New Tools to Amp Up IT Sales

ToolboxIt’s a recurring theme in the channel: Partners need to attack emerging market opportunities quickly to gain competitive advantage and maximize opportunities, but their traditional sales forces often aren’t up to the task.

Particularly in the areas of mobility and advanced cloud implementations, solution providers that may have all the technology tools and acumen in the world still struggle to gain entry in hot technology spaces for want of appropriate sales training and marketing strategies.

Just yesterday, we were bemoaning the fact that stodgy, non-adaptive sales forces were ill-equipped to handle disruptive technologies, leaving both solution providers and their clients in the lurch. The prescription is to school sales people on the need to recognize and quickly leverage competitive intelligence, cross pollinating it with updated technology sales and marketing strategies to beat the herd to emerging opportunities.

One way partners have found to overcome sales inertia is through the use of solutions-specific “playbooks” that dissect new technology offerings and give sales and marketing organizations a game plan for presenting them. Playbooks on dozens of topics are available from industry organizations, vendors, distributors and in rare cases even other partners.

“Our Sales Playbooks have quickly become among the most popular of our training offerings for the IT channel,” said Kelly Ricker, senior vice president for events and education at CompTIA in Downers Grove, Ill.

“Solution providers are using these resources as a foundation to establish their own, customized sales playbook and to enhance their sales training and marketing message development,” Ricker said. “We’ve engaged some of the top minds in the IT channel to develop the latest batch. The playbooks will help solution providers develop the tools to target, position and close new opportunities.”

The new CompTIA Sales Playbooks lineup includes the following:

  • Cloud-Based Telephony, focused on making VoIP services more accessible to end-users and more attractive to a wider variety of channel partners.
  • Mobile Device Management, which covers BYOD and expanding  mobile workforce with tips on managing a growing and diverse inventory of mobile devices.
  • Advanced Communications, focused on next-gen solutions like video conferencing and unified communication and collaboration that are flourishing in today’s mobile connected workplaces.

Each CompTIA Sales Playbook combines workshop sessions, templates and training materials to help IT sales teams hone their prospecting and sales skills for emerging technology solutions.

Of course, playbooks aren’t just for discrete technology sets. Earlier this fall, RMM platform vendor N-able launched a robust, 13-chapter MSP Playbook that claims to cover nearly every aspect of the MSP business model with best practices, growth strategies and proven tactics of successful MSPs along with a roadmap for delivering high performance, proactive managed services.

The N-able MSP playbook “is a tell-all reader’s guide for becoming one of the world’s most successful MSPs,” said Mike Cullen, senior vice president of sales at N-able when the e-book was announced. “We’ve documented and detailed everything an MSP needs to know and do to establish, grow and scale a profitable services practice.”