Technology is always surging forward—particularly in the area of cloud computing and the mobile space. This year, market share will vault into the hands of enterprise leaders who adapt their processes and take advantage of these changes before their competitors.
Here’s a wide-angle view of four solid trends and tips to fuel your indirect and channel sales with the high-octane tech of 2013
1. Float Your Sales from Atop the Cloud
Over time—and faster than not—the cloud will define the new norm for business services. For example, there’s already a distinct shift from expensive physical conferencing hardware to affordable, cloud-based technology. Savvy companies will employ this technology to partner with reseller service providers, and together, to deliver more reliable and scalable cloud solutions to more customers. They’ll accommodate an increasingly mobile workforce, which demands the flexibility to collaborate anytime, anywhere, and with any device, while generating a recurring revenue stream for their business.
Consider the possible uses of video in the cloud: spontaneous meetings between channel partners can quickly clarify next steps, articulate good leads, and build consensus. Simply by turning on a webcam, companies can double the effectiveness of their communication with remote employees and resellers, since 45% of communication depends on body language. You’ll forge more genuine, trusting relationships and avoid traditionally common miscommunications about ever-changing devices, pricing, and service levels, etc.
2. Going Mobile Means Your Workforce Might Be Going Big—And Going Home
The marketplace saturation of mobile technologies—including smartphones, tablets, and virtual collaboration solutions—will continue to transform how businesses operate. Last October, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that close to 13.4 million Americans work from home, an increase of 4 million remote workers since 1999. (Source: FlexJobs) This number includes resellers who work from home and on the go. Winning strategies for resale and channel partners will incorporate virtual collaboration technologies that empower these independent workers.
3. Get Your License to Drive Sales
Licensing is the model for the future—and the future is here. Customers want companies that are easy to do business with—licenses make doing business easy. Traditionally, customers have paid by the minute. Today, leading enterprises sell licenses, an all-you-can-eat scenario, or bundles, something where you might pay a fixed fee per month for bundled services. Empowered by a robust partner program, these companies will see less price erosion, deliver more value to their end-user, and generate a predictable expense for users and revenue for their business.
4. Marketplace-as-a-Service: Get Your Appetizer, Entree and Dessert from a Single Source
Although Marketplace as a Service (MaaS) platforms are young and growing, they have been adopted by some larger technology players, including Deutsche Telekom and Rackspace. And it performs as advertised. The format gives channel partners the ability to provide customers scalable solutions from a variety of service providers. I ask you, who doesn’t love a big menu?
Buyers no longer want an out-of-the-box solution. They want services that are simple, intuitive and tailored to meet their needs and grow their business. MaaS platforms supply just that: the ability to activate the tools and features they need, when they need them, and to deactivate features that aren’t beneficial. Look to develop MaaS partnerships to extend your reach.
What Harmonizes All Four Trends—Powerfully
Two familiar words: customer relations. The way you speak and listen to your partners and customers is the golden key to all of the above. Picture them as your brother’s best friend, your daughter’s soccer coach. You’ll talk to them often, and earn their trust over time.
This emergence of the cloud and mobile space should spark some valuable discussions. In the coming months, I’ll blog on topics like customer-relationship basics, how to create robust channel marketing programs, and innovative ways to accelerate sales. I look forward to the conversation!