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Channel Journeys Podcast
50 minutes | 24 days ago
Mark Brigman: The 5 Phases of Successful Partnering
Mark Brigman is the founder of the company and author of book Partnernomics. After a career leading partnerships with Sprint, Mark studied the economics of partnering, wrote a book, and took the leap to launch a company focused on helping others drive successful partnerships. In this episode, he shares the five phases of a successful partnering process. KEY TAKEAWAYS Successful partnering starts with a playbook. Here are the five key elements that Mark has learned drives repeatable success: Partnering Strategy – create a living strategic plan to drive internal alignment from the CEO down to the field on what, how, and over what time frame you are going to achieve through partnering Engage Partner Candidates – identify your high value candidates, understand their business model, position your value proposition, then objectively score and rank them against each other to maximize your probability of building a long term successful partnership Negotiate the Partner Agreement – start with a business term sheet that lays out how you are going to work together. Make sure you have total alignment before getting legal involved and before you sign the agreement! Close the Agreement – make a go or no go decision based on alignment and strategic fit with the partner Operationalize the Partnership – proactively manage to success leveraging the Strategic Partner Leadership Model SHARE THIS Over 50% of failed partnerships can be eliminated before the deal is even signed - @partnernomicsClick To Tweet The most powerful partnerships out there are the ones where our strategic plan intersects with their strategic plan. - @partnernomicsClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Follow Mark on Twitter and LinkedIn Read Partnernomics Listen to the Partnernomics Podcast Check out the special offer for 2 free months of Magentrix The post Mark Brigman: The 5 Phases of Successful Partnering first appeared on Channel Journeys.
48 minutes | a month ago
Hans Peter Bech: How to Go Global on a Shoestring
When is the right time to introduce your B2B software solution into international markets? How do you attract your first customers in foreign countries when you have a great product but only a small budget? International channel expert, Hans Peter Bech, author and founder of TBK Consult, shares his B2B software channel expertise and lessons from his new book, Going Global on a Shoestring. KEY TAKEAWAYS Here are five tips I learned from Hans Peter on going global on a shoestring: No matter where you launch your company, have the international opportunity in mind from day 1. Otherwise, you will have to re-engineer your business considerably down the road to make it ready for international business. Going global on a shoestring is normally done by leveraging partners and building a channel, but not always. Some products don’t have a channel or benefit from the channel model. Before building a channel in a foreign company, get in and land a few deals so you can attract the first partner. Hire or contract a business developer to find the first set of early adopters who want to try out your product. You may have to provide exclusivity for a short term to help the first partner recoup their investment. But you have to convince the partner that having more partners to build the market is actually good for them. When selecting which countries to expand into first, look for countries that speak your language. Next, look for countries that aren’t already dominated by your competition. SHARE THIS How do you attract your first customers in foreign countries when you have a great product but only a small budget? - @hpbechClick To Tweet How big is a shoestring budget depends on how much you can afford to lose. - @hpbechClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Follow Hans Peter on Twitter and LinkedIn Read Going Global on a Shoestring Check out all of Hans Peter’s books Check out the special offer for 2 free months of Magentrix The post Hans Peter Bech: How to Go Global on a Shoestring first appeared on Channel Journeys.
43 minutes | 2 months ago
Jay McBain: Channel Disruptions You Need to Prepare for in 2021
When I want to know what’s happening or going to happen in the channel, I turn to Forrester’s Principal Channel Analyst, Jay McBain. In this year-end special episode of Channel Journeys, Jay shares channel lessons from 2020 and makes his predictions for what we need to plan for in 2021. KEY TAKEAWAYS Here are five channel disruptions we need to prepare for in 2021: Incentives. Instead of front-end discounts and back-end rebates, partners will be most interested in your multiplier effect. How much can they earn for every dollar of software that the vendor sells? Professional services the partner can deliver to drive customer success is the biggest and fastest growing multiplier, dwarfing the transactional incentives. Take whatever you are spending on partner incentives and spread it out like peanut butter. One third of the money should be spent before the point of transaction on the influencers. One third should be spent on the transaction. And one third for driving adoption, stickiness, cross sell and upsell forever. Influencers. The average business technology buyer will use five different people as influencers. The battleground for 2021 is finding out who are sitting in those five chairs around every one of your buyers and making sure they are endorsing you and driving influence towards your solution. Marketplaces. Marketplaces will continue to play a bigger and bigger role. There are 20 marketplaces that you have to strongly consider for 2021. This includes the hyper-marketplaces like AWS, Azure and Google for infrastructure and SaaS marketplaces from companies like Salesforce and ServiceNow. Co-innovation. 825,000 new products are going to be built in the next 10 years. You’re going to build some of them, your partners are going to build some of them, AWS is going to build some of them. What can you build together so that 1 plus 1 equals 5? Think co-innovation with your partners. The talent to drive this co-innovation likely sits in your alliances organization. Channel Managers as Community Marketers. Channel managers will still have their 10 or so dedicated accounts like they have in the past, but how they spend their day must change. Channel managers need to learn how to influence the influencers. Becoming one of those top 100 people in their territory becomes all important. How you spend your day and how you become visible and carry your brand to be visible every day in front of your target partner audience is going to be the measure of success for channel account managers in the future. SHARE THIS If you're not selling digitally, if you're not selling socially, if you're not really looking at your early customer digital moments, you're losing deals without ever knowing there was a deal. - @jmcbainClick To Tweet Think co-innovation with your partners. 825,000 new products are going to be built in the next 10 years. You're going to build some of them, your partners are going to build some of them. - @jmcbainClick To Tweet How you flip between podcasts, keynotes, associations, and social groups to be visible every day in front of your target audience is going to be the measure of success for channel account managers in the future. - @jmcbainClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Follow Jay on Twitter and LinkedIn Google Multiplier: Partners Make $5.32 For Each $1 Of Google Cloud Tech Sold Check out the special offer for 2 free months of Magentrix The post Jay McBain: Channel Disruptions You Need to Prepare for in 2021 first appeared on Channel Journeys.
