During an interview on Industry Analysts’ What’s Happenin’, Kim Young of SalesChain discussed office technology and copier dealers and what the future has in store for them.

Here’s a short clip of the full interview, which can be seen here.

Click here to learn more about SalesChain’s office technology CRM platform.

SOURCE Industry Analysts Inc.

Full Transcript

what’s happening Andy here I’m joined

today by Kim Young of sales chain how

are you Kim I’m doing great how are you

I am awesome it is great to see you

um we visited you about a year ago up in

your offices in uh in Connecticut and I

thought you know it’s kind of a good

time of the year to check in Show

seasons are starting up and let’s see

what’s happening with uh with with sales

change so first off what maybe just a a

quick background whose sales chain what

do you guys do and then tell us what you

do for them sure uh sales train is a

business workflow automation tool for

the specifically focused on office

technology dealers and and that’s a

mouthful but you know we’ve got

everything for the front end of the

dealer workflow sales reps sales Ops

everything you know CRM cpq links to all

the other vendors out there so

um I am the VP of sales for sales chain

and have been with them just over a year

now and and have thoroughly enjoyed it

very nice now sales chain isn’t

something that’s brand new to our

industry although it is specific to our

industry right so you guys last year you

celebrated 20 years I think that’s was

last year the 20th yep that’s right um

so 20-year anniversary Tim started this

company a long long time ago and you’ve

grown from just a very small little

operation to

um how big are you guys now what what’s

the size I saw a really nice number that

they wanted me to ask you about so I’m

asking how did you guys how did you guys

do last year you know we did great we

had substantial uh both Revenue growth

but also employee growth we we were

definitely a vsb and and I’m gonna say

we’re still in SB

um you know but but moving in the right

direction and and you know well over 35

growth as far as our customer base and

revenues and and close to matching that

with our employees

um it’s it’s it’s awesome actually yeah

the number I I saw earlier 25 five

percent employee growth so you guys are

exploding you had um I mean you had a

pretty full office when I was up there

when we were there Jake and I were out

there last year and so to add 25 on to

that I imagine you’re adding more

developers coders things like that right

um you added a marketing person we’ve

been working with golden now for the

last few months so

um it’s been kind of kind of neat

watching you guys grow over the over the

last year uh one number that did jump

out at me was was the

when you look at the the number of

orders that are placed through your

system we’ll back into this but

1.3 billion dollars in I was gonna brag

on that if you haven’t brought it up oh

I’m definitely going to bring it up and

you can brag on it so tell us about that

number 1.3 billion dollars in orders

from copier dealers so that’s really all

you all you work with in this channel

office equipment dealers right yes and

so your system is software that they use

let’s back up and then we’ll talk about

that number so your system it’s ECM

um it’s it’s it’s ECM it’s uh what is it

it’s content management it’s um it’s CRM

specifically that’s the main thing right

is is it’s organizing like a sales team

at least that’s what it started as it

organizes your sales uh your sales team

and everybody gets on the same page you

can build

um I remember in the demo one of the

cool things I saw as an Excel is rep

building proposals and you know if I’m a

RICO dealer or a sharp dealer or a

whatever deal or HP deal or they had

configurators where I could literally

build the machine on my screen it would

add cost to it and everything so but

back up and just give us what exactly do

you guys do for for dealers how do they

use you

sure I mean we really actually started

believe it or not when Tim founded the

company 21 years ago it was in the

leasing space to automate leasing he was

working for GE Capital when he came up

with a thought that that needed some

improvement so we actually didn’t even

start in the CRM World we’re put in that

bucket because it makes the most sense

because it’s such a front-end system if

you will but it’s full business workflow

automation it’s it’s CRM it’s it’s

integration into all the industry

standard marketing tools out there but

it’s also then full cpq like you said

um you know it it dealers can do

everything from one place and the cool

thing about you know our product is we

continue to evolve as you know you

mentioned office equipment dealers and

that’s Imaging that’s the Imaging space

Etc and it’s what we’ve done and we do

well we’re all the way we don’t even

stop at cbq we go all the way through

really quote to cash and even paying out

reps commissions modules so we are all

things workflow to the life of of the

