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Marching Orders 2017: Execute Brilliantly

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 Ken Thoreson, RCP columnist and president of Acumen Management Group.

Thinking about 2017 versus the past two years, I envision that most Microsoft partners will begin propelling their organizations to new levels of success.

In most cases, the business models have already been worked on during the past two years, and if those partners have focused on the right actions, 2017 should be highly profitable.

During the past two years, we have worked with many organizations on their partner cloud acceleration strategies and business-velocity tactics. In the new year, the words I would use to describe partner marching orders would be: "Brilliant Execution: Finding Leverage, Fine-Tuning Business Models and Enhancing Management/Sales Training."

Brilliant execution means a careful and consistent focus by management on every aspect of your business. Ask the following questions: Is it working? If not? Why not? And what will you do to fix it?

Fine-tune your business models; building KPIs is essential for tight management systems that will work well in the new environment. Margins have changed, so costs and productivity must be managed more carefully. You must know what levers you can pull to alter your profits.

Finding leverage means knowing the ways to extend your sales team, your marketing programs and your business resources without simply adding more staff. Check out the Microsoft Community Connections program, for example.

Enhanced training means raising the bar on management/leadership and sales. After 19 years of consulting with Microsoft partners, I know that those partners that focus on excellence from their teams exceed their goals and win market share. Check out ChannelEQ.co as an example of how to improve performance.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on December 23, 2016 at 7:15 AM


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