49 minutes | 2 months ago
Frank Rauch: Drive Growth & Profitability with a 100% Channel Strategy
How often does the Founder and CEO of a high tech company come out of the gate with a 100% channel strategy? And how often does that same founder remain steadfast in that strategy, year after year, for 27 years, while taking the company public and driving consistent profitable growth? Frank Rauch is the head of Worldwide Channel Sales at this very cybersecurity firm, Check Point Software. For most of us channel chiefs, we drool at the thought of a 100% channel strategy where no deals go direct. Frank shares the benefits and challenges of their channel strategy. Learn how he rebuilt and refreshed their partner program to continue driving partnerships, growth, and profitability with all sales going through the channel. KEY TAKEAWAYS Check Point’s commitment to the channel is truly incredible. Here are a five examples how you can replicate that commitment: Hold the line on not selling direct. Even with the largest financial institutions around the world who will say “you know, we don’t need a partner, we don’t want a partner, we won’t do business that way, either sell direct or don’t sell at all.” Check Point has always held the line and sold through a partner. Convert all your customers over to a partner. When Check Point acquired Dome9, they had a problem. Dome9 had several hundred direct customers. So they converted every one of those customers over to a partner, in probably less than 30 days. Don’t pay any differently on a partner-led deal versus a collaborative co-sell deal versus a fulfillment deal. Pay a premium for new logos, but don’t spend the time arguing over the level of partner involvement. The metrics are never all that clear anyway Just because you’re 100% channel, don’t expect that you will eliminate all of the conflict. Check Point continues to train their people and have rules of engagement so people are choosing the right partner for the right reason. SHARE THIS People certainly envy that 100% channel position, but with that position comes a ton of responsibility. - @FrankRauchCHKPClick To Tweet We hold the line on not selling direct. Even with the largest institutions around the world who say we don't need or want a partner, we hold the line. - @FrankRauchCHKPClick To Tweet Just because you're 100% channel, don't expect you'll eliminate all of the conflict. Have rules of engagement so people are choosing the right partner for the right reason. - @FrankRauchCHKPClick To Tweet Check your ego at the door, have some degree of humility, have some empathy, enjoy the ride and never forget who was in the car with you when you took that ride. - @FrankRauchCHKPClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Frank on LinkedIn and Twitter Read the Check Point Partner Growth Playbook Visit John and Peters legendary rock bar Check out the special offer for 2 free months of Magentrix The post Frank Rauch: Drive Growth & Profitability with a 100% Channel Strategy first appeared on Channel Journeys.
