Working for a technology company that provides development, integration, and various other services to our clients requires an intimate knowledge of not only the strengths and weaknesses of the various platforms we support (Quickbase, Microsoft Business Solutions and Intalio|Create), but also a deep understanding of business processes and which available technology offerings will suit our clients’ needs the best. Selling custom technology solutions differs drastically from selling widgets, as we are often selling ourselves, as much as the services we offer.
While it is important for us to demonstrate our capabilities to our clients, the story of how we begin to work together sometimes actually starts with our Channel Partners including Quickbase, Intalio, and Microsoft. Members of our Client Solutions Team work closely with sales teams at our various partners to identify potential clients, understand their business requirements, and propose potential solutions that will deliver strong value to our now mutual clients. Working closely with our Channel Partners requires a mutual trust and a solid relationship, both of which are built in a variety of ways outlined below.
Establishing the Channel Partner Relationship
As we continue to grow and add more and more great people to the MCFTech Client Solutions Team, it is important to establish relationships with the various sales representatives we will be working closely with. Typically, this is done with a brief phone call to introduce ourselves and begin to establish a solid foundation for the relationship. It is best to keep this initial phone call brief, we are always sure to touch on some of the following:
- Basic personal introduction including what our role will be, career experience, etc.
- Preferred contact method for both parties
- Establishment of a communication plan which could be anything from weekly meetings to casual communication as the need presents itself
It is important for our Channel Partner sales representatives to see us as the main liaison to our company early on, which will help keep communication streamlined, and also begin to help cultivate the relationship.
Cultivating the Relationship
Once we have established a relationship with our Channel Partners, it is important to begin building that relationship in the hopes of providing our mutual clients with the best solutions to fit their needs. Sales representatives we work closely with must not only have faith in us personally, but also in our ability to deliver world-class solutions to potential or existing clients. Utilizing the communication plan established above, it is vital to provide our representatives with updates on a variety of different things including:
- New solutions or projects we have completed that fulfill a common use-case or business-case
- New publicly available case studies to assist in their sales process which can help position the technology as the best possible solution to the client
- Updates on the progression of projects
One of the best ways to build relationships with our Channel Partners is the demonstrated ability to deliver successful projects to our clients. Working together to deliver world-class solutions requires quite a bit of collaboration; the more experience we have in working with various sales reps allows us to collaborate more efficiently and effectively to provide these solutions.
Maintaining the Relationship
Once we have established a strong relationship with our various Channel Partners utilizing the above mentioned strategies, the relationship often turns to growing and expanding existing accounts. While we work with companies ranging in size from Enterprise to SMB, to startups and non-profits, one of the most common scenarios we encounter are clients who want to utilize similar solutions in other aspects of their business. Often times the future “big-picture” vision for technology is discussed early on, or sometimes it is uncovered once a solution is live and end-user feedback is positive. Regardless of when another need is established, it is crucial to maintain relationships with our Channel Partners for a variety of reasons.
- The client may have product feedback that may be used to improve the technology offering
- The client would like to utilize the technology in other aspects of their business and require additional user licenses or other assistance from the Channel Partner
- The client would like an overall product or solution demonstration for other team members which requires the collaboration of both MCFTech and our Channel Partners
Continuing to work closely with our various Channel Partners allows us to evolve our offerings to meet the ever-changing technology needs of the modern business world. Our success is dependent not only on how well we work with and listen to our clients, but also on how well we work with and listen to our Channel Partners.
Want to discover first-hand how our Client Solutions Team works? Contact us today!
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