The Speed of Enlightenment: Helping Your Customers Find New Services Fast

Lorna GareyWhat do old-school management experts, John Chambers and CEOs of disruptive companies like Uber have in common? They all like to cite the turnover among Fortune 500 companies, with varying degrees of gleefulness at the carnage. You’ve probably heard the stats: Only 57 companies have stayed on the list since 1955. That’s 12 percent long-term listees versus 88 percent having come and gone, often to the dead-company graveyard. A study from the John M. Olin School of Business says 40 percent of today’s F500 companies on the S&P 500 will no longer even exist by 2024. And it’s not just big companies going under at alarming rates. Gallup says fewer than half of new American businesses survive their first five years. For restaurants, researchers at Cornell and Michigan State found that 27 percent of restaurant startups failed in year one. After three years, half were no longer in business; and after five years 60 percent  had closed their doors.

Channel companies have a vested interest in making sure their customers aren’t statistics. Churn is expensive, after all.

Digging deeper into the Gallup survey, the pollster came up with a list of 10 keys to success for entrepreneurs. Some themes that run through the list are speed to execute and a willingness to pivot quickly when ideas don’t pan out.

Picture this scenario: A few months ago you signed on a customer with an ambitious business plan and lots of competition. Maybe it’s a new restaurant concept seeking to win franchisees in up-and-coming urban areas, or a health care provider looking to use telemedicine to reach underserved patients before a competitor does. The problem is, your telecom partner isn’t a good fit, or maybe you don’t even have a provider for a specialized vertical-focused technology the customer needs. How quickly could you find a partner, learn about its channel program and get the product in the pipeline?

If the answer is “a few weeks,” that’s too slow for the pace of today’s business.

That’s the premise of Channel Partners’ new Vendor Locator, now in beta release. We’re busy rounding up providers across 17 industries, including hospitality and health care but also government, financial services and more, in 19 solutions categories, from analytics to WAN. The idea is to help agents, VARs, MSPs, integrators and consultants find and connect with the vendors and solutions they need, quickly, and without having to hit multiple sites.

Each vendor’s page has an overview of the business with complete contact info, a collection of white papers to educate partners on their offerings, a list of industries served by the vendor, and a list of solutions on offer. You can even request a meeting, right from the Locator.

Over the next few months, we’ll be adding many more company Vendor Locator pages as well as additional features and functionality as we move out of beta. Please take a look and send me questions, comments and suggestions. This is your page, to empower you to help customers move at the pace of business today.

Follow editor in chief @LornaGarey on Twitter.

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