43 minutes | 3 months ago
Jason Cutter: The Key to Channel Selling with Authentic Persuasion
Channel Management is more of a sales game than you may think. As a channel manager, you constantly have to persuade. You have to sell your company, your products, and your channel program to your partners. You continuously have to convince your sales teams and your management why you need the channel. That’s why the topic of this episode is so interesting to me. Jason Cutter, host of The Sales Experience Podcast and author of Selling With Authentic Persuasion, shares how channel sales and partner managers can gain influence and success by selling with authentic persuasion. Learn how to grow from an order taker to a quota breaker. KEY TAKEAWAYS What is authentic persuasion and how do you use it? Here are my key takeaways from Jason: Being authentic is based on self awareness and understanding who you are, what you bring to the table, and why you’re doing what you’re doing. What drives you? What what are you going to get up every day and be excited to work towards? Being authentic is understanding your strengths in your sales style and your approach, and then bringing that with you into the conversation and not trying to be something or someone else. Many sales reps end up being order takers. They may be good at giving a good demo presentation, but then their strategy is hope. They’re hoping the other person is going to see the value for themselves and go, yes, I would like that. Here’s my money. But that only works a small percentage of the time. The rest of the time it requires persuasion and action. And that’s just the line sales reps don’t want to cross because they think to do that requires manipulation and tricks. Your partners and customers don’t really care about you, your products, your company. What they care about is what’s in it for them. How can you help them? Authentic persuasion is about taking the time to find out what what matters and then talking about what’s most important to them, not to you. One of the telltale signs of an order taker, somebody who’s not operating like a sales professional, is when you listen to them talk and they pause. The problem is that nature hates a vacuum and wants to fill it. Your prospect is scared. And so they’re going to fill that vacuum with another question. And then you answer and you pause, and then another question. Sales professionals who are in control keep moving the conversation forward by answering the question and then going back to whatever they were talking about, or asking the prospect a follow up question. Find out what’s behind your prospects questions. Why is that topic so important? Get to the heart of the matter so you can have a meaningful conversation. Another big key to authenticity making sure that what marketing is saying is not different from what sales is saying. Too often there’s a disconnect, almost a marketing vs. sales culture. Remember, it’s one prospect to one client, that started in marketing, passed through sales, going to fulfillment or account management, and on to service, whatever that looks like. Everyone should be telling the same story throughout that journey. SHARE THIS As a channel manager, you constantly have to persuade, you have to sell your company, your products, your channel program, and you have to sell internally to convince your sales teams and your management why you need a channel. -…Click To Tweet Being authentic for me is based on self awareness and understanding who you are, what you bring to the table, and why you're doing what you're doing. - Jason CutterClick To Tweet Being authentic is understanding your strengths in your sales style and your approach, and then bringing that with you into the conversation and not trying to be something or someone else. - Jason CutterClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Jason on LinkedIn Read a free sample of Selling With Authentic Persuasion Listen to The Sales Experience Podcast Check out the special offer for 2 free months of Magentrix The post Jason Cutter: The Key to Channel Selling with Authentic Persuasion first appeared on Channel Journeys.
28 minutes | 3 months ago
Rob Spee: A Sailing Journey Through Covid
For episode 60, I’m taking a break from our usual channel topics to share my story of sailing 1500 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. Hear what it’s like to sail from the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean to Rhode Island in the middle of the global pandemic. This is my “little big one” with 5 crew and 2 captains, including one of my sailing heros, Tania Abei, the author of Maiden Voyage. HIGHLIGHTS Our ride: Aphrodite – Swan 68 A fiery sunrise to start the day Cobalt blue in the middle of the ocean Dolphins coming back to play The mysterious fogbow LINKS & RESOURCES Find Rob on LinkedIn and Twitter Read more about Tania Abei and get a copy of Maiden Voyage Learn more about Offshore Passage Opportunities Check out the special offer for 2 free months of Magentrix The post Rob Spee: A Sailing Journey Through Covid first appeared on Channel Journeys.
39 minutes | 4 months ago
Paul Bird: Stop Making These 3 Channel Management Mistakes
At this time when we’re not doing trade shows or in person events, we have to find creative ways to reach and connect with our partners. And knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what to do. Paul Bird, Salesforce Enthusiast and Portal Wizard at Magentrix, shares the top channel management mistakes vendors make and the biggest opportunities for partner automation. KEY TAKEAWAYS 3 big channel management mistakes that vendors make are: Not having a partner engagement strategy. Don’t expect that just because you stand up a portal, all of a sudden you will have a flood of partners logging in and engaging with your content. You need to develop an engagement strategy around how you will build mindshare and walletshare, and how you will turn your partner network into a partner community. Not having solid, relevant content for partners. That content doesn’t have to be any different than the content you’re developing for your direct sales force. It does have to be easy and quick to consume, relevant to when they need it during the sales cycle, with the ability for partners to co-brand it with their own logo and information. Not treating your partners like they are your most important VIPs. Often partners get treated like employees rather than as the most important customer you have. You want to treat partners like they are your most important people in your network. Give partners the red carpet VIP treatment and you’ll get that mindshare and most importantly, that walletshare, from them. SHARE THIS When it comes to partner portals, there's this idea that if you build it, they'll come...and that's not really the case. - @Magentrix_PBClick To Tweet Does your content for partners have to be any different than what you're developing for your direct sales force? I don't think so. It just has to be easy to consume. - @Magentrix_PBClick To Tweet You got to treat partners like they're your most important customer. If you keep giving them that red carpet VIP treatment, you'll find that you'll get mindshare and that wallet share from them. - @Magentrix_PBClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Paul on LinkedIn and Twitter Learn more about Magentrix Check out the special offer for 2 free months of Magentrix The post Paul Bird: Stop Making These 3 Channel Management Mistakes first appeared on Channel Journeys.
