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Time to skill up and deepen customer relationships

The fourth quarter is a key time on the sales front but there are other activities that resellers should engage in to get themselves in a stronger position come the year end

With the crucial fourth quarter looming the advice from senior figures in distribution is for resellers to develop skills and relationships to get into stronger positions before the year ends.

With the summer holidays becoming a distant memory the focus is now on hitting end of year targets and getting through partner events and industry conferences.

Aside from cranking up the sales volume there also needs to be a focus on developing expertise, according to Miriam Murphy, senior vice president, Tech Data Advanced Solutions.

“The way in which IT investment decisions are made and how IT solutions are being consumed is undergoing significant change, which in turn is creating challenges and opportunities for the channel. The rate of change means that the channel is being challenged to invest in new skills and develop new solutions faster than ever before and this is something the channel needs to prioritise before the close of the year," she said.

She added that the distributor is lining up support around some key areas so partners can, "create business solutions in next generation technologies, such as hybrid cloud, IoT, analytics, machine learning, AI and cyber security”.

Scott Murphy, director of Cloud UK&I, Ingram Micro, said that the fourth quarter could should include some efforts by partners to improve their standing in both the channel ecosystem and with customers.

"Resellers working in the cloud space to develop their role in the IT ecosystem and deepen their relationship with the end user," he said.

Working more closely with customers was also seen as key by Mark Simon, managing director, EMEA, Datto, who advised managed service providers to use Q4 to inform users about the benefits of working with them.

"The challenge – and the biggest opportunity – is getting small businesses to trust their needs to an MSP, as some still try to manage their IT by themselves. The key for MSPs is to demonstrate clearly what value they bring to the table," he said.

"Bundling services takes away some of the price pressure and comparison. The most significant benefit however is in the standardisation of the MSP offering, as a more consistent stack means more efficient client support. This ultimately results in happier clients and a more profitable business," he added.

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