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


…on a recent large loss, the major issue was not getting a full understanding of the client’s full decision-making and buying process. [When we got to the end, we found] out the most important stakeholder was not at the table. In that case, the higher-ranking member of the team overruled the folks who were in favor of us and awarded the decision elsewhere. It was a strong reminder to make sure we understand all of the players going in.

CP: For every deal someone wins, there have to be more they don’t get. What inspiration can you share with partners who might be having trouble scoring big-dollar sales and may be struggling the frustration that comes with that?

DD: Keep at it and ask for help. There are people out there who understand what it takes to win these deals. Seek them out, and ask for shared experience and guidance. We are in a rising tide moment in this channel. …Ten years ago, a $50,000 MRC deal in the channel was earth-shattering. Now they happen every day and $1 million MRC deals are happening. Don’t be afraid to think big.

MH: Don’t be afraid of team selling. To that end, don’t be foolish in team selling either. Make sure everyone knows their role, and what the commission splits are going to look like and above all, vet your partners well to assure you are like-minded in approach.

Second, be educated and fearless enough to tackle projects up-market from where you are today. … No one knows everything. Clients understand this and are looking to you for greater understanding … Having the guts to go for it and knowing that you have a team that wants your success (and theirs) behind you, is how you can get there. Try it. If you bomb, take note and try it again!

FL: Grow a thick skin. News flash: You lose more than you win. Be accountable for the loss and learn from it. If you’ve got a good product/service and good people, then it’s the process that needs attention. You must have a good, detailed process from marketing to qualifying to close to win big deals and you must do everything in your power to follow it.

CP: What’s the overarching message you want to share with Channel Partners Evolution attendees?

DD: Be willing to change and adapt. The technology landscape is changing faster than ever; we need to evolve, too. The opportunity is larger than ever for those who embrace new technologies, new ideas and new partners. The clients are ready to work with us, we need to step up our game to meet them. If you are struggling with where to start, pick one thing and work to get exceedingly good at it. There is huge market value right now in having the expertise to help clients transition from traditional modes of doing business to the cloud-based models of today.

MH: Know what you want, seek out teams to sell with and suppliers that are like-minded in philosophy and approach, and also seek out those who want to see you succeed. There are more naysayers out there than supporters. Find the supporters. They will amplify you and get you to a confidence level where you feel you can take on the world. Keep learning, keep applying yourself, keep evolving, keep a great attitude and be a great facilitator of technical discussions with your clients and teams.

FL: A good, pragmatic, measurable sales process is not only essential for closing deals, but imperative for developing sales talent. You have to start with the right sales framework for your business.

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