2011 is coming to an end. And as we celebrate the successes of the past year, it's also a great time to start looking toward 2012. What are you going to do to grow your business and increase your relevance in the new year? Here are a few of my tips:
- Step outside of your comfort zone– Key trends – cloud computing, virtualization, mobile, and information explosion–are transforming the industry and having a profound impact on customers of all sizes. Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and expand your footprint. To be successful in this new environment, we need to take an information-centric approach. By taking this approach, you'll be able to confidently capitalize on the opportunities that mobility, virtualization and cloud computing present.
- Consider all of the options when it comes to solution delivery – Our customers’ environments are becoming increasingly complex, and you have more options than ever when it comes to how you deliver solutions—traditional software, cloud solutions or appliances. If you've been selling traditional software, look at adding cloud-based services and appliances to your offering. You'll be able to more effectively provide customers with solutions that meet their technology needs and fit their budget.
- Be your customers' primary partner, but don't forget about your network– Partner collaboration is like being a primary-care physician. While you may refer your customers to other specialists in your network, they still come to you for all their primary needs. Find a partner who has complementary expertise and bring them in to help you meet your customers’ needs. As we have said in years past, you won’t be giving anything up, but rather showing your customers that you’re well connected and willing to be strategic to help them meet their needs.
- Get down to business and invest in education – It is important for partners tocontinue to invest in themselves by making business education a priority. In 2012, partners should increase their focus on business and market education by truly understanding what drives their customers’ business, and what technology will help support continued growth. There are many resources out there to help partners stay competitive. In today’s world, you need to not only be a salesperson, but also have a strong business background. Stay one step ahead of your customers by developing a business strategy, and anticipate what their needs will be five or ten years down the road.