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Does your would-be customer have adequate credit?

Spoke with Janet Schijns, vice president of global channel programs for the Motorola enterprise mobility solutions group, about several topics looking forward into the New Year.

Two of her themes, in particular, struck me as particularly relevant on the cusp of 2010. They are actually pretty inter-related, which sort of makes things easier for you.

1) If you want to grow, you have to plan to grow. In the early days of the technology industry, there were a lot of accidental millionaires. The chances of that happening in today’s economy are slim to none, so you really SHOULD take time here at the year-end to set your focus. Yes, there is a lot of opportunity as the market climbs out of the recession, but if you try to be all things, you won’t get the focus out of your salespeople that you need to capitalize. “In times of recovery, there is nothing more important than having a focus,” Schijns says. “100 percent of the fastest-growing companies will tell you that they have a business plan for where they are going. … Remember to invest in training and education for your managers and leaders to both develop a business plan AND develop a plan to execute against it.”

So, I put this question to you: When was the last time you updated yours and have you really aligned your resources to support it?

2) REALLY vet your customer prospects. Schijns has begun asking Motorola channel partners regularly how often they check a prospective account’s credit standing or TRUE buying intentions before investing oodles of sales resources on an account. More often than not, VARs and IT solution providers fail to take this precaution, she notes. As a partner benefit, Motorola offers a substantial to the Hoovers database so that they can remember to do this simple research.

Is this something you remind your team to do? If not, how many days of accounts receivable are you currently carrying?

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