sales process within an organization

does that make sense yeah yeah so so

it’s great for a sales rep out in the

field because it helps them run their

their day right it helps them keep their

customer base organized it keeps their


um organized and having a consistent

flow uh consistent feel from all the

Reps throughout the company right

everyone’s proposals I remember when we

were doing this before we had tools like

this everybody’s proposals looked

however they wanted them to and because

some were good but some you know some

needed some help and and so if you know

it’s a good way as a business owner for

you to have some consistency on what

your reps are presenting

um it’s also a good way as an owner

right you get you get some insight into

what they’re doing their activity levels

uh tell us about that so from a

management standpoint how does um how

does your tool help them with that well

so here’s where we went in 2022 just to

back you up just a teeny bit you know

we’ve you mentioned office equipment and

imaging is still such a core for the

dealer space obviously right but right

we all we do is this space as we

mentioned a couple times so as we saw 20

you know the crazies of the last couple

years hit and really since I’ve been on

board it’s been as big a ship I think is

from typewriters to email right and and

these dealers are they’re going to

survive and they’re gonna Thrive and in

doing so they’re moving themselves into

office technology not office equipment

that’s my opinion and and and we’ve

moved with them so we now have a bundled

solution selling approach where reps

either different reps are the same reps

within every dealer does it different

right but bottom line is you can see one

single view of your customer whether

they’re IT services whether you’re

selling them water whether you’re

selling them car chargers for their

parking lot not just copiers and all the

things MPS all the things that go along

with copiers document Imaging you know

production all of that but all the rest

of it too so we are now not an Imaging

space tool we are an office technology

dealer space tool and we allow Cloud

management one single view of their

Customer because we have the cpq tool

and implemented into it we also like

allow the management to see accurate

forecasting and so it’s one single view

across all aspects of their business

with accurate forecasting which helps so

much with you know the trickle down all

the way back into the ECI and you know

Erp systems and inventory and everything

that goes along with it

well you so you integrate into all that

stuff the ECI and a lot of um a lot of

other partners uh out there Great

America leasing companies right so

that’s our space but you’re you’ve

mentioned you’re moving into other areas

and so what are you doing in in these

other areas in managed Services is the

big one I think you’re you guys are

heading towards if I remember correctly

right so you started attending

um some shows last year you’re attending

some shows this year

um and have you started integrating into

some of the systems in in that space yet

so attending the shows really is is

appropriate once you’ve got the product

to show at the shows and that was I

would say our biggest you know besides

our people which which I’m so proud of

so yeah and I want to get back to that

at some point but

um I’d say our biggest technology

um shift really is two things

Integrations and Partnerships with other

best-in-class vendors in the space but

then it also developed into a bundled

solution and that bundled solution means

we integrate into whatever our customers

need us to integrate into right and I’d

say connectwise manage was the first and

biggest we’ve done in that in that Arena

but people are also wanting front-end

stuff like ring central for click to

dial right inside the tool so they can

track things from a marketing and a

activity tracking standpoint more

quickly and easily there’s industry

specific as well as non-industry

specific marketing tools out there Zoom

info HubSpot evolved office Dominic

controli stuff right and the need to

integrate into all of those things for

Imaging but also for the I.T space is

what we did in 2022

very exciting very exciting so it’s

great I love it and and your year was

huge we talked about that number before

let’s bring it back up now that we’ve

got a better understanding of what you

guys do for the dealers so

of of of all the dealers that you you

have I don’t know if you’re allowed to

say how many are with you or not but um

those guys those companies processed uh

1.3 billion dollars in orders right and

so that’s an enormous number is that a

record for you guys I think it is the

biggest yet and it will be beaten by

this year easily because of the number

of onboardings we had in the second half

of the year so wow pretty exciting stuff

our our growth on the onboard did a

bunch of really exciting new customers

and so it’s only February and you’re

going to have a record year in 2023.