44 minutes | 4 months ago
Tony Beller: 10 Tips for Building a SaaS MSP Channel
Even before Covid, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) have been one of the fastest growing channels for SaaS vendors. New work-from-home mandates have driven the demand for outsourcing to even higher levels. But building a well-functioning Managed Service Provider channel isn’t easy. In this episode, Tony Beller, SVP Worldwide Partner Ecosystems at TIBCO, shares a wealth of experience in building MSP channels that he gained at Saleforce, ServiceNow, and Anaplan. KEY TAKEAWAYS Here are 10 steps you can take to build and manage a high-peformance SaaS MSP channel: Find your niche where your technology is going to play; the vertical or sub-vertical industry and market segments your solution will serve. Think of how you’re going to package and price your solution to sell to the MSPs. Consider creating standardized MSP SKUs because they may use your technology differently than end customers. Determine how you will provision your solution to get it into the hands of your MSPs and allow the MSP to manage multiple instances. Make your solution easy to buy price, easy to buy, and easy to provision. Be prepared for your MSPs to white label your solution under their brand. You may want to have their solution labeled with “Powered by” your solution, but large MSPs may not agree to do it. Minimize internal channel conflict when you’re building your MSP channel by using a double comp model. On any MSP sale, pay your MSP rep who is managing the MSP and also your sales rep that owns the end customer relationship to drive collaboration. If your solution is more of a high price, low volume play, construct your MSP agreement so that you can track the names of the end customers. If you want to use deal registration to track MSP opportunities, don’t expect your large MSPs to use your deal registration system. Have your MSP partner manager enter it for them. Create an MSP Program with incentives to drive the behavior you are seeking. Be careful of tiered programs based on revenue levels. The large MSPs could buy in bulk and keep your product on the shelf just to reach a higher tier. Make the MSP Program part of your overarching Partner Program. Provide discounted, if not free, training. But charge for certifications and make them mandatory for your MSPs to make sure that whatever they’re building on your technology is solid. SHARE THIS We created custom MSP pricing SKUs because they used our technology differently than end customers. - @tonybellerClick To Tweet Use a double comp model, at least initially, as you get the first MSPs going and get the field used to the MSP channel. - @tonybellerClick To Tweet I really believe that training should be something that you give to MSPs at a discounted rate, if not free, but then charge for certifications. - @tonybellerClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Tony on LinkedIn and Twitter Hear Rob Rae on How To Find, Engage, And Inspire MSPs Check out the special offer for 2 free months of Magentrix The post Tony Beller: 10 Tips for Building a SaaS MSP Channel first appeared on Channel Journeys.
39 minutes | 5 months ago
Steve Benson: How to Lead Channel Sales in a Crisis
Covid-19 has driven an unusual economic crisis. For certain industry and technology sectors, companies are doing as good or better than pre-Covid. But many companies are struggling, including IT vendors. Steve Benson, CEO of Badger Maps and field sales pro, shares how to lead an IT Channel Sales team through this time of economic crisis and remote selling. KEY TAKEAWAYS Here are five things you can do when leading your channel sales team in this crisis: If the inability to sell face-to-face is hampering one sales stage, focus on the other stages where you can drive more activity remotely. Lean into social media to generate new leads and deepen existing customer and partner relationships. A slowdown in sales activity is a great time to sharpen the sword by up-leveling your team’s skills, especially in the area of negotiating and selling value. When margins are getting squeezed, look at your sales comp plan. Reps will defend margins a lot better if you align their incentive plan with the profit line instead of with the revenue line. An economic downturn when unemployment goes up is a great time to find and hire excellent channel sales talent. SHARE THIS There are really great and clever tactics that you can use to generate new leads and deepen existing customer relationships by leveraging social media. - @SteveBensonClick To Tweet We need to relearn how we're prospecting and rethink who is our ideal customer and who is a great lead. - @SteveBensonClick To Tweet If revenue is important to an organization, which it always is, your sales channel is one of the last places you should look to make cuts. - @SteveBensonClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Steve on LinkedIn and Twitter Learn more about Badger Maps Listen to the Outside Sales Podcast The post Steve Benson: How to Lead Channel Sales in a Crisis first appeared on Channel Journeys.
40 minutes | 6 months ago
Michelle Hodges: How to Build a Partner Program for a Remote World
How do you build a partner program that will succeed in our new remote world? Believe it or not, there are many advantages of working 100% remote, as I learned from Michelle Hodges, VP WW Channels at GitLab. This is a company that has been 100% remote since it was founded. They have written over 5000 pages on how to run a company fully remote. And what they’ve learned about executing quickly and iterating continuously translates directly to how they run their partner program. In this episode, Michelle shares her expert insights on how SaaS vendors can restructure their partner program to succeed in a remote world. KEY TAKEAWAYS Here are the top things I learned from Michelle about building a partner program for the remote age: Document everything. GitLab has an over 5000 page Handbook of how they do business remotely. Rather than being constrained by dates, build a partner program that is continuously evolving and improving. And of course, make sure it is meticulously documented. Focus on the strategic objectives of what your company is trying to do, then think about how your partner program can drive that forward behavior. Take advantage of the new normal to move faster and be more responsive. With Covid you no longer have those excuses to wait for a physical meeting to get things done. Don’t wait for any process to be perfect. Document where you are and give your partners visibility into where you’re headed. SHARE THIS If you've done any research on GitLab, you'll see that we document everything. We have an over 5000 page Handbook of how we do business - @GlobalHodgesClick To Tweet Whenever we have a partner webinar and 100 folks on the phone, we have a doc up in zoom that everyone opens and they're adding in questions as we go forward. - @GlobalHodgesClick To Tweet We add to our partner program all the time. We don't change the fundamental contractual nature of what we're doing. But we are able to launch quickly and iterate daily. - @GlobalHodgesClick To Tweet When I build partner programs, I tend to look at the forward behavior I want to create as opposed to compensating on past activity. - @GlobalHodgesClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Michelle on LinkedIn and Twitter Download GitLab’s complete Remote Playbook Check out GitLab’s Channel Partner Handbook Read Harvard Business Review’s article on GitLab Remote Work Doesn’t Have to Mean All-Day Video Calls The post Michelle Hodges: How to Build a Partner Program for a Remote World first appeared on Channel Journeys.
