Posted on: September 1, 2018 By: Kayla Brown
In just a few short years, the star performers responsible for the growth of our industry will primarily be Millennials. And yet, there is a distinct lack of millennial presence within the indirect channel. According to Forrester Research, 40 percent of channel owners plan on retiring by 2024. By that time, 75% of those working in the channel will be millennials.
If integrating millennials is an essential piece to the future success of the indirect channel, why aren’t they here? Well, it’s pretty simple. Millennials don’t seem to know about the channel, or even understand what it is.
1. Lack of Awareness/Education on the Channel
Chances are that if you ask the average millennial about the channel, they couldn’t tell you a thing. This new digital age is a chance for channel partners to revamp themselves. If you focus on the tech – you’ll always be behind. Rebranding to ensure that your marketing message aligns with your company’s overall business goals (rather than the specific technology you’re selling), is a great first step in attracting top millennial talent. Does your website reflect your credibility and status as an industry leader? Do you have a strong online presence? These are factors that millennials take into consideration during their job search.
2. Lack of Leadership Opportunities
If there aren’t many millennials in the channel, that means that there also aren’t many up-and-coming millennial leaders paving the way for others to follow. According to WorkplaceTrends.com 91% of Millennials wish to become leaders, and an additional 43% feel they already acquire the motivation to inspire leadership interest in others.
3. High Student Loan Debt
Many millennials feel as though stuck to a job that provides a base salary, making them somewhat hesitant to sales positions that may not come with the promise of reliable income. However, many millennials prefer a workplace that allows them to serve a great purpose through work, in replace of extrinsic rewards such as higher pay. There are many aspects of the channel that are attractive to millennials, including remote work and networking opportunities.
4. Transactional Perception of the Industry
In a Spicework’s study of IT professionals, the firm found that 60% of millennials would prefer to work with a brand that aims to develop a relationship, compared to a “quick transactional” deal. Relationships are much more important to millennials than you’d expect, and this new generation of partners and business owners are putting more value on relationship building.
While the road to the indirect channel isn’t completely paved for millennials, it’s important for us to create opportunities and spaces in which millennials can thrive. Still not convinced on the value of millennials? Check out this article on Why Millennials are a Perfect Fit for the Indirect Channel.
Posted on: August 21, 2018 By: Kayla Brown
Failure is one aspect of business that no one likes to talk about. The potential of failure can be so great, that it can inspire fear that cripples us from thinking about strategies that could bring valuable new solutions to the table. Use these 5 tips to move beyond the fear of failure, into a mentality that practices mindful habits to produce successful results!
1. Understand Your Fears
Fear holds you back the most when you are unaware of it. Try to get specific and ask yourself, ͞”What am I afraid of?” “What is it exactly that prevents me from bringing new solutions into the mix?” Once you are aware of your fears, you can support yourself through the process. Face these threats head on, and provide yourself with evidence that your fears will not occur. Then, move onto the next step.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot
Suppose you’ve suggested a strategy that doesn’t go as planned the first time around. Rather than simply giving up and moving on – change your approach and re-think the problem! Could the timing be affecting the conversation? Are you thinking about how to leverage capabilities in unexpected areas? Sometimes, it takes numerous tries to get it right.
3. Take the Road Less Traveled
In the poem, The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost understand the value of uncharted paths. In business, these two paths are ever-present: the path of scarcity where most of us frequent often, and the abundant path which holds unlimited opportunity. What prevents us from walking the road of abundance? Fear. If you let fear prevent you from bringing new solutions into the conversation, you’ll always be in a space that never has enough opportunity. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
4. Work Through Plan A and Plan B
So imagine this: you’ve suggested your Plan A solution – and it’s completely been shot down. Your worst nightmare has come true. You’re facing your fear head on. In most cases, the very worst-case scenario isn’t actually that bad. If you’ve crafted a Plan B, you can quickly minimize the damage, and move on. Overcoming failure is truly an act of being courageous, and overpreparation.
5. Ask for Help
Sometimes all you really need is to brainstorm a few ideas around with someone you trust. Would you like to strategize with a CNSG representative? Our team is here to provide support through a variety of challenges you may face. Take advantage of the support and contact us today for assistance!
What challenges have you faced that have prevented you from bringing new solutions to the table? Be sure to follow us on Twitter and let us know which one of these tips helped you conquer professional fears!
Posted on: August 14, 2018 By: Kayla Brown
Looking to increase lead generation through digital marketing? These 5 tips are essential for any digital marketing strategy – and have proven successful for corporations and small businesses alike.
1. Gain Executive Support
If the leadership of a company doesn’t believe in a mutual partnership between marketing and sales, it makes implementing any type of digital strategy almost impossible. If your executives believe in, and support the digital marketing strategy, they are going to ensure that you have the right team and budget to produce results that lead to sales growth.
