IS YOUR CHANNEL GREAT AT TALKING ABOUT YOUR PRODUCTS BUT BAD AT SELLING THEM?
We hear this so often: We have fantastic programs to enable our Channel Partners; we train them on our products all the time and we make sure they are certified.
Yes, we hear you, but how good are you at enabling your Channel Partners with selling your solutions?
By selling we mean, engineering a sales conversation that helps your Channel Partners understand more about the prospect’s business, their priorities, how they see themselves reaching their objectives, where they have concerns and the impact of the problems they have not solved yet?
Ohhhhh, now I understand. No, we are not so good at that.
Let’s use the most talked about topic in the tech sector as an example. It seems every vendor has a digital transformation play. “Our solutions can help you digitally transform your business. Our products help you become more digital.” This is great but how do we help Channel Partners have a sales conversation that creates the airtime and space for a solution to be sold.
In the case of digital transformation you would start your sales conversation from the outside in. Meaning you would start asking questions related to the prospect’s customer.
- Who are your customers?
- How do you engage with them?
- How do you see their experience with your company evolving?
- What are you selling them?
- How do you sell to them?
- What are your plans for the customer experience moving forward?
- What do you want to change? Why?
- How do you think technology can help improve the customer experience?
Now start moving inwards:
How are you going to deliver them this experience?
Where are you now?
What do you need to do to make this happen?
How do you see this working?
Then move in even closer:
What does this mean for IT?
What needs to happen inside your IT infrastructure to make this a reality?
Where are your challenges? Why?
What are your plans then?
Now move into the areas where your solution helps. For a security solution you might ask:
How are you going to ensure the customer information is secure?
How do you secure this information today?
Where are you being tested?
Where do you have deficiencies in your information security processes?
This is a simplistic example of how to help a Channel Partner start a sales conversation with an existing client about their business, their digital transformation agenda and their current challenges in the areas where a security solution is being sold.
Since we are keeping it simple, this is how we have seen it done today when the sales person calls the prospect:
“Mr. Smith, I have a fantastic information security solution that I want to talk to you about. It can secure this information, it costs this much and I would love for you to consider letting me send you a proposal for 100 licenses?”
Which approach is going to work better?
Yes, help them understand your products. More importantly, help them engineer a sales conversation about topics like digital transformation, workforce mobility, data sprawl and business continuity.