A football coach wouldn’t allow a hole in his lineup on game day. To do so would be to risk the other team having the advantage and likely winning the game. In the same vein, if your company is a communications channel partner or value-added reseller, why would you want to risk not selling a key part of an ecosystem and take the chance that another channel partner would win your customer’s business by offering that missing piece?

Channel partners that are seeing gaps in their customer relationships could benefit from learning what they can do to offer all the pieces their customer needs so they can own the entire relationship and the customer isn’t tempted to shop around. Some partners approach their customers with one salesforce for hardware and a different one for software. A better way to entice these customers with a full communications ecosystem would be to combine your salesforces to have a single lead-sharing environment. Just as on a football team, every position is important. When one is missing, the team doesn’t work as effectively, and will play at a lower capacity. And just like that football team, a channel partner certainly doesn’t want to get into a situation where their company could lose a customer just because they don’t offer the one thing that is missing from their line-up.

In a communications ecosystem, one thing that’s often missing is data, or business intelligence that can help customers and channel partners understand trends, evaluate options, ensure compliance and make better decisions so their enterprise runs as smoothly as possible. They can also use this data to predict and prevent problems before they occur, in much less time than it would take with outdated methods, to ensure highest-quality communications.

At Plantronics, our SaaS offering, Plantronics Manager Pro, helps channel partners create higher-value relationships with their customers because it essentially transforms the headset from a simple endpoint into an intelligent system-level data aggregator. Customers and channel partners alike can gain valuable and actionable insights about things like headset deployment and usage. A channel partner can grow their managed services practice by being able to remotely manage configurations and push out settings and firmware updates. And, they can help customers plan ahead, eliminate known configuration problems, and quickly respond to service inquiries. In addition, partners who have developed recurring revenue streams with Plantronics Manager Pro have the opportunity to increase their margins.

If your company is a communications channel partner or managed service provider and you don’t make the move to offer actionable insights to your customers, you might be in jeopardy of being replaced by a partner that’s embracing the digitalization of the enterprise as customers look to minimize their vendor footprint. Don’t lose the game. Fill your bench with all the “players” needed for your success.

This post can be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dont-allow-any-holes-your-communications-lineup-game-day-anderson/