As cloud computing has boomed, there is now no longer a box to ship, and customer support and deployment are typically provided by the channel partners.
This change has seen many IT sales channel partners offering new value and finding opportunities to benefit from this fast-growth opportunity.
The successful channel partners of tomorrow will be able to transition their value-added services to deliver meaningful value to clients, JJ le Grange, owner of Personal Systems told delegates at the Rectron Innovation Summit.
“Previously, we would offer once-off project-based services, such as exchange migrations, deployments and setups, and training,” he said.
“Now, though, we can offer ongoing managed services and maintenance. We can also offer new technologies through upselling that drives business value.”
Nowadays, it is also possible to keep up to date with what is coming through the product pipeline and create hype amongst your clients before those products are launched.
“Retouching the same customer makes your business stronger, and happy customers will spread the word, which is the best form of advertising,” le Grange added.
Adding value is especially important when dealing with competitors that are cheaper than you are.
“This about what you offer that your competitors don’t – and this doesn’t necessarily mean in terms of price but in terms of service and so forth as well,” le Grange said.
“Customers won’t necessarily understand the difference between one product over another, so don’t simply talk product. Talk value-add of the service as well.”
It’s also important to partner for success, building up trusted relationships and aligning with strategic vendors, added Elaine Wang, Microsoft business unit manager at Rectron.
To this end, Rectron recently launched RCT Cloud, which leverages the power of cloud computing and opens up the power of the cloud to more businesses.
Rectron’s RCT Cloud offers businesses access to Microsoft’s Azure services, Microsoft Office 365, Palladium accounting software, and Bitdefender security.
It’s a product that is ideal for both clients and channel partners alike, as Wang advocates the practice of ‘dog fooding’ – using the products that you are selling in-house.
“When you use the products you sell, not only will you know what you’re selling, but you will also be more credible,” Wang explained.
“There is nothing you can sell better than something you use and that you believe in. There is nothing you can sell as well as something you understand yourself. Your sales people will be able to sell with conviction.”