Helping Partners Reach Their Next Million


CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPO — Many partners are successful and grow to $1 million, but 90 percent of them won’t reach $2 million.

What’s the problem? During his Channel Partners Conference & Expo keynote titled “Camp Next Million: Specialized Skills Lead the Way,” Mike Schmidtmann, owner of Trans4mers, told partners how they can break through and reach their next sales threshold and beyond.

Trans4mers' Mike Schmidtmann on stage at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo on April 11.“The question to me is we see opportunities, but we don’t take action,” he said. “I work with many people in the channel partners community and they’re frustrated because they want their business to grow and they’re having challenges with it. So how we help them to grow to the next level that they’re capable of. And oftentimes it’s just very simple fixes, if they understand what to do and how to do it, and the key is specialization. That’s a great way for them to get a differentiated value proposition, to create a competitive advantage to win new customers and get higher margins.”

Some impediments to further growth are business processes that won’t grow and scale to large businesses, and not having the right people in the right roles to grow and scale the business as it should, Schmidtmann said.

Partners need to look for clusters of customers, focus on problems they can solve and create differentiated offers to solve that, he said.

Specialization is something partners need so they’re not in the commodity business, Schmidtmann said.

“The specialist will make more money,” he said. “Once you become a specialist, you have the knowledge set and surpass customers’ ability to keep pace with you.”

It’s not difficult to specialize, “you just have to commit to doing it,” Schmidtmann said.{ad}

“If they don’t think about specializing, they won’t do it,” he said. “All you have to do is start looking for patterns, where am I successful.”

The problem is many people in the channel are engineering and service focused, Schmidtmann said. They’re well-intentioned, hard working and conscientious, but they don’t have a “sales sensibility about how to take that technical expertise and expand it,” he said.

“They don’t know how to find customers,” he said. “They don’t know how to get in front of the right customers. It’s not difficult, but step, step, step they have to do it. So oftentimes what I try to do is make what seems like a big, steep mountain and step one, step two, step three, to go from camp one to camp two, to camp three.”

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