**Editor's Note: MasterMinds is a biweekly feature in which we invite leading master agents to share information, insights and expert opinions about what’s going on in their agencies, the IT/telecom channel or the business community in general.**
Entering awards competitions requires a certain amount of time and effort, and when company resources are already stretched thin, you might think it's not worth it. Think again. Business awards offer a number of benefits attached to those shiny trophies, including increased visibility — in the industry, among potential clients and with top talent you are interested in recruiting — and a shot in the arm for employee morale and the general collective company ego. But perhaps most importantly, given the increasingly competitive IT/telecom marketplace, industry awards carry with them an element of peer recognition and endorsement that elevate your company's status with an invaluable validation.
The sales model in the IT/telecom channel continues to trend from a focus on pricing to a solution-provider orientation. Agents and partners are assuming the role of trusted adviser, charged with helping create business value for a client by evaluating their needs and recommending the best products and services to meet those needs.
With this evolution of the trusted adviser role comes an increased emphasis on expertise, reputation and credibility. And, some experts say, one of the best ways to boost credibility is with industry awards.
"Displaying awards from reputable third-party sources such as industry regulators and trade magazines will boost [customer] confidence," says Entrepreneur magazine. "These accolades signal your brand has been deemed trustworthy by an impartial reviewer."
It comes down to a subtle difference between bragging rights and bragging writes. You may have a notebook full of case studies that document the innovative ways in which you have helped clients save money, increase productivity, tighten security, become more competitive and so on. But having a panel of judges review one of those case studies and decide that you deserve an award for your accomplishments introduces an invaluable element of validation and credibility.
You build a great reputation with your innovation, expertise and ability to consistently exceed expectations. And there's no better way to cement that reputation than with accolades from an independent voice.
The Channel Partners 360° Business Value Awards were started in 2013 to reward partners for creating business value for their customers. Today they are one of the most sought-after awards in the industry. Channel Partners 360° is just for partners — agents, VARs, dealers, systems integrators, MSPs, solution providers and consultants — that have a well-rounded portfolio and a proven track record of providing holistic technology solutions.
Applications are being accepted through Jan. 31 for the spring winners, who will be recognized at a gala reception as part of the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, April 10-13. You can submit an online application or you can contact Buffy Naylor for a CP360° Award application in a Word format. There is no entry fee.
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