Mid-market is the fastest growing not only in India but across the globe. As per Zinnov study, 9.6 Million technologically ready SMB base virtually is unreachable by direct sales force of Principal Vendors. Looking at the current landscape and opportunities that are present in the ecosystem, there is a need for mind-set change and Partners must start focussing on mid-market.
It is high time for channel partners to change themselves and transform their business in to value business by focussing on four key growth factors – Connect, GTM, Investments and expand with software and application business apart from selling ICT products with the sole objective of meeting ends.
However, a variety of challenges are slowing down the channel growth but if they start working on themselves by enhancing their capabilities, capacities and learning how to exploit their resources. Rather than being only Indian arms of Principal Vendors while lacking empowerment, it is time to stand committed to your customers.
Process Standardization – Oftenly principal vendors comment, most partners are focussed on demand fulfilment and lack focus on new demand generation. Partners, should start investing in deploying processes in their organisation for smooth workflow enabling them to focus on core business. This will help them retaining high quality talent enabling skill enhacement while overcoming the challange from the direct sales team of principal vendors. Also, market creation and Investment should not be only Vendor responsibility but a joint call in envangelizing newer oppportunities and partner develpment. Look at having own brand presence in the market. In order to earn more and grow, one must have risk taking abiltiy as well.
Credit & Profit Potential - Understanding the limitation, partners should collaborate among themselves if required to implement big projects in respect to their specializations. Finance has always been a week point especially in India for the channel community and to combat this start raising funds from capital investors instead of depending only on the principal vendors for implementing bigger solutions.
Customer Focus - Mid-market is a segment – that is fast, agile and often one man decision. The revenues will grow for Vendor and partner if they added skillsets to build solutions, upsell and value sell while ensuring that their top customers business challenges are addressed. Customer do not invest in a product or solution, rather he want to buy the business output. To tap this mid- market, Vendors have started looking for specialist partners having strong leadership teams with awards & accolades holding good accounts and aspire to scale and grow business while looking at principals as a strategic principle that can help them rapidly scale.
Helping the partners to understand the need of the hour Nityanand Shetty, Chairman, ISODA explains, “Partner should identify their strength areas and make it as the DNA of their organisation. Today Customer likes to deal with partners with specialized skill set. Partners in same domain with different specializations should collaborate with each to add value to their business and increase the growth prospects. You have to put in that extra effort which will be identified by the customer.”
To aid partners ASIRT organizes Tech events on regular basis. Kshitij M Kotak, President, ASIRT says, “We have tech edge event where Principal vendor comes and talk about his product and utilize the platform to explain the product and how it works which help partners in understanding the technology and solution they are selling to customer. In ASIRT Tech event, vendors take training session for pre-sale staff. Companies should know what to sell, how to pitch, what the business mopping is and then work accordingly.”
R. Muthiah Pillai, President, CONFED-IT shares, “We are educating partners by organizing different programs at regular intervals in all the districts. A monthly training program is organized by the association that helps the partners to get educated about the domain. We also conduct technical seminars for partners to understand the product and do the business with great potential.”