Channel sales are changing. Until recent times, salespeople and resellers would often trade off the back of the brand names they supplied to their end-user customers. The pedigree and reputation that comes with a leading vendor brand has traditionally helped to build opportunities. The majority of solutions were delivered through a single vendor, and resellers tended to partner with a very small number of non-competing vendors.
Today, the name on the box isn’t seen as essential when selecting products, instead performance takes the lead, resulting in an influx of alternative manufacturers delivering a blend of multi-vendor solutions. There are a number of market factors at play, all of which are reducing the importance of the name on the box.
User habits and expectations are driving continued market disruption, both positive and negative. Technology disruption has produced new innovations, improved processes and performance, but economic disruption from fiscal downturns and political shifts such as Brexit has produced a tough environment for many. Budgets are, by and large, reducing, so expensive one-size-fits-all solutions are simply not aligned to customer requirements. Resellers offering more multi-vendor solutions are doing so because they can be built bespoke to customer needs, offering relevant and agile systems that can flex with the pressures of today’s business.
As a result, the change happening now sees sales people responding to new opportunities, not with details on a single solution, but one that utilises a hybrid approach, combining best-of-breed technology, making the reseller’s USP how they package performance and their commercial model.
The power of the brand is shifting away from the vendors and it is the responsibility of resellers to maximise this opportunity by ensuring their brand is safeguarded by adopting a multi-vendor approach. Consumers care about ‘what’s inside’ the solution in terms of performance, flexibility and cost so there is a huge opportunity for resellers to own ‘what’s inside’ and become trusted technology advisors and the leading IT experts in their space.