Successfully manage the seven pillars of your – and your customer’s – business

Every successful business executive manages seven functional areas of their organization to scale and grow. Business growth becomes limited because of an underdeveloped pillar or two, often marketing or sales. Yet with the transition to cloud-based business services, traditional IT offerings cause business problems, too.

Most MSPs provide services that support just one or two of these pillars. Smart resellers offer consulting services for all seven, knowing that each requires technology for a business to be scalable and responsive to market demands.

While this may feel like a business stretch, it’s an extension of your current offerings by adding one more specialist — a business analyst — and asking a few new questions. This results in a deeper customer relationship and real added value to the business relationship, resulting in more profits and predictable growth.

What are these business pillars and how can a reseller make more money by servicing them?

1. Products that create unique value for the target market

The products and services must bring unique value for your customers. This seems difficult when everyone is selling the same technology. The answer: bring unique business insights and wisdom while judiciously applying proven technology to business opportunities. You’ll make more by helping your customers grow then you will by just selling them technology.

2. Marketing that triggers relevant conversations

If your marketing isn’t triggering relevant conversations, it’s a waste of money. Need more customers? Most businesses do, including your customers. When you successfully market your business and help your customers successfully market theirs with technology, you both win big. Yet traditional approaches to marketing may not be the best choice for high-consideration sales, such as many technology offerings. Customers choose vendors based on confidence and trust built with time and education. That becomes your marketing focus.

3. Sales that facilitates profitable transactions

Your sales team, both technical and business oriented, must be able to efficiently facilitate a profitable transaction. There is a major difference between product training — what you talk about — and sales training — how you talk about it. You support this with technology and education. Would you be willing to send your VP of sales into a customer to do some troubleshooting? If so, then make that part of your value proposition. If not, you need to upgrade your team.

4. Service that earns customer loyalty

While most companies have service well in hand, a lapse in customer satisfaction destroys all of your team’s hard work. Execs keep tight control on service quality and continuously measure customer satisfaction. You can do this with technology and continuous training. You can provide these services to your customer, too.

5. Infrastructure that scales with economic cycles

The economy waxes and wanes. With modern cloud-based infrastructure, it’s much easier to deploy and maintain the right sized business infrastructure without overspending. Your customers need this. So do you.

6. Finance that controls cash flow and funds the future

Cash flow management provides the lifeblood of every business. Cloud-based infrastructure helps better manage cash flow. Your customers also need funding for their other technology and business expansion. Help them with financing and leasing.

7. Culture that upholds a unique customer experience

Culture dictates how we treat each other and how we treat our customers. A well-defined culture becomes the basis of scalable growth and a sustainable brand. It’s reinforced through management practices, hiring decisions, and the technology that implements business systems.

What to do next

Schedule time to review your seven business pillars. And start the conversation with your favorite customer about the condition of their seven pillars. You’ll be delighted at how eager they are for advice and support.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Mark S A Smith
Mark S A Smith
Mark S A Smith works with leaders to find the right customers, fast! He designs and implements sales, marketing, and customer acquisition systems that find and recruit willing buyers for disruptive products. He speaks at entrepreneurial and corporate events delivering pragmatic ideas to grow and succeed in business, large and small. He develops the required client strategy across business functions to support rapid sales growth and uses proprietary models and methods that gets clients there fast with sustainable outcomes. He is an electrical engineer, media technologist, computer programmer, hardware salesman, software marketer, and business owner who works with Ieaders who must develop the best way to scale their business. Mark wrote 13 books, technology playbooks, and sales guides targeting government, educational, healthcare and the private sector and has authored more than 400 magazine articles. Contact him for a conversation about how to grow your business.

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