Inspired selling. Every vendor aspires for growth. Add to that every reseller, MSP, and distributor. In fact, we all aspire to channel led growth. Will a combination of “trying harder” and sticking to the tried and tested blueprint achieve growth? If not, what is best placed to sweep aside many of the out-dated notions for the vendor that pursues indirect growth. Guided selling has served us well contributing decades of loyal, if predictable, service.
However, the 21st century, the myriad of competition it brings, the abundance of challenger vendors and a need to modernise outmoded thinking, demands a new voice. We’ve provided that voice with ‘inspired selling’. Why? Because, when it comes to delivering consistent indirect vendor growth, everything has changed. The channel has certainly changed, as have value their propositions. Perhaps most critically of all, customer needs and expectations are so different, they should be renamed. So why haven’t the tools that address these areas kept pace?
First off, let’s dispel two long standing myths. Firstly, that different tools, platforms, content, and approach is needed for each product or service category; more is less. Secondly, that one size will not fit all. Wrong on both counts.
Imagine a single tool, on a single platform with an intuitive, exciting UI. A UI that is fresh, modern, branded, and seamless to vendor partner programmes. Not only that, but it’s delivered at speed and at scale. An embedded platform that enables nirvana for vendors; it becomes as indistinguishable for a channel salesperson as their computer, phone, and customer list. It’s the day job and they can’t function with out it. That is inspired selling.
I’ve reasoned before why the leadership of any vendor with an appetite for indirect growth needs to focus on the channel, its proposition, and the market it is operating in. Looking now at those three categories through a lens of ‘inspired selling’ it becomes apparent just how radically different things need to be.
- Inspired Channel
A strategy that enables partners to drive a vendor proposition profitably. One that drives mutual brand identity, allows development and retention of the best sales and technical resources. One that encourages recruitment of challenger partners and arguably most important, one that enhances vendor brand values through the channel
Sounds good, but it’s not enough.
How about if that same strategy enabled channel leaders to reduce their turnover of staff, maintain knowledge in fun and interactive ways, and enabled a ‘first and fastest’ time to market? Now that would be inspired.
- Inspired Proposition
The destination for any vendor, yet historically elusive for most. To have a clear differentiator which is readily understood, that enables gateways to other products in their portfolio, whilst being easy to do business with, providing value-add to the channel, presenting a strong profile, and avoiding being stale and predictable – now that’s a whole lot more inspiring. Needless to say, it must be authentic too. Tick, tick, tick.
- Inspired Market
How can I inform customers what they don’t know? How can I create demand for a product through speed and agility whilst upholding my brand values? How may I increase awareness of new brands and solutions by engaging with the latest technology in a smart and simple way? Can I present clear proof points that support the change I’m advocating, quickly and easily? All this is now possible.
For many vendors, sticking with what they know is safe, comfortable, and reassuring – indeed, it is a completely legitimate business strategy, honed over many years. For others, however, the pursuit of growth requires something new. After all, show me an end user or channel partner that fits the description of ‘safe, comfortable, and reassuring’?
The premise is customers and partners need something new, faster, better, and different to maintain their trust and custom. So why do many vendors continue to offer more of the same, then are surprised when a competitor acquires their customers?
I’ve spoken before of “If I were leading Vendor X, I would do XYZ immediately to drive channel growth…”
The ‘XYZ’ is now clear: a new, fresh, modern, rapid, and measurable twist on an old idea, it’s ‘inspired selling’. Not in one area, one product line or one solution, but as the leading end to end strategy for indirect growth. An indispensable source of inspiration and competitive advantage. Speed and quality of impact is the common denominator, for vendors, for resellers and for customers. Being first and being fast matters in the pursuit of unfair advantage.
It’s time for ‘inspired selling’, watch this space to see ceilings shattered and moulds broken. ‘Inspired selling’ is now. Today.