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Training has been one of the more in-demand services during the pandemic, from resellers keen to keep and expand their expertise.
Vendors have reported a significant increase in interest in training and enablement courses, and the industry has adapted to remote working to provide those resources digitally and in smaller-length options.
The latest to reveal it is adapting its offer to the channel is Cloud Distribution, which has cut the ribbon on a sales masterclass programme.
The masterclasses will focus on key activities in the sales cycle to help resellers be more successful going forward. The first are targeting prospecting messaging and how a partner can get someone to engage with them.
The sessions are being hosted by veteran sales coach Jim Wigg, and are part of the distributor’s Cloud’s Partner Growth Services webinar series. The idea is that even experienced sales staff will benefit from the sessions that keep their skills sharp, and for others it can help boost their knowledge.
“Remote working has created a huge change in the environment for salespeople and the way they operate,” said Wigg. “Some have embraced it, but others are struggling. One thing’s for certain, it’s accentuated the need for salespeople to have the right mindset and execute strongly on sales basics. Exposing the gap between the salespeople who do and the salespeople who don’t.”
The need fort the channel to get skilled up has never been greater, with figures from the Open University revealing that nine in 10 (88%) organisations admit they have a shortage of digital skills. Those gaps were already having a significant negative impact on productivity, efficiency and competitiveness even before they became exacerbated by Covid-19.
Supporting the channel
Adam Davison, sales and marketing director for Cloud Distribution, said that it viewed it as a responsibly of the business to extend the ways it could support the channel.
“We are constantly thinking of ways to help, enable and upskill our partner community, and we know that sometimes going back to basics – to make sure core sales methods are in place to capitalise on opportunity – can be essential,” he said.
“We know that the sales dynamic has changed during the past year and we want to ensure we give our partners the opportunity to remind, refresh and sharpen their core sales skills,” he added.
Others in the industry have also talked about the need to increase the support that can be offered to partners.
Sam Giggle, head of sales at unified comms player TelcoSwitch, said that vendors also had a role in improving the chances of success in the channel.
“For many tech companies, the connections they have with their channel partners are the lifeblood of their success,” said Giggle. “In times of economic turmoil such as this one, it’s more important than ever that we have each other’s backs, which means that vendors should be taking steps to enrich these relationships, rather than letting them fall by the wayside in favour of other priorities that might erroneously be deemed more pressing.
“Achieving this requires a concerted effort not only to maintain a basic level of contact with partners, but to go the extra mile in terms of training programmes and ongoing support,” he added.