38 minutes | 6 months ago
Steve Stewart: How to Build a Services-Led Channel
Why is a services-led channel so important? Software-as-a-service has forced vendors to think differently about their customer engagement model. TSIA (Technology Association of America) describes this new model as LAER which stands for land, adopt, expand and renew. Sales-led partners may be great at the land part; uncovering new opportunities and getting a customer to subscribe to the service. But that’s only the first step in driving customer success and building a low-churn recurring revenue stream. When channel veteran Steve Stewart landed at SmartSheet as Head of Global Channels, he inherited a channel of mostly transactional partners. Steve knew their customers needed help in the adoption of their SaaS offering for collaboration and work management. And SmartSheet couldn’t expand their own services team fast enough to keep up with the growth. So Steve is building a channel of services-led partners to drive adoption, expansion, and renewals. Steve shares how he’s building and enabling a services-led channel and what’s in it for their partners. KEY TAKEAWAYS Steve shares 3 critical success factors for building a services-led SaaS channel: Focus on partners who can add value-added services including consulting, custom software development, configuration and implementation, and training services. Double down on education and training, and not just product training. Partners need to know how to lead with a business transformation message, drive transformation and provide business outcomes. Offer an online marketplace where service-led partners can package their vertical expertise and uses cases built into solutions that sit on top of your SaaS offering. Steve offers one last awesome tip. He asks this one question every time he’s meeting with a partner. “Tell me about one best practice from one of your other vendors that has allowed you to execute better than anyone else?” SHARE THIS I needed partners that were willing and able to build a services practice around Smartsheet - @EstebanStewartClick To Tweet I've got a big focus on recruitment, but I would say very selective recruitment. It's carving with a scalpel. It's not fishing - @EstebanStewartClick To Tweet It's being upfront right out the gate, because it doesn't do either of you any good to recruit a partner where it's not the right fit. They're going to be disappointed. And so will you. - @EstebanStewartClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Steve on LinkedIn Learn more about the LAER model Get the book The Ultimate Route to Market: How Technology Professionals Can Work Successfully with Global Systems Integrators, Outsourcers and Consulting Firms The post Steve Stewart: How to Build a Services-Led Channel first appeared on Channel Journeys.
44 minutes | 7 months ago
Gary Green: Leverage Cloud Marketplaces without Killing your Channel
Where do the hyper-scale cloud marketplaces from the likes of AWS, Microsoft, and Google fit in your channel strategy? Forrester predicted that 17% of the $13 trillion in B2B spend will flow to marketplaces by 2023, and that was before we were hit by the global Covid-19 pandemic. If you are a SaaS vendor and you don’t have marketplaces in your channel strategy, it’s time to reconsider. To learn how one vendor is finding success in leveraging cloud marketplaces, without alienating their traditional channel partners, I turned to Gary Green, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Cloudera. KEY TAKEAWAYS Gary shares many ways that Cloudera is leveraging cloud marketplaces while also paying attention to their diverse network of channel partners. Here are my top 5 pieces of advice from our conversation: Starting your partnership with a technical foundation with deep technical integration can help you develop a deeper commercial partnership down the road. Make sure that your sales teams come together collaboratively with your cloud marketplace provider’s sales teams in front of the customer. Work with the go to market teams and the sales organizations of the global cloud providers and your partners to make sure that everybody understands the joint value proposition of your solution in a public cloud environment. Once you are set up in the marketplace, the biggest challenge is just getting your customers to understand that it’s available and how they go about getting it. Plan on running a lot of market awareness campaigns. Be flexible in your pricing models. Allow customers to consume your offering in a pay-as-you-go consumption model. SHARE THIS We think that the most effective cost efficient way that our customers will or actually are deploying today is through the Marketplace - Gary Green @ClouderaConnectClick To Tweet A big side benefit of getting into a cloud marketplace is having access to their partner channels and promotion through their overall partner organization - Gary Green @ClouderaConnectClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Gary on LinkedIn Follow Cloudera Connect on Twitter Learn more about the Cloudera Connect Partner Program The post Gary Green: Leverage Cloud Marketplaces without Killing your Channel first appeared on Channel Journeys.
