Technology adept and sales inept is probably a somewhat harsh analysis of the typical channel partner.
But managed service providers, value-added resellers and systems integrators do tend to be brimming with IT know-how and a bit lacking when it comes to soft skills such as sales, marketing and customer service. Channel consultancies, trade associations, product vendors and at least one “compassionate geek” offer assistance for partners looking to improve those aspects of a channel business.
At ChannelCon, conference host CompTIA stepped up to the task on the sales side. The organization launched a downloadable sales toolkit for technology businesses, which aims to help business owners and sales managers plan, build and maintain a sales operation. The sales toolkit is available free of charge to ChannelCon attendees and CompTIA’s registered users through mid-August. After that, the toolkit will only be available to CompTIA’s dues-paying Premier Members.
Kelly Ricker, senior vice president for events and education at CompTIA, said the organization decided to invest in a sales toolkit to complement its earlier marketing toolkit, which has become the top download on CompTIA’s website.
“So many [IT providers] are technically inclined … It’s the soft skills where they need some additional support and guidance,” Ricker said.