seekers are more selective in today’s environment and seeking opportunities with more flexibility, positive company cultures, and more competitive salaries. Several sessions acknowledged this topic, but Chris Taylor of Fisher’s Technology shared how the challenges associated with hiring and retention really go back to culture. Culture is both what attracts talent in the first place, and what keeps talent engaged in an organization. In addition to being very forthcoming with the culture obstacles Fisher’s has faced, Taylor also shared seven ways they have improved their culture, which we can all learn from: 

  1. Communication – It can be challenging, especially as organizations grow larger, but it is crucial to ensure everyone is included and informed on the current objectives and expectations of your organizations. Good communication keeps everyone rowing in the same direction.  

  2. Training – As you bring on new team members, or take on new offerings, focus on providing the proper support through training. The office imaging space is evolving quickly, and your team members need the right education to be successful. Prioritize personal development and leadership development, and even explore creating an emerging leaders program to help prepare the next generation for leadership roles. 

  3. Recognize – This is so important, but it can be easily overlooked in the daily whirlwind. Taylor suggests leaders send a daily email or make a daily phone call to let a team member know they are doing a great job. Small gestures like this can make an incredible difference!
     
  4. Have Fun – As you bring new people into your organization, make sure you hire people who like to have fun. Further, it is important to incorporate fun and celebrate successes. As an example, Fisher’s has a program where employees can be awarded credits to buy Fisher’s merchandise - think shirts, backpacks, or tumblers. They also often host tailgates and other fun gatherings.  

  5. Be Transparent - Increased transparency creates trust between employers and employees, helps improve morale, and can even lower job-related stress as a result. Don’t be scared if it’s not always positive news—working together through challenges can create buy-in and produce a better outcome. When you don’t provide people with information, they tend to fill in the blanks with worst-case scenarios. 

  6. Support WFH (Work From Home) – Chris stressed it is important to remember that culture doesn’t magically happen just because your employees are sitting right next to each other. It happens through engagement, and there are many ways to keep your employees engaged in a WFH setting. However, it doesn’t happen by accident. Define how you see it working successfully. Virtual meetings can keep your team connected. At GreatAmerica, we even see teams logging onto a Microsoft Teams call while they work in a ‘virtual room’ together so they can collaborate and ask questions as if they were co-located. 

  7. Tolerate Nothing – Keep in mind, you can say what your culture is, and even write it down in the form of your vision, mission, and principles, but true culture can only be seen in the actions and behaviors of those within your organization. Keep in mind if you are tolerating behaviors that contradict these expectations, then your culture is merely words on paper. You are what you tolerate: decide to either address or avoid what you are unwilling to accept. 

Check out these resources on hiring and culture: 

Diversification 

Diversification in the imaging channel has also been a big topic of discussion, and not just at the June 2022 BTA National Conference, but at about every event we’ve participated in this year. Companies are diversifying their offerings and looking to new and emerging ancillary solutions to add to their catalog. The solutions that fall within the office technology category have grown in breadth and depth: Think VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), Managed IT (Information Technology), Managed Print Services, Cybersecurity, etc. 

As businesses continue to transition and build out their new normal, new demands are emerging, creating no shortage of opportunities for solution providers. However, the path to diversification is not always easy, as new products and solutions mean providers must prepare to compete with others inside and outside of their space in new ways.  

Check out these resources on Diversification:  

Sales and Marketing Alignment 

The ideas of inbound marketing and sales alignment are not new, but they have certainly become increasingly relevant to meet the needs of today’s buyers. Our office technology space continues to embrace and pursue a digital transformation, and we’ve seen increased energy around these concepts. This has been the focus of several industry events within the last several months, including this one, where Marcus Sheridan, author of They Ask, You Answer, presented on The Digital Consumer.  

At GreatAmerica, we’ve been striving to follow Marcus Sheridan’s They Ask, You Answer philosophy for some time now. A fundamental part of this philosophy is understanding the shift in buyer behavior. In the last decade, buyers (both consumer and B2B) have experienced a monumental change in their buying patterns. In Sheridan’s session, he shared that buyers are now 80% of the way through the buying journey before they even reach out. That’s up 10% from just a few years ago. For context, he also shared that 25 years ago, before the internet, this number was closer to 10 or 20%. He argued that this number will only continue to grow; there is no going back. In fact, 83% of buyers today prefer to have a seller-free experience. Sheridan stressed we cannot ignore these trends, but instead lean into them and understand how we can create the experience our customers want and need by providing website content that proactively answers the questions they are asking. He also clarified that a seller-free experience does not eliminate the need for salespeople, but merely rearranges steps in the process in a way that allows buyers to seek out the seller on their terms when they are ready. 
 
Check out these resources on Sales and Marketing: 

It's exciting to think about all the changes happening in our industry right now. The next year will be full of trials and tribulations, but it will also be one of massive progress and transformation. We hope this recap provides you with a few resources to help arm you as you work to seize the opportunity in front of you. 


Inspired to Innovate? One Place to Start is Your Sales Process! 

Sales Simplicity Seminar Logo

Calendar with rings July 12-13

 

Many office technology providers we spoke with at the BTA National Conference are highly focused on innovating and diversifying their offerings. If you are heading down the IT and Managed Services path, you may want to evaluate your current sales process for greater success. Alex Rogers, the CEO of CharTec, has successfully sold Managed Services for years, and developed a winning formula for salespeople like you. During this two-day seminar, you'll learn from someone who has several decades of real-life experience running a managed services business and actively sells managed services in the field today. 

Register Now

GreatAmerica

GreatAmerica is the largest independent, family-owned national commercial equipment finance company in the U.S. and is dedicated to helping manufacturers, vendors, and dealers be more successful and keep their customers for a lifetime. A $2.4 Billion company, GreatAmerica was established in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1992 and has a staff of over 600 employees with offices in Iowa, Georgia, Minnesota, and Illinois. In addition to financing, GreatAmerica offers innovative non-financial services to help our customers grow. www.greatamerica.com

Enjoying Our Blog?

Subscribe and get helpful content that keeps you informed about your channel so you can run your business more effectively.