45 minutes | 8 months ago
Linda Rose: 5 Tips, Traps, & Tactics for Getting Acquired
Three years ago, two-time Channel Journeys podcast guest, Jay McBain, wrote that the channel is aging and that 40 percent of channel owners plan on retiring by 2024. That comment lit a spark for today’s podcast guest, Linda Rose. Following Jay’s prediction, Linda embarked on a new mission and wrote the book “Get Acquired for Millions”. Linda knows something about being acquired, having built and sold 3 IT companies. Now she consults with IT solution providers who are looking to be acquired. Linda and I talk about her journey from accountant to successful business owner. And she shares 5 tips for other business owners interested in going down the M&A path. KEY TAKEAWAYS Linda has researched over 100 tips, traps, and tactics for being acquired for her book. We were able to hit 5 before running out of time: Start running GAAP-based financials to prepare your books Distinguish yourself with a unique value proposition Celebrate your wins by announcing them to the world through PR and social media Build a rock-sold management team and prepare your successors Develop your own IP, including your “secret sauce” that makes your company successful SHARE THIS What's happening now is they're coming down market in terms of revenue. So it's very easy for a private equity firm to pick up a $5 million organization. @klindaroseClick To Tweet If you were to leave your company very quickly after a sale, could your management team take over and maintain the sales after your departure? @klindaroseClick To Tweet Define your value proposition, but it needs to be front and center on your website and all over your brochures or whatever downloadable things you have. @klindaroseClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Linda on LinkedIn and Twitter Sample the first chapter of Get Acquired for Millions Find out what your company is worth with the Value Maximizer Assessment (the code is PC2020) Read Cold Beer and Crocodiles: A Bicycle Journey into Australia And if you into hiking, check out Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail The post Linda Rose: 5 Tips, Traps, & Tactics for Getting Acquired first appeared on Channel Journeys.
38 minutes | 9 months ago
Vince Menzione: How to Lead Partnerships in Uncertain Times
Given everything happening this year, it’s an understatement to say that we are living in uncertain times. Uncertainty creates fear and can wreak havoc on any organization. What does it take to lead a successful partner business as a vendor or as a partner through uncertain times? I took that question to channel chief and host of the Ultimate Guide to Partnering podcast, Vince Menzione. We discuss the traits that are common among successful partnerships. KEY TAKEAWAYS There are five common traits of successful partnerships and successful partner organization leaders. You can create certainty in uncertain times by having all five: Growth Mindset Commitment Focus Investment Agility SHARE THIS I find that when partnerships are successful, there's a growth mindset at both the vendor level and the partner level about that relationship. @vincemenzioneClick To Tweet The best leaders don't just elevate their voice to their customers and constituent groups, they elevate their voice to the channel. @vincemenzioneClick To Tweet We're at a point now where agility is really important to any partnership. We are living in a time of uncertainty. @vincemenzioneClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Vince on LinkedIn and Twitter Listen to the Ultimate Guide to Partnering podcast The post Vince Menzione: How to Lead Partnerships in Uncertain Times first appeared on Channel Journeys.
41 minutes | 9 months ago
Joseph Landes: 3 Challenges MSPs Face Moving to the Cloud
Understanding the challenges your partners face can create opportunities for channel managers. It can also create an idea for a company. That’s the case for today’s guest, Joseph Landis, who is the Chief Revenue Officer for Nerdio, a Chicago-based startup helping MSPs create successful cloud practices in Microsoft Azure. Joseph shares the top 3 challenges MSPs face in moving to the cloud and how Nerdio is addressing them through their SaaS offering. KEY TAKEAWAYS MSPs face 3 common challenges when building a cloud infrastructure practice. Addressing these challenges can help your success in leveraging the MSP channel. 1. Talent. MSPs often don’t have the people with the experience to architect and manage a cloud infrastructure. One way to solve this problem is to provide automation to stand up and manage the cloud. 2. Complexity. The complexity of trying something new can prevent MSPS from taking the leap to the cloud. Get creative in how you can educate your partners through a variety of vehicles including blogs, podcasts, and trade shows. 3. Risk. Many MSPs view doing things a differently, like moving to the cloud, as risky. Not as much from a technical perspective, but financially. This risk can be addressed through education as well as technology that mitigates the risk. SHARE THIS I've talked to many MSPs over the past month that wish they had actually made the move to the cloud much earlier. @josephlandesClick To Tweet If you're looking to be successful with MSPs, look at how your solution automates or reduces the amount of labor required by that MSP. @josephlandesClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Joseph on LinkedIn and Twitter Get the 10% discount code for all channel certificate courses at the Channel Institute Learn more about Nerdio’s Azure Management System The post Joseph Landes: 3 Challenges MSPs Face Moving to the Cloud first appeared on Channel Journeys.