that’s right that’s not bad that’s not

bad so what do you attribute to this why

um why all of a sudden explosion in in

growth for sales chain where you know

it’s been here for 21 years a lot of

companies have been using it for a long

long time but over the last you know 18

months it’s really it’s really taken off

what what um what investments other than

obviously you coming on board what are

some of the the key Investments that you


all you and then also what else might it

be no

you know honestly I believe that

so let me let me close it this way I

believe that dealers buy from people and

companies that they know and trust yes

you have to have the technology we’ve

proven that our technology is just

phenomenal it’s truly Best in Class out

there for what they’re what these

dealers are looking for to run their

business as well and while you said it’s

a great tool for the sales people I

wanna I wanna say that I was just on a

prospect demo this week and I’m like you

know what guys this is actually more

impactful to sales Ops and to the people

behind the scenes supporting the sales

people than it is even them and and it

depends on the dealer when that you know

which which it impacts more but this

tool impacts them all but the dealers

the owners they buy from companies they

trust and from the people that they

trust meaning delivering on their world

and giving the right customer service

and I really believe that our messaging

and more than our messaging are

revamping in the last two years has

caused the attention to gain in the


um hang on one sec

sorry so we’re covering from a cold you

have to forgive me when I talk about it

happens so

you know we one other one of our

challenges really has been to get the

message out there

we are completely revamped reorganized

and we’re firing on all cylinders since

about 2020 and we’ve continued that

process by hiring more people as we’ve

already discussed so you know that being

the case what we had to do is get that

message out there using people like you

having Matt and you mentioned Colton on

board these are great things and um have

really helped us get our message to the

market about just how different we are

every company goes through ups and downs

especially when they’ve been around for

20 years right

and and we are in the best absolute

we’ve ever been in and it’s just being

reflected by word of mouth in the market

so you know looking at that and then we

we take a look at um the year you had

and it was it was awesome right you had

great growth you guys were at all the

shows I mean I saw you I felt like I saw

you everywhere that I went you were at

all kind of BTA shows some of the other

major conferences

um so you’re you’re really investing in

in the BTA Channel clearly

um yeah with the traditional dealers and

you’ve got a lot of success there which

and and you know I think that builds on

top of it where you know there’s a lot

of peer groups and a lot of these guys

talk to each other and when one starts

using you another one

um often notices you guys so looking

ahead to 2023 you know you’re already

predicting a record year but what are

you excited about what do you have

coming up

um what shows are you guys going to be

doing and and you know what what’s

what’s the big deal for uh what’s

happening with sales chain in 2023 yeah

2023 is on track to match the excitement

of 2022 I think there’s

um you know tons of new features not

just the bundled solution and continue

to Integrations but we’re going to start

2023 out with a bang this weekend we’re

having our release 8.3 push to the

market and it is I’m going to throw out

there it’s the biggest product released

in our company’s history

um we we have implemented listening to

our customers as we do so much and how

we grow our product we are implementing

a used equipment desk that is gonna be

so beneficial to so many customers out


um we are updating we have even more

updates to our user interface because of

some of the developers we hired in 2022

are focusing on that as well with many

new screens we’ve improved our security

we have Azure SSO now

um there’s just the list is long

exciting from the features and updates

standpoint to our product and that’s

just this month so I will tell you that

one of the areas that excites me a lot

too is what we’re doing internally as a


so in 2022 this growth you have to make

sure that as you grow you’re still able


meet your commitments and deliver on

what you promise and you know when you

grow sometimes there are times it goes

like this when you’re getting there and

um in in 2023 actually this month we’re

implementing brand new tools internally

for our own digital transformation we’re

moving away just like we are spreadsheet

Killers for our dealers right we’re

doing the same for ourselves and putting

Tools in place for statements of work so

we have very accurate onboarding fees

and onboarding processes we’re putting

in a brand new project management tool

for onboarding that we’ll be able to

share out with our customers and make it

all automated and also for customer

special projects but then on top of that

we’re putting in a place of product

management tool to better track our

product development and our roadmap and

make sure that our improvements are

tracked in in a workflow that makes

sense so all those things together we’re

doing our own digital transformation so

we can we’re set up to continue this

growth into the future with leveling

this out right you know I mean so yeah

that’s probably the most exciting it is

it is amazing to hear all the what all

the stuff you’ve been working on and

what really strikes me is just that not

that you’re introducing new stuff but

that you have to go back to all of these

current customers right and explain to

them that your solution now does more

and now you have to retrain re you know

so it’s not like you just get to come

out with a new version and keep moving

forward it’s you know go every time you

come out with something

um and you have to

re-distribute re I don’t know just

rehash it with everybody go through each

of your dealers each of your customers

and explain to them that the new the

enhancements the new benefits how they

use them

um what a tremendous undertaking that

must be so

um this new version when did you say

that’s coming out or has it come out

already it’s pushing this weekend we’re

really excited about it so right on the

versus good timing for this interview

yeah exactly so other things I know

we’ll be seeing you guys at some BTA

shows obviously will be down in

Asheville doing our are now our annual

um golf outing um

that was that was a great time last year

we were down there we had some some

great dealers down there

um joining us Dex and UTech and and uh

so you know hopefully we’ll do another

uh little mini golf outing and some

dinner afterwards just like last year

um what else any other shows that you’re

going to be at anything coming up sooner

sooner than than that I know

I’ll be in Orlando I’ll be in um we’re

going to the sharp dealer meeting I we

are going to yeah we we’ve made a full

commitment to the CDA meetings this year


um hopefully even going to be in Houston

for the bpca so we’re definitely very

committed to the BTA but um has some

other user groups we like to work with a

lot as well well BTA is just sort of

that that Central core to everything

right but then those user groups they

are those peer groups are fantastic and

CDA I think it’s probably probably the

supposedly as the biggest dealers and I

I guess I agree with that so that’s a

great great group to be in front of yeah

I had some real good success there in

2022 and I’m looking forward well if you

have success with one of them they tend

to you know once they once they once you

leave the room they they often talk

about you so

um and if you have somebody who likes

you that that’s very very helpful in

those those in those meetings so

um this has been awesome this has been

really great catching up with you I look

forward to seeing you at BTA in a few

weeks and uh and uh good luck rolling

out this new uh this new version 8.1 was

that what it was 8.1 8.3 8.3 I’m already

behind so 8.3 coming out uh this weekend

good luck with that I hope it goes

smoothly any last shout outs that you uh

you have for everybody before we wind

wind down

um just looking forward to seeing

everybody and both dealers and partners

and continuing to enjoy getting to know

y’all so thanks Kim Young this was great

good seeing you and we will talk soon

take care have a good one