How High-Tech Leaders Can Capture the Untapped 'Big Middle'

Posted by John DeSarbo on Fri, Nov 10, 2017

This post is the first in a four-part series on how high-tech companies can improve coverage of the “big middle” market segment.

While many high-tech companies are busy chasing large enterprise and SMB customers, one segment of the market—companies with $100 million to $1 billion in annual sales, referred to as the “big middle”—often gets lost in the shuffle. According to ZS analysis, there are about 30,000 such companies in the U.S., spending more than $150 billion each year on technology and making up about 21% of total IT spending. Unfortunately, many high-tech companies struggle to sell to and serve this attractive market segment.


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Breaking the 'Channel Laziness' Cycle

Posted by John DeSarbo on Mon, Sep 11, 2017

In my last post, I explored the causes of “channel laziness,” a common side effect of high-tech manufacturers’ efforts to create indirect sales channels to reach small- or mid-market businesses. Unfortunately, some manufacturers that leverage partners to reach customers who are difficult to cover through direct channels struggle to achieve desired channel productivity levels due to partner over-reliance on the support provided to them. In effect, partners become lazy, unwilling to invest in the resources and competencies that are required to play their intended role in manufacturers’ go-to-market strategies.


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Three Common Causes of 'Channel Laziness'

Posted by John DeSarbo on Thu, Sep 07, 2017

Most high-tech manufacturers establish channel partnerships that provide an important route-to-market for the mid-market or small-business segments. These partnerships help manufacturers reach key customers in geographies that are often difficult to cover with direct channels. Unfortunately, many manufacturers who choose this strategy are struggling with a challenge that I call “channel laziness.” Channel partners who manufacturers count on to both acquire and grow customer relationships are not achieving expected productivity levels and are reluctant to invest in new sales and marketing capabilities. This reluctance and, in some cases, ambivalence regarding high-tech manufacturers’ efforts to enable improved partner performance leads to high sales costs, missed opportunities and stagnant growth.


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How Channel Sales Are Better Aligning With High-Tech Customers’ Changing Needs

Posted by John DeSarbo on Wed, Aug 09, 2017

As high-tech manufacturers strive to accelerate profitable growth, they’re looking to their channel partners to provide more value to end customers. Successful technology channel partners are transforming their business models accordingly, transitioning from providing value primarily by distributing products to providing business solutions that are delivered in sync with customers’ changing buying and consumption preferences. Executing this transformation doesn’t just require partners to change. High-tech manufacturers must change as well to enable their partners to expand their capabilities. The need to help partners increase their effectiveness has significant implications for channel sales teams.


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A Channel Perspective: Dell’s $67 Billion Acquisition of EMC

Posted by Alex Southworth on Fri, Oct 16, 2015

Dell announced this week the highest-valued tech deal in history, the company’s $67 billion acquisition of EMC (and with it majority ownership of VMware). The industry is buzzing about how the takeover will be another crucial step in Dell’s transformation from build-to-order PC manufacturer to full-service provider of technology solutions that Michael Dell has been orchestrating through a series of acquisitions dating back to when he returned as CEO in 2007.


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