by Dede Haas & The ASCII Group
Getting the take – and maybe a little advice – from members of The ASCII Group on what solution providers are thinking and doing on a range of important channel topics.
Partner Perspective: Do Vendors Understand How You Run Your Business?
Channel sales strategist and coach Dede Haas is founder of DLH Services, which helps technology vendors and partners create innovative, successful channel sales solutions and programs. Here, Haas discusses recurring revenue with two members of The ASCII Group, a 1,300-member organization of North American VARs, solutions providers, and MSPs offering services to help its members grow their businesses. Check out Haas’ “Channel Knowledge Nuggets” newsletter at dlhservices.com for tips and stories from the trenches.
DAWN SIZER, CEO, 3rd Element
ASH MALHOTRA, President, KAM Info Group Inc., is a 30-year veteran of the IT industry in various forms. Ash has an educational background in computer science and has run KAM Info Group (https://www.kaminfogroup.com/) as its founder for over 10 years. He has a passion for reading, travel, and loves spending time with family and friends.”
QUESTION 1: Do vendors understand how their channel partners run their businesses? Why or why not?
SIZER: I think it depends on the vendor. Some of them do. Some of them don’t. Some of them take the time to actually ask us how things are going, how they can do better by us. And those are the ones that you typically want to work with, because they are taking the time to understand how it is that we do business, why we’re doing things the way that we are.
Sometimes, when vendors understand our needs, they take ideas back to their R&D labs and make product changes for us.
MALHOTRA: Most of them do have a handle on it. Whether it’s a complete understanding or a partial understanding, that’s something we, as partners, would gauge once we start using the product, start getting the support, and promoting the products into our client base.
I’ve seen a lot of vendors put ex-MSP execs in key positions within their companies. So, they do try to have a better perspective on what we go through day to day with our clients and the implementation of products.
QUESTION 2: What, specifically, should vendors do to get to know their partners’ businesses?
SIZER: I think the biggest thing is actually talking to the partners. If you’re not creating a relationship, then there’s really no partnership there at all. Once that relationship is created, you’re going to have a dialogue going between the vendor and the partner. At that point, there should be some understanding of how the business works, why it’s working the way that it does, and how they can help you earn more money or how you can sell products better.
MALHOTRA: I would think that vendors probably need to spend some time on-site with partners. And that could just be simple office visits, meeting with a team, and seeing how they can fine-tune their product lines based on feedback directly from partners. I would encourage the vendors to come down to our location and see how our businesses are run and get a firsthand perspective.
The ASCII Group is a vibrant reseller community of independent MSPs, VARs, and other solution providers. Formed in 1984, ASCII has more than 70 programs that provide turnkey cost-cutting strategies, innovative business building programs, and extensive peer interaction. ASCII members enjoy benefits such as marketing support; educational information; group purchasing power; increased leverage in the marketplace; and multiple networking opportunities. These programs enable ASCII members to increase revenue, lower operating costs, and grow service opportunities. ASCII is the oldest and largest group of independent information technology (IT) solution providers, integrators and value added resellers (VARs) in the world. Learn more at www.ascii.com.