Potential clients in specific industries such as health care, financial services and education need the expertise of a channel partner — and there are plenty of BIG sales to be made.

Channel Partners

February 11, 2017

  • Go Vertical: How to Cash In with New Markets, Applications

    Stuck in a sales rut? Maybe you need some new customers. Or maybe you just want what most of us want — more money.

    That’s where it pays to think vertically. Potential clients in specific industries such as health care, financial services and education need the expertise of a channel partner — and there are plenty of BIG sales to be made.

    How BIG? We’ll show you in this gallery, and give you a half-dozen tips to get you on the road to vertical success.

    **Source material by Kevin Casey**

    Looking for more? When you’re finished flipping through this gallery, go in-depth on how to become a vertical-industry specialist with our Report. Get access here.

  • Go Vertical: We Told You There Was Opportunity

    7591ef692e6c451d8d959e3c6c3acb78.jpg

    Techaisle studied channel partners’ best practices selling cloud to SMBs and found that those who sold services customized to a particular industry were 21 times more profitable than their peers. 21 times!!

    Supply and demand is in a partner’s favor.

    Industry-specific productivity, communications and collaboration services are hot — and, as the Techaisle report notes, are among “the least offered by channels.”

  • Go Vertical: Become an Expert

    84d7443e45bd4778ba2321fdcbb98d94.jpg

    You’re going to need to develop expertise in a certain vertical to withstand the test of time. Don’t rest on your laurels when you’ve signed your local insurance agent to a contract; that doesn’t make you an expert in financial services.

    “It requires that you become a subject-matter expert in the vertical and expand your offering to include the product stack that your customers seek,” Rebecca Rosen, president of sales strategy consultancy Sales Enabled, told us.

    Channel partners who have made the commitment have reaped rewards.

  • Go Vertical: Start With What You Know

    38965bba34c04f43ac4a824f5095d6b8.jpg

    Don’t throw out your playbook.

    To start, look at your existing customers; maybe you already have a few clients in a specific vertical. Then do your due diligence: Consider the size of the market, if it’s growing and what might impact it going forward.

    After those steps, you might have a basic idea whether a specialty in that industry will work for your business.

  • Go Vertical: Listen to Customers

    0f7484f6ca22437eab67a9839ca2c255.jpg

    Sure, this might seem like an obvious point, but sometimes partners get the idea that they already know what a customer needs. With vertical applications, it’s even more critical because you probably are facing a steep learning curve.

    Ask questions.

    “The customer is normally flattered that you want to learn more and wants to help you if you are a valuable partner already, so it was the easiest way for me to gain experiential knowledge,” Cryptzone’s Tina Gravel recounted to us.

    And that means talking to a lot of people. Consider a hospital, where doctors, nurses, administrators and staff all have various technology needs.

  • Go Vertical: Well, Isn’t That Special?

    0da42f27f412479d83fcf8bbb553e910.jpg

    Don’t get too crazy. If you’re serving a bunch of verticals, you’re probably not an expert in any of them. In fact, Techaisle research shows that an SMB-focused partner serves an average of eight verticals!

    You might find that specializing could mean picking certain applications to sell in one of these verticals and becoming a know-it-all so that you can meet the needs of particular customers.

    Consider, for example, that “an orthopedist needs a lot more storage and bandwidth than an allergist,” as MicroCorp’s Karin Fields points out.

  • Go Vertical: Deep Thinking

    0688a5a52afd40db9b2b8b2d4ce89a0d.jpg

    Let’s say you have an expertise in security. Go deeper by selling your expertise in specific use cases and implementations applicable to your customer’s business.

    Security has major implications in industries such as health care and financial services because they have stiff compliance requirements that other verticals don’t have.

    Also, keep a close eye on new technology and consider how it might impact a certain vertical. The Internet of Things (IoT) remains a bit of a mystery to many businesses; if you can develop a specialty in how it impacts a particular industry, that could be a major differentiator for your business.

  • Go Vertical: Challenges

    a050158b40f54479b7bb87f3fc3babee.jpg

    So did we make “going vertical” sound easy? There are challenges on top of the point we’ve made about really committing to the process.

    First, referrals – key to many partners’ businesses – can be tough to come by in some industries because they might be hesitant to “help the competition in any way,” MicroCorp’s Fields told us. “That doesn’t happen often,” she said, “but it is one of the challenges.”

    Second, it can be risky for small providers, which can less afford to sacrifice a reliable existing revenue stream for a new one than can a larger provider.

    Third, your existing customers might not be a good fit for your vertical specialty. Recall one of our earlier points about looking at your existing customer base before getting started. Remember, this isn’t a short-term process; it takes time to become an expert in something new.

    All that said, there’s great success to be had in verticals if the circumstances are right and you make the right moves.

  • Go Vertical: How to Cash In with New Markets, Applications

    Go in-depth on how to become a vertical-industry specialist with our Report. Get access here.

    Please click here for more Channel partners galleries.

Read more about:

Agents
Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like