Many solution providers like vars seem to struggle to keep up their revenue as their clients have less money to spend. This probably also goes for other types of business to business companies. What I hear often from vars is that their customers are postponing the so needed upgrade of their outdated phone system for example.
As revenue from the existing client base is going down, I see two obvious options:
- Grow your client base
- Find an alternative way to present your solution so that it makes financial sense to the current customer base
The first point, finding new clients, sounds pretty obvious but may be hard to accomplish as your fellow solution providers are trying to do the same. It is still very much worth the effort but you have to really come up with a unique selling point to distinct yourself from the competition.
The second point may seem even harder at first. When the capital expense of a new PBX phone system for example does not fit their budget, make it fit. Perhaps the customer is using an old technology and by presenting a phone system that can save them money on their telecom usage expense, it can suddenly start to make sense to upgrade. For example what if you present a VoIP based solution as SIP Trunking, if they had analogue phone lines until now this may be a significant cost saver. If they don’t have the capital, it may even still make financial sense to lease.
What does this have to do with Interdependence versus Independence?
It does not necessarily have anything to do with it but it may make things easier. Independence may be something that many business owners are actively perusing: becoming as independent as possible so that they have total control over their own business. They may fail to see the mutual benefit of interdependence.
Patrick Oborn, co-founder of Telarus, has written a great article about interdependence versus independence in regards to master agents. As we work with a lot of var partners, we found this to be an inspirational article and decided to show what interdependence can do for our var partners.
When a solution provider partners with a master agent, the relationship can only be truly successful if it is of mutual benefit. As with any relationship it is a two way street. Thus comes Interdependence, growing your business by growing each other’s business.
The relationship we are aiming for with our var partners is one of interdependense. We as carrier services consultants come across customers that have just ordered a new PRI circuit and they need a new PBX. Guess what, our var partner gets the opportunity. And that goes the other way as well: when our var partner has a client in need of a new T1 line, or any other carrier circuit – guess who he refers them to?
Besides sharing and referring leads between the interdependent companies (in this case the solution provider var and the carrier services consultant), the involved parties also grow their value proposition to the customer by offering a more complete solution. By partnering with a master agent, the var partner is able to offer carrier services without the hassle of dealing with all the carriers. The var partner grows their revenue this way, and he may be able to justify the new equipment purchase for his customer by comparing overall cost. The carrier consultant can even help by offering a circuit with a vendor that will amortize the equipment cost, so that there is less capital expense. And we as carrier services consultants are happy as well because this brings us more revenue.
True Interdependence is vital for a successful business partnership, don’t shy away from it.
If you want to learn more about our carrier services or our var partner program, how to set up such an interdependent relationship etc. feel free to contact us.