Alyssa Fitzpatrick is the GM of Worldwide Partner
Sales at Microsoft, computer scientist and confessed
adrenaline enthusiast with over 25 years in the software, technology and
channel sales spaces. Overseeing
business with over 50,000 global channel partners with an iconic organization
such as Microsoft gives Alyssa a unique perspective into how to engage and
enable channel partners of all sizes and at various levels of maturity in their
Explosive Change: Fear & Opportunity
only constant is change.” This
axiom, while widely attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, is
extra true in the worlds of technology and business. As fast as products and distribution channels
have changed in recent times, so too has there been considerable shifts in what
it takes to support the success of channel partners. Where some companies are fearful both in
terms of concern for traditional revenue models and feeling disoriented in
their channel strategies, many are excitedly getting to work testing new
tactics, re-strategizing, and getting ready to divvy up the pies of the first
changes our cost of sale, and it changes how we’re meeting our customers in the
market,” says Alyssa. She refers to
the paradigm shift associated with channel partner enablement in the shifting
world of bespoke marketing efforts.
Where partners used to bend and shift their businesses around a product
willingly, there is a growing movement toward pressure on vendors to adapt
their marketing offerings to myriad partner models and market conditions.
sums it up: “They want it personal, and they want it relevant, and they
want it continually evolving. It’s a
very, very different sell, and that means we have to market differently, we
have to compensate differently, and we have to sell differently.”
Alyssa’s perspective, the remedy for uncertainty is collaboration. For brands selling through indirect channels,
the “arms around each other” approach means working together to understand and
address each other’s needs and working to help keep all parties as closely
evolved as possible through ongoing digital transformation.
Digital Transformation for Your Sales Organization
readers will remember the uncertainty of the not-so-distant pass surrounding
how B2B marketing and sales might look vs. consumer marketing and sales as the
buyer’s journey shifted to a primarily digital experience. Curiously, many of us would think deeply
about such things while we were at work or think idly about the issue as we
read blog content on our smartphones between appointments, did banking
transactions while we commuted by train, or shopped for Christmas gifts on
Amazon from our iPads after the kids had gone to bed for the night.
believes that it’s time to stop wondering and start ensuring that your team is
both geared and skilled up. The way
people buy has changed for good and will continue to evolve at nearly the same
pace as technology. “A lot of times
the sales group is the last group to get transformed,” Alyssa notes,
adding “and they’re actually one of the most important areas of
need to have different kinds of sellers.
We need sellers that know how to network. We need sellers that know how to leverage
analytics and really fine-tune their approach when they’re dealing with
different kinds of customers.”
Technical Resources for Channel Partner Enablement
“Technical resources are king,” Alyssa says, speaking to the
importance of sales and marketing leaders need to understand how emerging tech
trends will converge with their existing stacks, strategies and procedures.
The imminent ubiquity of cloud-based
software tools will continue to feed every company’s data estate with valuable
information that, whether owned or purchased, will bring ever-increasing
success capabilities. Business
leadership in this fast and ever-shifting landscape is going to mean not merely
extracting and leveraging advantage from the new tools but also watching for
ways that these tools can empower channel partners and other stakeholders.
Another constant: commerce will continue
to be a fast and hectic ride. As an experienced driver of race cars, Alyssa
advises that we should all open ourselves to the exciting advantages that can be
realized by learning to accelerate through the turns.
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