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Marching Orders 2016: Prioritize Ruthlessly

Editor's Note: Throughout the month of January, we'll be running installments of Marching Orders, our annual collection of advice and predictions from channel luminaries about what to do and what to expect in the year ahead. For this entry, we invited Keith Lubner, managing partner of Channel Consulting Corp. and a former RCP columnist, to share some channel management tips.

Our company made great strides in 2015, especially toward the later part of the year. In all honesty, the beginning part of the year was difficult for us because of the mass amount of potential opportunities and directions we could have taken our business. We made a conscious decision to focus as summer ended and fall began, and it made all the difference in our business.

We also started making recommendations to clients based on what we did internally, and believe this will be a mantra moving forward for everyone in the market in 2016.  

This year should be about your ruthless prioritization on every project or initiative you take on. Here are the areas we believe you need to prioritize this year in order to accelerate your momentum and differentiation in the channel:

  • Enablement: We see organizations treating enablement and training as an afterthought. They put together half-baked programs and expect to get top-notch results. It doesn't work that way. You need to prioritize enabling your internal people, as well as your external channel partners with cutting-edge, impactful programs that teach people to interact better, to build higher levels of trust, to qualify opportunities better, and to create more meaningful relationships. We call this "adaptive partnering" and it's the way organizations will excel in 2016. Those that can't adapt to the new business paradigms of cloud will fail. Plain and simple.

  • Sales Process: People are stuck in the old way of selling and they need to shift in order to align to the buyer's process. Prioritization, therefore, lies in the hands of the sales manager to make sure their sales people keep trying to change the way they sell. If not, competitors will start lapping you and buyers won't keep buying from you.

  • Intellectual Property Capitalization: In 2016, we will see an acceleration of solution providers bringing to market more intellectual property and trying to sell these new "products and services" through a channel. We see this a lot. It's our business. What we recommend to people is to plant a stake in the ground and commit, or not commit, to marketing and selling your new initiative. If you commit to selling, then prioritize the programs, the people and the processes around how you will bring this product to market. Don't make it an afterthought or a side business because it will never get off the ground.

Prioritize ruthlessly to make it happen in 2016!

More Marching Orders 2016:

Posted by Keith Lubner on January 13, 2016


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