Developing a strong prospecting framework can reduce the "feast-or-famine cycle" so many technology advisors live in.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

February 26, 2024

4 Min Read
Prospecting frameworks
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Prospecting frameworks can move channel partners into a steadier pipeline of new business.

So says Kim Staro, channel director for Avant's mid-Atlantic region. She argues that many partners in the technology advisor TA) channel are not taking intentional steps to identify potential new clients to approach. Instead, partners may find it easier to focus on existing customers or wait for referrals to come their way.

Staro will lead a session titled, "Mastering Prospecting for New Business," at the upcoming Channel Partners Conference & Expo, March 11-14, at the Venetian Las Vegas.

She fielded questions from Channel Futures about her session.

Channel Futures: It feels like referrals are the dominant source of pipeline for the majority of TAs. Is that true? What are you seeing out there in terms of where partners are most commonly finding leads?

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Kim Staro: I would agree that referrals are a dominant source, and I would classify referrals in this case as leads coming from both satisfied customers and previous customers, as well as those coming from strategic partnerships and other lead sources.

Another area where many trusted advisors are finding leads is within their own customer bases. Today’s partner is much more advanced, offering more products and services than ever before. As such, they are in a great position to be able to go back into their bases and add complementary services or upsell current ones. And it's important for TAs to do this if they want to stay closer to the customer and strengthen the relationship.

Related:Register for CP Expo/MSP Summit 2024, March 11-14, Las Vegas

Business development, including generating new lead sources and especially targeting customers, is likely something that most partners aren't putting as much focus on as they may have in the past. It’s an important piece of the equation that shouldn’t be overlooked, and that's one of the reasons why we're doing the training at Channel Partners.

CF: What do you say to TAs that haven’t developed a framework for prospecting? What are they missing out on?

KS: TAs that primarily rely on referrals for business and don’t have a framework for prospecting are potentially missing out on a significant growth opportunity. While referrals are a fantastic source of business, they can be unpredictable and may not always provide a steady stream of clients. By developing a prospecting framework, trusted advisors can take more control over their pipeline and ensure a more consistent flow of new business opportunities.

A well-developed prospecting framework can help trusted advisors identify and target new clients more effectively, creating a steady flow of leads and opportunities, and reduce the feast-or-famine cycle that can happen when referrals are not always coming in and current customers are not ready to buy.

When trusted advisors invest the time to develop a prospecting framework, they empower themselves and their teams to take proactive control of their business. They unlock new avenues for growth, mitigate risks associated with overreliance on referrals, and empower their teams with the right tools, resources, and quite frankly, confidence. All of which will aid in better positioning for long-term success.

CF: Are there any preliminary dos and don’ts of prospecting you’d like to share?

KS: There are many that come to mind on both sides. One I do see often is a TA spending a lot of time on a prospect, even if they are not the right fit, just because they came from a valued referral source. This is where the framework I mentioned earlier would help. Teams that have a clear understanding of the types of prospects that are good targets for their firm and why, what they do well, and where they can truly provide value will be in a better position to avoid these situations, or at least be able to graciously explain where they can help vs. where there may be a better resource available.

These days, TAs are well-positioned to be multifaceted in their offerings, but even so, it's still important that they remain focused on the targets where they can add the most value.

CF: Anything else you’d like to add?

KS: During our session at Channel Partners, we will focus on selecting targets and creating the right tools to engage with them successfully, all of which will help trusted advisors be in a better position to prospect confidently. We will also discuss ways to ensure it is all about the customer or prospect, not about the TA. Shifting that mindset is key to successfully building pipeline and closing deals.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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