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Marching Orders 2017: Differentiate To Survive

What should you do to make the most of technology business opportunities in 2017? For this "Marching Orders" series, we put that question to a number of channel luminaries, including top Microsoft channel executives, consultants, Microsoft partners and other regular RCP contributors. This entry comes from Matt Scherocman, president of Interlink Cloud Advisors.

Cloud gives partners the ability to sell anywhere in the world. With that, some of our key differentiators as partners are changing in the eyes of the customer.

My recommendation for 2017 is to focus on how your business is going to set itself apart from everyone else.

Here are the simple steps:

  1. Identify why customers purchase from you already. Have you actually asked them? I can tell you that I am asking frequently and continue to be surprised by some of the answers.

  2. Identify what makes you different. Where do your approaches or methodologies stand out? Can you make your "Big Mac" the same every time from every location or consultant?

  3. Where are you going to invest? Is it in building out a SharePoint solution that targets a vertical, or an offering that has an easy-to-understand pricing model, or software you have written?

  4. How will you market your differentiator? Fundamentally, a differentiator is only important if the prospect or client knows about the differentiator and considers it valuable to their business. So, our marketing has to be in their language and has to talk about how our solutions solve their business challenges.

It used to be about having expertise available. With the Internet, however, knowledge is available at the click of a button. So, in 2017 what client business challenges will your business solve better than anyone else?  

Posted on December 30, 2016 at 7:17 AM