Microsoft has long beaten the drum for partner specialization, and the cloud is amplifying the call further. Partners that pursue a vertical market strategy consistently report higher sales win ratios of opportunities within their specialty.
With all the pressure and evidence, it's surprising that most partners still don't have a strong industry focus. One hesitation is the concern that there will be missed horizontal opportunities if you focus on one industry. But industry focus doesn't mean that you have to stop horizontal marketing. They are two separate approaches. You can continue your horizontal marketing -- just carve out a segment of your prospect base that fits your industry criteria.
A Systematic Approach to Industry Specialization
While there is no magic formula, by taking a systematic approach, you can build your reputation to become an industry specialist. It takes commitment across the company because it will affect every aspect of the business. Identify a committee to work through these steps and hold them accountable for reporting on progress.
There are good reasons that many partners can attest to for taking a vertical approach to sales and marketing. Win ratios, project size, referrals are all likely to increase when you build your reputation in an industry. Be systematic, genuine and looking for ways to give back the community so that everyone is more successful.
How are you approaching vertical markets? Add a comment below or send me a note and let's share the knowledge.
Posted by Barb Levisay on September 18, 2014 at 9:13 AM
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