Miriam Rego has been in the channel business for several decades . Here, she talks about the dynamics of IT channel business in an exclusive interaction.
Nowadays it is seen that many IT companies want to bypass the channel and directly connect to the end clients using the advanced technologies. Will the channel business survive through this? What should be the trajectory of channels to survive and grow through the competition from the modern technologies?
Any vendor who bypasses the channel will only have a short- term gain and it is not sustainable in the long run. A vendor who does that is giving clear signals to the entire industry that he probably has some exit plans. Channel business will always survive in the long run as they provide value both for the vendor and the end users and is an integral part of the supply value chain particularly in a technology oriented industry such as the IT industry, Channels should continue to keep themselves updated about the latest trends in technologies, ensure their personnel have an evolving and continuous training programs and keep their connect with the end users and be sensitive to their problem statements.
What are the prospects of channel growth in the post-lockdown period?
Channels will continue to grow post the lockdown because end users are going to be looking for a better value proposition in these testing times and also for a more approachable delivery- oriented model for products and services
What are the key aspects that motivate you to work for the channel fraternity?
These are the few things which actually motivated me to work for channel fraternity. They are as follows –
Built-in trust – If your channel partner is already well-known within a market or vertical, you don’t have to do the work of establishing a brand presence. Your product will automatically seem more credible because of their endorsement.
Efficiency – One channel manager paired with several channel partners can bring in the same amount of revenue as five or six sales people at a fraction of the cost. It’s also typically easier to bring on new partners than hire a new salesperson,- especially once you’ve created the programme and worked out the modalities.
Rapid testing – Channel partners let you experiment with new customer bases, products, packages, promotions and/or marketing campaigns in a low-stakes environment.
Customer success – If your customers need training, onboarding, implementation support, and service, partnering with vendors who offer these services lets you focus on closing new business without sacrificing your existing users.
How important is a team work in leading to success?
One need to believe in team work to create a good network because they need the proactive networks of leaders and peers who will develop, promote and champion them as they pursue their career aspirations, both at home and in the workplace.
In my personal opinion, everyone for their professional life, it’s best is to keep their personal and professional life separate and try to work hard and contribute towards the growth of the company by growing themselves.
What are the top things one should follow, according to you to stay relevant in the competitive market?
To stay relevant and engaged we need to make sure we are getting the right information about needs, wants, expectations etc. from our targeted audience, below are few things that we should keep in our mind to stay relevant in the competitive Market.
Communication needs to be much more about engagement as opposed to a one-sided stream of information. We need to find the right way to stay engaged with our audience that encourages a sense of trust and builds a meaningful flow of information. This is especially important to help with product development and sales – are we offering products or services that our audience wants to buy?
We all know that the old style of thinking that resists change is deadly in a modern business. Whilst we don’t want change for change sake, what we do want is a culture that embraces and encourages innovative thinking to keep our business relevant. We need to be aware of the signs that might suggest our culture is not as welcoming of critical thinking as we need it to be (resistance to change, lack of creative problem solving, negativity towards anything new etc.).
All too often we look for innovation within our own business or own industry. From my experience we are far more likely to find innovative ideas that we can adapt and use in our own business from outside our industry. To really utilize the opportunity we need to become students of other industries and innovative communities (online and offline). I spend up to two hours every day reviewing other industries, looking for innovative ideas that I can teach to others and apply to my own business.
As told to B Swaminathan, Contributing Columnist, DQ Channels
Additions by Dr Archana Verma, Editor, DQ Channels