Solution Providers Lacking in Sales Plans – Forecast

Latest 2112 Group research finds strategy still nascent with some resellers.

Almost a third of solution providers do not have sales plans or revenue objectives, according to the latest research by The 2112 Group.

In its 2015 Channel Forecast report, the group finds that 31 percent of resellers do not set sales goals for their sales staff.

This worrying figure is reflective of a channel culture that has seen some solution providers selling what they need to sell without finding a need to build strategy around it, according to Lawrence M. Walsh, CEO and chief analyst at The 2112 Group.

“You would think if they’re in the business of making money, [setting sales goals] would probably be one of the things you’d want to do,” he told Channelnomics.

“In the past the channel’s been enamored by shiny objects, and frankly, that’s where the vendors pitch it. They say ‘we’ve got this great new product and your customers will need it and you’re going to sell a bundle of it and we’re going to give you this much margin’, and therefore partners sign up. What’s that actually created is a system of ebbs and flows because the vendors are right: the product will come out, the partner will sell a bunch of them and then they’ll stop because there’s nothing strategic behind it.”

The current evolution of VARs into more service-providing functions, however, is pushing a drive towards a more strategic approach for resellers, Walsh said, although there is still some ways to go.

“I think this is definitely part of why they’re applying more strategy against their action rather than taking a half stance approach,” he said. “Would I like to see more discipline in this? Yes. There is still this significant number of solution providers who are still not doing things as basic as setting goals for their sales teams.”

Walsh added, however, that the forecast highlights positive changes in this attitude across the channel, with solution providers starting to recognize the need to focus on operations and not just technologies.

“We found it is one of the areas they improved. There’s a recognition here that with the saturation that’s going on, they have to start thinking more strategically. This is coupled with a general increase in some of the better business practices as we defined them: better business planning, doing strategic development, investing in applied governance over sales teams and sales people and even marketing.”

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