2. Decentralize Your Strategy
Marketing and sales cannot work separately. Digital marketing teams should be aligned with the sales team, and the digital marketing strategy should pay special attention to sales leads as they move throughout closing process. This ensures that you preserve the identity of the service, without disrupting the brands overall messaging.
3. Embrace New Trends
While digital marketing trends are always changing, you can stay ahead of the game by simply embracing new trends as they come along. You should be engaging with your customers where they are investing the most time.
4. Don’t Completely Ditch Traditional Marketing
With the traction of social media and a whole new host of marketing avenues – it may seem advantageous to leave traditional marketing tactics in the past. However, some partners may need to incorporate more traditional forms of marketing in additional to digital marketing tactics in order drive participation to local events and gain new clients.
5. Measure, Measure, Measure!
If you’re not measuring your tactics, you’ll never improve upon them. These days, most social media platforms include free analytics tools that can provide you with a very precise progress on your digital strategies. Utilize data to drive your digital marketing efforts, and you’ll see much better returns.
Digital marketing may seem out of reach, but following these tips will ensure that you lay a pretty solid foundation for your efforts. Looking for more assistance with digital marketing? Reach out to the CNSG marketing team for more digital marketing tips and resources!
Posted on: August 7, 2018 By: admin
CNSG President and CEO, Matt Harty, shares what he believes are the top 10 activities of highly successful channel partners.
1. They Ask Questions
Successful channel partners ask their customers questions and ask them often. Even more important than just asking questions, though, is that they ask the right questions. The right questions are intended to figure out the ‘why’ of the opportunity rather than simply the ‘what.’ These are the questions that unearth the hidden reasons or motives behind the customer’s product/service needs. Asking the ‘why’ will lead to a better understanding of the customer’s pain points and often reveals new insights that would have gone unnoticed if the partner didn’t dig deeper.
2. They Communicate with Channel Managers
Communication is key. Channel partners who keep close contact with their Channel Managers know how to leverage the assistance a channel manager can provide. Communication will keep you, as the partner, up-to-date with promos/spiffs, product/training events and webinars, as well as any changes in the industry.
3. They Take Notes
Taking notes during appointments is always a good idea. It demonstrates to the customer that you value what they have to say, and not to mention, it is a phenomenal and documented source of information that you can refer back to later. Successful partners know that they are in the business of solving problems. The information collected from thorough and deliberate note-taking helps partners be successful and find the right solutions for their customers.
4. They Take Advantage of Available Resources
Many sales partners are still unaware of all of the valuable resources available to them after they sign with CNSG as their Master Agent. Successful partners know how to leverage the partner-enablement materials at their disposal, such as cobranded marketing materials, email blasts, as well as product training events and/or webinar updates.
5. They Stay Organized
Organization goes along with note-taking as a must for success in the Channel. Multi-tasking is a fact of life these days, and the Channel is no exception. As a channel partner, it is critical to be organized in order to stay on top of all of your appointments, emails, events, and more. For example, consider reorganizing your email inbox for better visibility. This will hopefully prevent you from missing an important call or email. Another great example would be when requesting a quote: providing the business name, location, products/services needed, (and if possible the incumbent provider) will ensure that the channel manager has all the information needed to get started. Making organization a core competency will make your day easier and help you be more efficient in your sales.
6. They’re Active
Successful partners know how to seek out multiple deals at once and balance their time between them. Sales is often a numbers-game. High activity is bound to lead to increased sales. The ability to multi-task and work numerous deals at once allows partners to grow their business and commissions rapidly.
7. They Follow-up with Customers
Following-up with customers is such a simple courtesy that many partners forget when in a rush. Always follow up with your customer. Not only does it show you care, it will build upon and strengthen your client relationship. Successful partners go the extra mile and follow up with their customers to ensure they are completely satisfied.
8. They Stay Positive
Sales can be a tough but rewarding business, and partners know that they can’t always win (although they’d like to). Positivity makes partners more resilient. Resilience mitigates potential burn out. Successful partners try to be positive and resilient, which helps them persevere and work through their challenges.
9. They Share Success Stories with Customers
Customers like hearing that you’ve been successful with other clients. As a professional solutions provider, sharing success stories of your previous work speaks volumes to your ability to provide value to your customer.
10. They Constantly Look to Improve
Partners know they aren’t perfect (though some are pretty darn close). Successful partners often are the ones who actively look for ways to improve themselves, whether it’s expanding their product knowledge, changing their approach towards customers, or receiving feedback from their customers or channel managers. Incorporating feedback in a healthy and productive way helps partners grow both professionally as well as personally.