Sales Strategies for the Future: Adapting to Complexity


Assessing the Sales Journey: Where Are We Headed?

The sales journey has changed from being transactional to one that is more strategic.  Salespeople in our sector are placing greater emphasis on cultivating deeper connections with their customers and fostering trusted advisor relationships over the long term.

This is essential if resellers and MSPs are to help customers successfully navigate the complex and often overwhelming technology environments currently on offer, in a way that generates meaningful returns.

This approach does require more from partners, who are now having to offer guidance on the optimal set of products and services that directly align with the needs and strategy of those acquiring the services.  This also means resellers are having to work closely with their vendors and solution providers to ensure they are equipped with the appropriate resources, tools and information to advise and justify why a recommended solution is the right one for each customer.

Adapting Sales Strategies and Skills

We are asking far more of our salespeople. Their role now requires a more strategic and consultative approach rather than being focused on securing a sale.   Salespeople need to get under the skin of their customers, understand their business and strategic priorities and then create a portfolio of products that will help them to achieve their objectives. This also means they need to select the right customers in the first place, profiling them to ensure their portfolio of products and services will resonate with them.

Unveiling Prime Opportunities in Channel Sales

The biggest opportunities for partners will vary of course, but any partner can look towards their existing customer base for clues.  By adopting a more scientific and strategic approach to better understand existing customers, channel providers can not only uncover fresh avenues to add value and enhance sales within that business, but others like it.

I suspect, however, that one trend that this approach is likely to reveal is the significant growth in organisations adopting Microsoft Teams Calling to either replace or supplement an existing phone system. We know that the two technologies most requested from companies in this position are contact centre and analytics, and there is a great opportunity for channel providers to deliver on that. This is particularly true where Teams Phone services have been added, rather than fully replaced another system, as partners can add a lot of value through holistic, joined up analytics that deliver insights across both new and existing ecosystems.

The key is to pre-select and filter the market to ensure that you have the right vendor partnerships and the right suite of services to deliver to customers.  Ideally, any third-party solutions should be as vendor agnostic as possible to ensure a strong and consistent user experience that is both easy for end users, but also for the reseller.

Hybrid working is here to stay, but it adds another layer of complexity. Reseller partners need to ensure that any solution can support and report on hybrid working environments with a consistent level of service.

Key Skills for Channel Sales Teams

The key skill required is to have a strategic awareness of what the customer needs and what appropriate solutions are available. With so many new products on offer, channel companies must have a solid understanding of what a customer needs and then be able to enhance that solution with the best services that are simple to use but also deliver the best return on the customer’s investment.

Vendor Support for Resellers and MSPs

Vendors can help their channel partners to expand their addressable market by providing a consistent user experience across a broad portfolio of services.

Resellers and their customers are looking to cut down on the complexity they must manage.  Resellers should therefore seek vendor partners that are active, useful and valuable to their business, not just another logo.

Not least, the channel needs to be demanding of its vendors and suppliers to ensure they have a shared vision of what they need to achieve. It is important not to shy away from sharing the challenges they face with the aim of fostering a truly collaborative partnership.