Trusted Advisors – Beyond Service Understanding and into Deal Positioning
As 2019 ended and 2020 began, the nationwide Channel continued its tremendous growth. Partners are more established than ever in their roles as trusted advisors and are increasingly adept at uncovering cyber security, Cloud, and a variety of other Managed IT opportunities. A greater overall focus on partner education has been a key contributor to this success with Master Agencies at the forefront — coming up with increasingly engaging and effective ways to prepare partners to win deals. However, as a supplier, it is important to note that the education cannot end there.
While partners receive enhanced educational benefits from an industry and general service perspective, one thing I have noticed is the push for suppliers to not only educate partners on their assorted services and products, but to go a step beyond. Yes, understanding the product suite is vital, but the true value is in understanding HOW to sell these services to your existing account base once you learn them. This is not a one size fits all approach and must be addressed uniquely. Thrive is making a push to provide more education to our partners beyond what we offer and how we differentiate in the marketplace. We aim to dive deeper into how to take this knowledge and position it through the right line of conversation with the goal being to find direct opportunity alignment.
A big piece of this additional education is helping our partners identify key market trends and build business cases around them, specifically as they relate to Thrive and our strengths. For example, organizations with a new IT Director or C-Level executive have proven to be the perfect candidates for a Network Health Assessment; a commissionable engagement run by our consulting team that helps businesses drive value by understanding where they need to invest from an IT perspective. In a broader example, we have seen more and more first time SIEM adopters. With our partners asking the right questions, a need was identified for smaller SIEM/SOC deals with under 100 devices that had previously not been a focus of ours. Partners now know to leverage Thrive on these opportunities as we have a strong SIEM offering.
While this is already about a paragraph too long, I think it’s important to emphasize the main takeaway here. Partners are becoming more educated and bringing better opportunities to the table. There needs to be a push to go beyond the ABCs of our services as suppliers and continue to build the deal positioning aspect. This requires a tailored approach that focuses directly on what we do best and helping partners leverage that.
We don’t expect to be picked for every given opportunity, but want to make sure that when we are, everyone wins.
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