41 minutes | 10 months ago
Sally Jo LaMont: 4 Ways to Stay Connected while you Stay Home
How do we stay connected and build our network while being forced to stay home by a global pandemic? That’s the question I had to ask Social Media guru Sally Jo LaMont of Social Sales Link. In this 50th episode of Channel Journeys, Sally eagerly shares how we can leverage LinkedIn to build and strengthen connections. She provides valuable tips that will help you convert connections to conversations during and after this global lock-down. Spoiler alert: we don’t mean sales conversations. Nobody wants to be sold to, especially during this crisis. KEY TAKEAWAYS 1. Update your LinkedIn headline. This is your billboard. Use it to promote how you can help others, not what you’ve done or what title you hold. 2. Use the About section to provide value, offer tips, make it read like a valuable resource so people will want to connect with you and learn more. 3. Find new connections, your buyers and influencers, by first providing value to your existing 1st level connections. Use the LinkedIn video feature to send short videos to reconnect, give kudos, endorsements, and recommendations. Then ask for warm introductions to others in their networks. 4. Your first conversation with a new connection has to be about providing insights, not about your product or what you do. Do your research on them before you ever pick up that phone or schedule any kind of meeting so that when you go in your insights are valuable. SHARE THIS It's just super important to be very empathetic to your network and to consider what their needs are in this in this difficult time. @SallyJo_LaMontClick To Tweet Consider two people a week who've really made a difference in your business life, write a recommendation for each and put them on LinkedIn. @SallyJo_LaMontClick To Tweet Becoming that thought leader at a time like this, that really will help you become memorable. @SallyJo_LaMontClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Sally on LinkedIn and Twitter Get the 10% discount code for all channel certificate courses at the Channel Institute Learn how to convert connections to conversations with the Social Sales Link The post Sally Jo LaMont: 4 Ways to Stay Connected while you Stay Home first appeared on Channel Journeys.
47 minutes | 10 months ago
Greg Eckstein: The Future of Channel Sales Enablement
This podcast takes us to Bali, Indonesia where I caught up with channel globetrotter Greg Eckstein. Greg is the founder and CEO of Channel Sales World, a channel consulting firm based in Singapore. It took a global virus to slow him down, presenting an opportunity for us to chat about changes in the IT channel and the latest best practices in channel sales enablement. Greg has honed his practice serving the 50 largest IT vendors in the world, vendors with the largest channel teams and the largest channel needs. KEY TAKEAWAYS 1. Train your channel managers on articulating your value proposition to partners, down to the vertical or even micro-vertical level. 2. Webinars and on-demand e-learning still works for internal channel sales manager training, but not as well with partners. 3. It’s no longer about the brand of the vendor. It’s about what you add to the partners business model. 4. Provide your partner training in 15 minute modules with short easily consumed chapters, leveraging video and podcasts in their local language. 5. Rather than putting all the certification questions at the end of the module, insert 2 questions at the end of each chapter. SHARE THIS In a mature economy and mature industry, in order to grow, the differentiating factor is your ability to capture partner mindshare. @GregEcksteinClick To Tweet There are still some vendors out there who will put together professional services organization and actually compete with their partners for services. @GregEcksteinClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Greg on LinkedIn and Twitter Get the 10% discount code for all channel certificate courses at the Channel Institute Check out Greg’s 5 Free Channel Training Videos The post Greg Eckstein: The Future of Channel Sales Enablement first appeared on Channel Journeys.
42 minutes | a year ago
Vince Crisler: Wired Up & Fired Up for SaaS Channel Transformation
What can you learn from an Air Force veteran who worked for the Pentagon, Homeland Security, and the White House? Quite a lot I found out in this week’s episode with Vince Crisler. Vince is the founder and CEO of Dark Cubed, a cyber security SaaS company. Chris successful navigated two major transformations. First, he converted his product from an on-premise appliance to Software-as-a-Service, which is not easy for any vendor. But that wasn’t enough. Chris wanted more organizations to have access to his SaaS offering. So he tackled a second transformation, moving sales from an all-direct model to virtually 100% channel via MSPs. You’ll learn about the top security threats organizations, including MSPs face today, how he “swallowed the SaaS fish”, and his creative approach to building a channel.. KEY TAKEAWAYS 1. The On-Premise to SaaS Transformation Dark Cubed started as an appliance, but there were multiple challenges with this model including product maintenance and support, hardware costs, price points that we’re getting too high for small and mid-sized businesses Pivoting to the SaaS model is a tough transition. But in the end, it’s worth it. Margins are up. Dark Cubed can be up and running on a network in 10 minutes without having to ship hardware or configure anything. It completely transformed their business. The SaaS transformation, “swallowing the fish” took Vince about a year and a half. They had to reconfigure the architecture and figure out how to sell SaaS to the lower and upper ends of the SMB market. 2. The Direct to Channel Transformation Vince took a data-driven approach to researching the best channel and channel strategy for Dark Cubed Reddit groups can be a great tool for partner recruiting and engagement. You’ll get blunt feedback on Reddit, not likes and shares that make you feel good. Provide valuable content, not marketing fluff, to your partners. Vince found publishing reports like their managed service provider report worth a lot more than advertising in many ways. SHARE THIS It's pretty much accepted that a breach is going to happen. The question is, how do you handle it? How do you communicate? How do you inspire trust and confidence when that bad event does occur? @VinceCrislerClick To Tweet It was a tough transition. But in the end, it's been worth it. Margins are up. We can be running on a network in 10 minutes without having to ship or configure anything. It's completely transformed the business. @VinceCrislerClick To Tweet The thing I love about Reddit is people are blunt, and you know, you go in there and you can be crucified and people don't mind calling you out. @VinceCrislerClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Vince on LinkedIn and Twitter Learn more about Dark Cubed Hear TSIA’s Anne McClelland talk about “swallowing the fish” Get the 10% discount code on your Channel Management Certification at the Channel Institute The post Vince Crisler: Wired Up & Fired Up for SaaS Channel Transformation first appeared on Channel Journeys.
