There are two kinds of vendors and distributors in this world of IT. And both kinds differ in their approach to the market and understanding of the channel.
Doing IT the Old Fashion Way
“Old fashioned” vendors and distributors think that the secret sauce to you selling more is providing you with amazing features and benefits of every solution they offer until you believe in their products and represent them to your clients.
With the sole focus on themselves, they push their wares on MSPs and VARs, and simply get pushier until you deliver for them. After they begin wondering why you aren’t successful, they start concentrating on adding more and more channel partners to grow sales.
They just don’t understand that equipping channel partners to have more success is a greater impact and carries a much higher return on investment. They don’t understand that making their reseller partners successful is the key to making their sales efforts effective.
Evolution Front & Center
Then there’s the “evolved” vendors and distributors. They get that while we must understand and believe in the products we peddle, the real issue is that we need to recognize how to actually market and sell their solution. We need to know how we can make money. Then we’ll be more successful selling it.
They offer robust partner programs that clearly focus more on educating MSPs and VARs about business topics, sales and marketing. They understand that product knowledge is important. However, that’s rarely why you stop short of selling their solution.
Then There’s Those That Get IT
Cloud Guru works with a number of vendors and distributors that “get IT.” And those vendors are committed to being a real partner to their resellers. They are helping them build-out robust partner programs that expand far beyond product knowledge. Those programs include everything resellers need to be prosperous. They even understand that teaching you “how to sell” everything escalates your ability to sell their products, as well as your core managed IT and cloud offerings.
The better salesperson they make you and the better business person they make us helps them as much as it helps us. And we become more determined and prepared to thrive for them. We are also far more loyal remaining their partner. We are more likely to select them and their program, even if a competitor has a slightly better product.
Pave the Way for Success
Those vendors and distributors with the want to “evolve” should make an effort to offer:
1. Business/Finance Training — Teach us how to make money selling your solutions … and the numbers behind it. Don’t assume we understand accounting or corporate finance. Sometimes we don’t. Learn more about our business before we start selling yours. Why? Because we all say we’re MSPs, even if we have only 5% of our revenue recurring. But, in reality, we’re a VAR striving to develop into becoming an MSP!
2. Service Training — Teach us how to run an efficient and effective services team implementing and supporting your solutions and the strategies that come with that. Educate us on the type of person we need to hire to install and support your solution, because too often we put overqualified and overpriced resources on the tasks. Inevitably, that just kills our profit margin. Teach us how to be lean and mean!
3. Sales Training — It’s difficult selling cloud and managed IT. It’s different than hardware and software of yesteryear. Many of us could use training and tools to improve our ability to sell complicated, recurring and “trust-oriented” transactions. Selling one-time projects and hourly services and solutions with long-term outsourcing agreements and managed IT services are two extremely dissimilar things.
4. Marketing Training — We need a lot of help here. Many of us consider “client referrals” a marketing program. We simply don’t even try to market ourselves using newsletters, emails, direct mail or appointment setters. We don’t sell or grow fast, because we don’t get up to bat anywhere near enough to perfect our swing. We ignorantly consider marketing a waste of money … and time. We don’t leverage third-party firms that do it for us, like Marketopia. That’s because we only look at the cost of doing so, not the return on investment for instantly becoming good at marketing. So, teach us how to do it consistently, correctly and productively. The rewards will be evident in our P&L … and yours!
Cloud vendors and resellers are quickly learning that “pushing” their solution only results in underperformance and a frustrated channel partner. They are learning that their sales problem is caused less by their product and more by how they define “partner.” Partners help each other get ahead. Vendors just push product.
So, don’t go the way of the dodo bird. Evolve into a real partner that does all it can do to help its partners succeed. I promise the ROI will be there. Because if you invest in us, we will invest in you!