What You Need to Know to Evolve Your Business
Small and medium-sized business are looking for partners to help solve their business problems and they’re ready to spend resources on the right partner. But how do they know if that’s your firm? How do you know if you’re the right firm? Do you understand the efficiency and effectiveness of your engagements at every touch point?
If you don’t, your business could suffer. Customers are in the driver’s seat, they have access to more information than ever before, and in a SaaS world, swapping partners isn’t that tough a proposition.
In his presentation, “Mind Your Business: Here’s What You Need to Know to Evolve from MSP to vCIO” at the upcoming Chanel Evolution Europe, Gregg Lalle, senior vice president, International sales and strategy at ConnectWise, will discuss how partners can crystalize their value proposition to make sure they’re managing and measuring the outcomes of their strategy.
Lalle shares more about his upcoming presentation with Channel Futures.
Channel Futures: In the title of your presentation, it mentions vCIO, or virtual CIO, tell us more about the vCIO and what partners need to know.
Gregg Lalle: Becoming a vCIO means you become embedded in the customer’s boardroom and you understand what the [customer’s] business goals are — and you’re not selling technology, or some new shiny widget. Being a vCIO is insinuated in my presentation; it’s not like a partner has to do something to become a VCIO. It’s about benchmarking and getting an understanding of the metrics that matter.
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For partners, becoming a vCIO means getting a seat at the table [at the customer’s business]. It’s about being that person that plugs into not only the customer’s operational goals but also helps set the strategy and delivers outcomes, so the customer reaches their goals. It’s also about helping to provide data-driven decisions, which is the ultimate goal. So it’s not just about mapping to the current goals but with your insight help to steer, guide and influence the vision of those organizations.
CF: The vCIO concept has been around for quite some time, but it sounds like you’re talking about it in another way.
GL: People use the term vCIO but no one defined it … they talk about it being outcome-based, but what does that mean? To me, it means selling the alignment to the customer’s business goals, to the boardroom.
CF: In your session you’re also going to talk about another trend – M&A – and the abrupt rise of operational maturity. And that private equity is changing the channel landscape. Elaborate on that for us.
GL: Many partners are getting squeezed because private equity is buying up MSPs and they’re forcing their operational maturing downstream. So partners are getting caught in the middle like a sandwich. They’re also buying MSPs and making larger MSPs. They’re looking for [MSP firms] to buy and operationalize on their model.
CF: Is that a good thing or a bad thing for MSPs?
GL: I think it’s a trend. What I’m trying to say is that sometimes MSPs sit on their hands and say, “My lifestyle business is going to be fine and there’s no sense in me trying to act or think differently.” I think it’s time for [MSPs] to wake up and understand that they better run their business like a business and concentrate on that 24/7 because it’s never been more critical than it is today.
CF: What will attendees get from your session?
GL: We’re going to focus on two trends — that there’s tremendous opportunity in the market today and MSPs are seeing major influences from customers and PE (price to earnings ratio) alike. We’re going to talk about why it’s important for partners to know their numbers and deliver value through selling outcome.