What does Lexmark have in common with horse racing, Ferraris, airboats and alligators? The answer is quite obvious.
OK, so maybe not. But they’re all a part of the experiences that are being wrapped up into the Lexmark BSD Roadshow series, a six-city venture that began in Lexington before making its way to Las Vegas and Orlando, FL. Future tour dates are slated for Montreal, Chicago and Boston.
The Road Show has been attracting between 35 and 40 dealers per stop, and ENX Magazine was fortunate to catch up with a trio of Lexmark executives—Greg Chavers, Clark Bugg and Phil Boatman—on the morning of the Orlando event’s opening to learn about how the two-day events have performed thus far.
Lexmark opted to switch from the single all-dealer meeting that was last held in 2016 and attracted about 130 dealers. While registration is still open for the remaining shows, Lexmark is already on track to exceed 200 dealers and 400 attendees overall. Unlike the single events of the past, where primarily top executives represented the dealers, sales and service departments have been well represented at the BSD Roadshows.
“We wanted to use these opportunities to help build on the relationships we’ve established,” said Chavers, Lexmark’s vice president of North America Channel Sales. “This seems to be a better format for the meetings, based on the feedback we’ve received so far. Having a smaller group of dealers helps toward building those relationships because we can give more attention and focus to them.”
Winning is the overarching theme of the BSD Roadshows, along with the tagline “success enabled,” which is prominently used in Lexmark’s team messaging. And to underscore the winning message, Lexmark embellished each show with quality dealer experiences: dinner at a castle in Kentucky and a trip to the local horsetrack, the opportunity to drive sports cars at SpeedVegas, and airboat rides on Boggy Creek in Florida. Lexmark chose destination cities where it could wrap a relationship-building event around the conference.
“That’s what we’re trying to impress upon dealers—with Lexmark, you’re going to win, win big and profitably,” remarked Boatman, Business Alliances, North America Business Solutions Dealer Channel.
Bugg, the company’s director of North America Channel Sales, has been stressing three points in each of his presentations. Winning is central; Lexmark focuses on winning with its partners and is core to the company’s strategy. The second element is technology ownership, which is a key to helping solve the complex needs of Lexmark’s dealer partners and their customers. Lastly, Lexmark employs a vertical market approach that encompasses source matter experts in their respective fields to help enable dealers to win new business.
The BSD Roadshows featured many of the new offerings and product refreshes, including six models that were released in April (M1242 and XM1242, M1246 and XM1246, and the M3250 and XM3250). According to Boatman, Lexmark is refreshing its full line of monochrome BSD SKUs during the course of the next 60 days, along with four new color units. Also covered during the BSD Roadshows is Lexmark’s Cloud Connector platform, which was introduced in 2017, with new capabilities being rolled out in different phases during the course of 2018.
“The feedback we’ve been receiving has been tremendous,” Bugg said. “Dealers love that Lexmark remains on the cutting edge from a technology standpoint. They also like getting to interact with other dealers. But perhaps the number one thing we’re finding from our dealer surveys is the industry expertise we can provide and the value they’re taking away from the vertical presentations.
“We spent a lot of time talking about ‘What is your value statement?’ When your customers give you around eight seconds of attention, what is the value statement that you can deliver? In taking this industry market approach and working with these experts, we feel like we can create a much stronger value statement to (the dealer’s) customers,” he added.
Lexmark seeks to be the top growth manufacturer for dealers, and BEI was on hand to share some of trends regarding growth in the A4 market and how it is replacing A3 at an 8:1 ratio. Still, Chavers feels there are ample opportunities for dealers to gain net-new business in addition to displacing A3 machines.
“If we can help our dealers displace competitive A3 with our A4, then it’s a win-win for them and for us,” he said.