Plan, Market, Measure, Repeat: A Recipe for Maturity and Growth

Research by The 2112 Group reveals that solution providers are hopeful about their futures, and that’s great news, but it turns out they need to do more to turn their aspirations into reality. During a May 10 Webinar titled “Getting Ahead of the Maturity Curve,” 2112 President Diana Mirakaj shared advice for organizations looking to succeed in an ultra-competitive market.

Ultimately, channel players need to pivot their attention away from technology and toward sales, marketing, and governance. Most solution providers have proven their technical know-how; the chink in their armor –and the one thing most likely to prevent them from meeting their growth goals – is a lack of business acumen.

Mirakaj challenged Webinar attendees to take a hard look at their business-planning practices (or lack thereof). Do you have a sales plan? A marketing road map? How about employee performance reviews or an agenda for market research? While 60 percent of respondents to 2112’s 2017 Channel Forecast study said they have a sales plan with revenue targets, only 35 percent report having a strategic plan for growth, and just one-fifth of respondents are doing market research to define the audience for their products and services.

By setting goals, crafting business plans to achieve them, and measuring performance along the way, solution providers can achieve their growth objectives. Mirakaj said it’s important to develop repeatable processes too. “Agility is enabled by standardization,” she said, pointing out that putting consistent systems in place enables an organization to manage risk and reduce its susceptibility to disruption.

Having business acumen also means knowing how, when, and where to market your wares. Your product portfolio might be impressive, but what good is it if nobody knows what you have to offer? That’s why it’s so important for solution providers to market their products and services. Companies need to define their value proposition – what problems are they solving? – and communicate it to the “right” audience. That audience is defined by creating customer profiles, an exercise that, while challenging, can yield high dividends, Mirakaj said. Profiling allows an organization to identify and describe its end-user base, thus increasing its chances of turning potential leads into bona fide customers.

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Webinar: Getting Ahead of the Maturity Curve

Growth expectations and maturity have a lot to do with greater business discipline and governance. More solution providers are investing in strategic business planning, marketing, sales expansion, and new products and services – and vendors are paying attention. While the level of business acumen and maturity development in the channel remains questionable, the attempt to think and act more strategically has the power to pay dividends in the form of productivity, performance and revenue.

In this session, The 2112 Group’s president, Diana Mirakaj, discussed the role maturity plays in creating repeatable processes and practices that not only support, but advance, short- and long-term growth.