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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

Location

333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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April 21, 2016 |

Sell Faster or Else, Warn SMB TechFest Speakers

Automated prospecting, rather than cold calls, is the key to building and filling a sales pipeline big enough to generate large volumes of low-margin leads quickly.

Get busy, slowpoke. You’re probably closing far too few deals to thrive in the cloud computing age, according to speakers at day one of the Q2 SMB TechFest in Anaheim, Calif.
The second of four TechFest shows in 2016, today’s edition drew VARs, MSPs, and other channel pros from Southern California and beyond for a day of presentations from peers, consultants, and vendors on the latest trends and best practices in SMB technology. It’s the frightening speed with which those evolve that explains why Dave Seibert (pictured), who runs SMB TechFest, holds the conferences quarterly.
“Our business changes too fast,” says Seibert, who is also CIO of IT Innovators Inc., a solution provider and MSP in Irvine, Calif. “We live in a pretty fast-paced industry.”
To thrive in that industry, channel pros must market and sell their services just as quickly, according to multiple conference presenters, especially in an era of cloud solutions that deliver lower profits than the 60-point margins many service providers once routinely collected.
“Remember those days? They ain’t coming back,” said sales expert Gil Cargill, of Los Angeles, Calif.-based Cargill Consulting Group Inc. To compensate, he continued, channel pros must adopt a high-velocity sales process that continually feeds fresh leads into their sales funnel. If “always be closing” was once the key to financial success, he argued, today it’s “always be prospecting.” And that means making calls and sending emails in large, continuous volumes, as it typically takes at least 15 “touches” to get an appointment with a potential client.
“Waiting for the customers to call you is a flawed strategy,” Cargill said. “They don’t even know what results you can produce for them, so why would they call you?”
Most channel pros are too busy for cold calling, however, so Cargill encouraged them to use an outsourced prospecting service like the one his firm offers instead.
“The secret sauce is to get inbound inquiries,” Cargill said. “We don’t have the time, talent, or inclination to spend time on the phone.”
Sales consultant Kendra Lee, of Centennial, Colo.-based KLA Group, which also offers automated lead generation assistance, struck a similar note. Most channel pros rely on referrals for new business, she noted.†
“The challenge with that is it’s hard to grow consistently and you forget to ask consistently,” Lee said. Only a marketing process that utilizes sophisticated tools to deliver a mix of emails, social media posts, white papers, and more to large numbers of SMBs will produce enough leads to keep a managed or cloud services practice growing.
According to Seibert, today’s conference, which concludes tomorrow, drew approximately 400 registrants, about 20 percent more than the first SMB TechFest of the year in January. Seibert says the event has been averaging 20 percent growth every time he holds it.
Lamborghini Huracan“One of the things that makes my event unique is I’m them,” he says, referring to the channel pros in his audience. “I understand what they want out of an event.”
That includes plenty of business best practices content and networking time, plus a 12,000 square foot expo hall with roughly 30 vendor booths that conference goers can visit all afternoon and into the evening.
Also on the expo hall floor for Q2 is a bright red Lamborghini Huracan (pictured). Seibert says that attendees of his Q1 conference wondered how he was going to top the Ferrarri he had on display for that show, and this was his answer. He has plans to outdo himself once again at the Q3 SMB TechFest, which will take place in Anaheim on July 21st and 22nd, but declined to discuss them on the record.

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