40 minutes | a year ago
Peter Wolf: How to Build Services-as-a-Service
There’s a lot of talk about moving from traditional on-premise selling to the as-a-service model. This remains a big challenge for traditional vendors and partners alike. I’ve always thought of this as shifting the sale of technology (software and hardware) from a big upfront sale to a much smaller recurring revenue stream. But as I learned in this conversation with Peter Wolf, founder of Azamba Consulting Group, partners also have a huge opportunity to shift from fixed time and materials service contracts to selling services-as-a-service. Listen to Peter as he shares the challenges and benefits of transforming his CRM services business to the subscription as-a-service model. KEY TAKEAWAYS Peter shared some great tips for partners looking to make this transformation. Here are my favorites: While transitioning to a subscription services model, keep your old business fixed price model going to help soften the cash flow impact of adjusting to recurring revenue. Aligning your services pricing to your vendors’ subscription pricing that your customers understand will be well received. Today’s customers are very demanding. If you’re not serving them the way they want around their results, they will find someone who can. In this new customer experience economy, you need to provide a consistent high quality services experience. Charge a small up-front fee to prove customer commitment and continue adding more value to your service packages. SHARE THIS It's easier for a customer to understand my subscription services model when they're buying the software the same way. @CRMWolfClick To Tweet Today's customers are very demanding. If you're not serving them the way they want around their results, they will find someone who can. @CRMWolfClick To Tweet Where all this transformation is coming from is not a desire for vendors or people like myself to shift. It's because the customers are leading us on this journey. @CRMWolfClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Peter on LinkedIn and Twitter Learn more about the new TSIA XaaS Channel Optimization practice Get a copy of the Technology-as-a-Service Playbook and other TSIA books Get a 10% discount at the Channel Institute The post Peter Wolf: How to Build Services-as-a-Service first appeared on Channel Journeys.
42 minutes | a year ago
Heather Margolis: The Channel Journey of Channel Marketing
It’s not your grandma’s channel marketing. That’s my take on my conversation with channel maven Heather Margolis. We explore the journey of channel marketing and the massive changes in demand generation from just 11 years ago when Heather launched Channel Maven Consulting. These changes prompted Heather to embark on an entrepreneurial mission to create a better channel marketing automation solution and launch her new venture, Spark Your Channel. Listen in and learn what you can stop doing and what you need to start doing to drive new leads with your partners. KEY TAKEAWAYS The shift to the cloud and everything-as-a-service has changed the game when it comes to driving demand and generating new leads with partners. If you’re looking to get a greater return on your channel marketing investments, here are five tips from Heather you need to consider: Our traditional co-branding doesn’t work for MSPs. They don’t want to slap their logo on something that is 90% the vendors content. They want to talk about their services and value proposition. Stop the 10-series canned email campaigns. You’re just training your prospects to delete your emails. 11 years ago, we were more willing to open an email. Today we delete emails we get from people we don’t know. And GDPR is putting the final nail in this coffin. Email marketing no longer works for top-of-the-funnel campaigns. Leverage social media first to build a reputation, form relationships and earn some trust before sending your email campaigns. A pre-warmed email blast to 1000 of the right people will be more effective than a cold blast to 10,000. Content is still king – but think short blogs, podcasts and videos. Nobody wants, or has time, to read a 10-page whitepaper. Provide your partners with short audio and video clips that are business-outcome focused. And let them add their own custom intros and outros to the clips. Target the new decision maker: the line of business manager. Talk about business outcome, not speeds and feeds and how great your product is. Forget about the content syndication vendors used to push their products to partner websites. SHARE THIS Co-branding does not exist when it comes to MSPs. They don't want to slap their logo on something that is 90% the vendors content. @HeatherMargolisClick To Tweet Instead of speeds and feeds and pretty pictures of storage arrays, we're talking about content and talking about business outcome. @HeatherMargolisClick To Tweet Instead of sending an email to 10,000 people, maybe you're sending an email to 1200 people, but they're the right 1200 people, and they have raised their hand to say, Yes, I'm interested. @HeatherMargolisClick To Tweet LINKS & RESOURCES Find Heather on LinkedIn ,Twitter and Instagram Learn more about Spark Your Channel Get a 10% discount at the Channel Institute The post Heather Margolis: The Channel Journey of Channel Marketing first appeared on Channel Journeys.
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