What kind of channel partner representation is best-suited for tomorrow’s customers? Today is a good time to take a solid look at who becomes your face to the industry.
Channel partner representation reinforces your branding, marketing, selling, implementation and support to the industry. Which “face” or “faces” do your customers see? Depending on their business model – and your own – multiple faces may currently represent your MSP (managed service provider), CSP (Cloud service provider) and VAR (value added reseller) organization.
How consistently does your own company represent itself to the various personas in your customers’ organizations?
Your ability to identify and understand these differences means the difference between customer retention, stabilization and loyalty versus constantly facing attrition issues.
To do: Start with internal processes. Take an introspective look into how your own business currently is set up. How does a contract walk through your own organization?
Chances are your business model favors linear delivery of services: the baton is passed from one functional role to another. Once that baton is passed off, is it treated like a hot potato? You hope you don’t see the issue coming back at you?
There is no collaboration focal point in those internal processes. The right hand is assured of not knowing what the left hand is doing. Sit down at the business table together. Communicate consistently. Make it a habit. Incorporate the value of collaboration into your mindset and corporate culture.
To do: Expand your introspection by considering how each of your A-List customers’ companies are set up. Walk your contract walk through their organizations, as well. Observe whether you see the same, linear hand-off from one functional silo to another.
Consider how many times that baton is passed off in a linear manner, from one individual to another in both your organization and your customers. How is risk created? How is risk anticipated, identified and mitigated?
Channel partner representation for tomorrow’s customers needs a facelift. It needs a process and systems reboot as well. The minimum viable structure for tomorrow’s channel partner representation will incorporate not only agility on the technical side of the equation, but the business side as well.
What will the impact of this reboot be on the structure and philosophy of your own business model? What will the impact be on whom you hire and how you train?
Ultimately, channel partner representation for tomorrow requires you to lead your company differently than you lead it today.
Your leadership becomes the Chief Face of your organization’s brand, image and channel partner representation. Customer perception is created and sustained by doing more than drafting off the brand equity of your OEMs.
Your customers do business with you.
Take the time to consider how your channel partner representation creates brand equity for your organization. As the leader, what skills and interpersonal attributes will be required of you to create a more nimble and agile organizational vision for tomorrow?
To do: Consider how an agile corporate culture and mindset create greater growth, expansion and sustainability opportunities for tomorrow’s marketplace. Reflect on the attributes of your current leadership style. Ask yourself whether organizational change starts with you.
This post was brought to you by IBM for MSPs and opinions are my own.
Babette N. Ten Haken is a management strategist and team-building leadership coach. She helps teams, startups and businesses who wrestle with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Workshops and Playbooks create more productive and profitable teams in healthier organizations. Her Playbook on leadership and business strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact her here.