What do you think it would take to become ‘the next big thing’ in the IT reseller market? The ability to disrupt something? A team of digital ninjas? Getting inventive in your garage? Well, perhaps, at least if the media is anything to go by. Yet, more realistically, gaining fame and fortune in the competitive IT channel industry will require something far more rudimentary; like the ability to stay relevant in an increasingly changing digital economy, for instance.
Bang on trend
According to a report by PwC entitled “Innovation imperative: keeping your company relevant,”the most successful brands are skilled at keeping up with changing demands and emerging trends. They invest and adapt to find innovative ways of ‘breaking the mould’ as a way of beating competition in the race to create – and satisfy - customer want and need. This could mean providing support services in addition to selling software, for instance, which could potentially help your customers get the most out of their investments, sooner.
Think of the big players in the tech industry – like Apple, IBM and Microsoft. They never rest on their laurels. Instead they are constantly analysing the present and inventing the future in a drive to please the customer and continuously add value - before their competitors have a chance of getting there first. So, what might it take for a modern IT reseller like yourself to follow the lead, of the tried and tested captains of industry, as a way of getting ahead in your field?
Here are some suggestions:
1. Subscription based sales
A recent study found that up to 76 percent of software sales are now subscription based compared to 49 percent in 2012. It’s something that resellers need to recognise and react to. Because with this emerging trend comes new emphasis that puts the onus on ‘customer outcome based selling’ rather than the traditional ‘transaction based’ point of sale approach. As well as providing a golden opportunity for resellers to offer a more consultancy-based approach to sales, this trend has also seen many of our own IT channel partners working with us, at Marathon, to offer a wide range of services alongside software sales – such as implementation support, security packages and more.
It may mean having to restructure or retrain you staff so they are equipped to switch to a ‘service based’ culture, but the rewards for those who manage to ‘get in early’ are likely to be huge.
2. Focus on earning your customer’s loyalty
It’s widely reported that it takes five times more to sell to a new customer than an existing one. Customer retention should be at the very top of the agenda for companies looking to take the lead. Rather than providing sporadic moments of wonder, aim instead to please your customer with a consistent level of service as a way of meeting their expectations time and time again.
3. Become a trusted advisor
He’s confused. She’s confused. Everyone’s confused. And with the pace of change so rapid, it’s hardly surprising. But with all this confusion comes exciting new opportunities.
IT Resellers can give clarity to their customers during times of digital transformation by giving them access to people they trust. Rallying a team of trusted advisors at your company involves turning your employees into specialists and brand ambassadors. Their mission is to guide and support customers; increase sales through improving customer care; and position your company as a leading force in the market.
4. Stand out
Businesses with an identity problem will find it difficult to compete in the crowded IT reseller marketplace; yet alone make it to the top.
Knowing what you’re good at is fundamental to standing out. Focus on why you’re in business rather than what it is your do. Similarly identify your strengths and establish the specific value you can bring. You’ll find it easier to effectively promote your brand and spread the word about what you have to offer – and awareness of your brand will naturally increase as a result.
5. Scale your business
Growth doesn’t always have to mean hiring new people. Redesigning age old processes; eradicating bottlenecks and streamlining your operation through automation could be all that’s required to prepare you for a period of expansion.
Marathon makes growing your firm easy in that our consultants and specialists can seamlessly blend into your company – helping you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. By topping up your talent or bolstering your workforce, working with us could see you pitching for new business with confidence and venturing into new, unchartered and potentially profitable ground when chances come your way.
Playing a part
The bottom line is that it’s not really necessary to become the next big thing in order to secure your businesses future. Being part of the next big thing is what really counts.
Stay relevant, keep learning and be prepared to adapt to the unpredictable yet highly exciting industry we find ourselves in. As a result, you’ll not have the key components for staying ahead of the curve; you’ll also position yourself in your industry as being the ‘one to watch’.
Contact the team at Marathon for more details about how we can help reach your true potential in the IT reseller sector.