Engage, Evolve, Execute to Drive More Business

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driving business in changing market

Taking an approach that can be summarized in three words—engage, evolve and execute—will help partners drive more business.

Regardless of where you are on the continuum, look at your organization today and determine your appetite for new opportunities as well as your tolerance for risk. In the more than 25 years I've been in technology, the market has reinvented itself or taken new shape every three to five years; we've seen changes and transformations with mainframes, PCs, IP, wireless, Internet, social, mobility, UC&C, cloud, Internet of things (IoT), and don't forget to sprinkle in a little Y2K, telco implosions and IPO blow-ups for excitement.

Not only has the technology changed, but the channel has changed. To be a survivor in technology in the channel, you have to be fearless, as well as understand how and when to transform. Large companies have done it, and many small companies do it every day. And quite frankly, it's easier for smaller companies to do because they can be nimble and agile, and they have the element of surprise on their side.

Execute to Perfection

It's okay if you're focused on the customer and have evolved your business model, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to one word: execution. As you develop your sales and business plans, make sure they are fact-based with names, dates and deliverables along with desired results. 

Examine the business and see if there are areas or value propositions that are repeatable. Leverage these replicable areas as they will give you a lowered cost advantage.

As you look at your business, assess whether you have a foundation for growth. Common frameworks and platforms allow you to scale rapidly and better manage costs. Outsourcing non-critical business processes or transitioning to the cloud gives you an advantage in that you have a variable cost lever that you can ramp up or down based on business conditions. Alternately, see if your business model can be created in a SaaS environment to take advantage of high-growth opportunities.

Ease of doing business is a "must have" for the channel. Streamlined and automated processes for every phase of the buy cycle help expedite cash flow, reduce errors, lower costs and accelerate time to revenue.

And don't forget the front end of that process. World-class user experience/user interface (UX/UI) design with streamlined interfaces, minimized points of engagement and "one-click" interaction have been pioneered by companies like Amazon and Apple in the consumer market. As younger workers become an increasingly larger percentage of the workforce, they bring these UX/UI expectations with them.

Don't believe me? Just ask your kids (or grandkids). Your business and your customers' success depend on it.

It's the new way to work.

Bob Clinton is senior vice president of global channel marketing at Unify, a communications software and services company, He has more than 25 years of experience in global marketing, having served as chief marketing officer at Westcon Group and in executive roles at CA Technologies and Motorola.