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Grow Up to Grow Your Revenue

Growth

James Anderson**Editor’s Note: It’s not too late to register for the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, the gathering place for the technology services community, April 10-13, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.**

As partners offer more and more new technologies that drive digital transformation, delivering those solutions remains as important as ever.

Kathleen Martin, senior analyst for the 2112 Group, will offers partners advice on how to keep their operations in peak shape, April 12, at the Channel Partners Conference and Expo in Las Vegas.

The 2112 Group's Kathleen MartinKhali Henderson, senior partner at BuzzTheory Strategies and former Channel Partners editor-in-chief is the track chair for the “Growing up to Grow Revenue” session.

We asked Martin and Henderson a couple of questions about their upcoming presentation. The transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

Channel Partners: What is one way partners can mature their operations?

Kathleen Martin: Partners can put repeatable processes and structures in place that set expectations, monitor performance, measure results and, if necessary, allow for changes in support of continuous improvement and growth.{ad}

While some may believe they don’t have time to create repeatable processes, the reality is that companies can’t afford not to have processes that are repeatable. The benefits resulting from time spent on development of operational capabilities will outweigh the effort and resources wasted to recreate processes each time they’re needed — and often at a higher cost.

Here are a few key steps partners can follow to get started on their path to business maturity:

  • Have a clear understanding of your organization’s goals and objectives (both short- and long-term).
  • Document current business processes that will be updated or replaced.
  • Assess significant process gaps and disparities.
  • Ensure the development of processes that align with your organization’s overall strategy.

CP: Could you share an example you’ve seen during your career that ties into this subject?

KM: Over the course of many conversations, the average solution provider I’ve spoken with prides itself on technical acumen — not salesmanship or operational skills. While most solution providers emphasize the technology-based value they deliver to their customers, they don’t invest enough in business management and development. That’s a problem, and there’s no question that more needs to be done to improve those capabilities, especially when they express wanting to focus on delivering “business outcomes” and …

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… an “improved customer experience” for their clients — both of which are examples of admirable goals. But before diving into new business models and go-to-market strategies, they have to realize that more needs to be done to lay a stronger foundation of management oversight, governance and investment-strategy development within their own four walls. Change starts at home.

Buzz Theory Strategies' Khali HendersonCP: What do you hope partners will take out of this presentation?

Khali Henderson: Adding the latest and greatest services is one way make more money, but there is another side to growing your business that is equally, if not more, important — that’s the operational side. It may not be a sexy as cloud, IoT and SD-WAN, but you ignore it at your own risk. In this way, all the sessions in the Business of the Channel track are a wake-up call.

The 2112 Group’s session on operations gets to the heart of the matter. There is only so much you can do by the seat of your pants. In order to grow you have to have two things: One is a plan for growth and the other is a process for managing that growth. There is no way that you can profitably add products and services, onboard more customers, hire more employees or expand to new markets without a shared vision and road map nor the foundational day-to-day procedures and systems for making it happen. For many partners it may seem like a lot of work, but it pays off in lower costs, happier employees and also life-long customer relationships.


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