In a Money Drought? It’s Time to Meet the Rainmakers


By Kelly Teal

Trans4mers' Mike Schmidtmann

Trans4mers’ Mike Schmidtmann

There’s a lot of money to be made in the channel — are you getting your share? Michael Schmidtmann, peer group facilitator and business coach for Trans4mers, a sales leadership consultancy, would argue, probably not.

“Most sales organizations think too small and sell at a tiny fraction of what they are capable of,” he said.

Schmidtmann wants to change that and designed the “Meet the Rainmakers” event at Channel Partners Evolution 2019 accordingly. The session, part of the Marketing & Technology Track sponsored by Nextiva, will arm attendees with insight into winning large monthly recurring revenue accounts. Schmidtmann will moderate, engaging the three panelists he hand-picked in a lively discussion that will give partners techniques for winning “whale” accounts.

“Success in this business is simple, but not easy,” Schmidtmann said. “The rainmakers on this panel aren’t magical and they aren’t superhuman. They are diligent, focused and really good at what they do.”

Schmidtmann should know — he’s one of them. After leading channel sales for 20 years, he started his own business in 2008 teaching salespeople how to succeed. There’s a lot for clients to learn.

“I hate to say it, but most salespeople in this industry don’t know what the hell they are doing,” Schmidtmann said.

CWPS's Frank Lusko

CWPS’s Frank Lusko

Hyde Group's Michelle Hyde

Hyde Group’s Michelle Hyde

Eclipse Telecom's Dave Dyson

Eclipse Telecom’s Dave Dyson

That’s why he chose Dave Dyson, CEO and chief strategist of Eclipse Telecom; Michelle Hyde, principal consultant and founder of the Hyde Group; and Frank Lusko, executive vice president of sales and marketing for IT managed services provider CWPS Inc., to join the panel. In the lead-up to Channel Partners Evolution 2019, Channel Partners interviewed each participant and compiled their answers into this Q&A edited for length and clarity. Responses are presented in last-name alphabetical order.

Channel Partners: When did you get your start in sales/business development (whether in the channel or not)? What was the job?

Dave Dyson: My first technology sales job was right out of college working as a product representative for Corel software. I traveled all over western and upstate New York visiting MSPs and IT consulting firms to sell them on the value of selling our software. I logged about 1,000 miles a week in the car, stayed in really crappy hotels and was kicked out of plenty of respectable office buildings for breaking the “no cold-calling” rules.

Michelle Hyde: I have been in voice, data and cloud communications for more than 25 years. I started as a client retention specialist during the merger and acquisition of a telecom company as a temporary hire at age 19 and never left the industry. I have held various roles at various communication companies but started in sales in my mid-20s and never looked back, except for a few sales and marketing management roles. I’ve always returned to an individual contributor sales role.

Frank Lusko: I started selling because I was forced into it as a new business owner. If I wanted…

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