Selling Digital Signage Effectively In The Channel

Selling digital signage technology looks relatively easy in principle, but proves much harder in practice for a lot of companies that add these products and services to their portfolios.

It’s a display mounted on a wall, driven by a PC, it’s reasonably assumed, so what could be hard about that?

The problem for companies that re-sell digital signage technology is that it is not just technology. It’s not just gear that does something. AV and systems integrators find new elements entering into the discussion – big questions about why and how. The real issue is what’s on the screen, why and how it gets refreshed.

A sales person who is very good at identifying the best, most cost-efficient technologies to make something happen for a client, or make something a client already has that much better, has probably never had a sales discussion about programming objectives, dwell times or the merits of embedded PC vs versus standalone systems.

It’s just different. And it’s why some resellers in the downstream sales channel struggle to be successful selling digital signage technologies. They can get the meetings and show the product because there is real interest in the marketplace, but closing that business is hard.

The biggest thing to remember and embrace is that this is not a pure technology sell. It cannot be treated as a SKU in a system like rack enclosures and mounting brackets. There’s too much involved.

Instead, this is a solutions-selling exercise. The person meeting with customers needs to pry out of their clients what they are trying to accomplish with digital signage, and then help them develop a plan that will deliver on those aspirations.

We break it down to three key questions: Continue reading

Open Pluggable Specification Taking Hold

A little more than a year ago, Intel unveiled a new hardware specification intended to make operating digital signage networks a little easier.

The Open Pluggable Specification was developed to simplify the installation, use, maintenance and upgrading of small PCs that are installed with display panels in locations as widely varied as medical offices and fast food order counters.

The idea is simple enough – have manufacturers all developing small PCs to the same dimension, connector and mounting characteristics, and have display panel makers build in slots that readily accept and work with those units. It means, for example, an OPS PC that is used for a network that has NEC displays could also work in a sister network that uses Philips display panels, without any modifications.

The concept has a strong list of benefits:
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