Implementing the next big idea in the IT & Tech channel

Posted by Dan Kelly

Seize the day, eat your frog, don’t hold back and implement the next big idea, to make an impact in your channel. Here’s how…

It is never the right time to do that thing. You know the thing that’s been on your to do list forever. It’s a great idea, you know it will work. But it’s going to take time and effort and you want to do it properly, or it’s not worth doing it at all right. You don’t do things by halves; you are a complete finisher…yes probably best to wait and do it when you have the time. There are more pressing issues that need dealing with now. Sound familiar?

If it does then I can tell you now, you are not doing yourself, your company or your customers any favours. Ever heard the term ‘eat your frog’? It means get the big things out of the way first, the tough challenges, and you will feel so much better for it.

Engage, motivate and incentivise channel partners and sales teams, to drive better business performance

Find out how

What’s in it for me?

In tough business times it is easy to look at your to do list and to tick off the quickest and easiest things to do first. After all you are being productive right? You just ticked off 3 more little things…high five, watch me go! But ask yourself are these ‘things’ driving me and the business forward?

When the going gets tough…and it is going to get even tougher, what are the basics you need to do to make a difference?

If you are in a revenue generating role or a role that is focussed on delivering the tools and support that leads to end sales revenue directly or via a partner. Then you need to stop what you are doing and be ruthless with your to do list. Ask yourself what is important and what is essential. Undoubtedly budgets are going to get tight over the next few months, and you are going to be asked to deliver more for less. We have all been there right and it is not nice?

What activities are you doing right now that you can hand on heart say you can see an actual $ ROI on?. If you are a channel marketer, what is helping generate quality leads for your partners and then how are you helping and motivating them to close the business?

I always think you should start any activity with the end goal in mind. How are we doing this? What are we trying to achieve? What does good look like? Importantly for everyone involved, at an individual level try and understand their WIIFM (what’s in it for me?).

An MD or CEO of a partner will be looking for bottom line profit as they fight to keep their own businesses on track. How can you support that with margin support, better quality and more frequent leads, marketing support, technical sales or solution resource? Importantly how do you support their sales teams? These people are your golden ticket, the people who actually make a difference to your numbers. If your partner sales reps are not performing for you, take a long hard look at why? It is probably one of two things:

  1. They don’t understand
  2. They don’t care

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Make an impact in the channel

I mentioned earlier that when the going gets tough you need to look at what you are doing and ask is it delivering what the business needs. In this case, ‘What is the quickest and most direct way generating more revenue through our channel partners?’.

It could be through ensuring that your partner reps are aware of any renewals that are coming up by easily making the data available via an online portal. Getting them focussed on those conversations earlier will convert renewal business faster. Maybe now is the time that buyers are sorting their own house out and securing new licences or equipment, so they are future ready. You need to align to your customers’ needs if this is what is important to them, then make it important to you.

It could be generating new incremental revenue from existing customers. Encourage reps to ask the right questions, do their research, ask for referrals…“are there other areas of the business that would benefits come our solutions and services?”.

Or better still new revenue from new logos. Can reps continue to onboard new customers that bring incremental revenue and important downstream revenues that helps underpin your business in the long term. Recurring long term revenue or short-term cash injections are both critical for business survival right now, for you and your partners. So, start stopping what you are doing if it isn’t driving what the business needs.

How do you do this? Simple, through behaviours. Instilling and supporting good behaviours or focussing on changing behaviours to concentrate on what is needed now, is the best thing you will do to make the marginal gains you need to make the difference.

Here’s six tips on how to change behaviours:

  1. Focus on your partner sales reps, they are facing huge challenges, and they are your frontline team who need help right now
  2. Gamify training and knowledge transfer – make it relevant, fun and snappy
  3. Focus on creating small challenges that drive ‘micro-behaviours’ that take the rep on a journey to a more predictable outcome
  4. Incentivise and reward behaviour – you have got to keep motivation, focus and energy high
  5. Do things differently – stand out from your competition, you will be remembered for it. Just a Zoom chat isn’t good enough…use virtual events and online instant rewards to capture attention and drive desired behaviour
  6. Above all keep communicating – in the new world of being virtually present, you can still be present virtually

If you are looking for answers, ideas or just a new way of getting things done. Then I am happy to chat through your specific challenges and share how I have seen others with similar problems implement solutions to tackle these problems head on.

To discuss more, contact us today. Or check out how we have successfully implemented reward solutions in these businesses.

As a founding partner of CR Worldwide in 2002, Dan helped develop the company from a start-up business into the multi-million global brand it is today.