Author: Andrew McGee
Before any disruptor can cause a shift in the market – a ripple, if you will – they need the right systems and processes to do so. Often this means investing in the right partnerships and relationships that can aid them in making that transition from a big idea into a big game changer.
For IBM Channel Partners the challenge is, and always has been, to catch these start-ups and disruptors before they start to make that ripple, one that will eventually turn into a wave. It is at this point that start-ups need the right resources to help them avoid common growing pains. But, without the right acquisition strategy, it becomes increasingly difficult for IBM Channel Partners to find and qualify the right start-ups and disruptors. Plus, how do you recognise a disruptor before they’ve had an impact?
It raises a tricky question of how, but also when, to engage with disruptors and scale-ups, and at what stage. Vivolution has several years of experience facilitating the relationship between channel partners and scale-ups, and in this blog, we outline some of the most important points when it comes to engaging start-ups and ensuring that you have a sales-funnel full of qualified leads with a high probability of growing.
Understand the Process
Understanding the challenges and needs of start-ups will help you identify what stage they are at and whether they have the potential to grow out of these challenges and emerge as a real disruptor. Finding out what systems they depend on currently can help you to propose changes. A quick glance over their website should reveal plenty of clues, but if you don’t take the time to analyse these findings, you’ll just end up cold-calling. It’s when you take the time to understand their infrastructure and propose certain cognitive technology or API’s that really work for them that they’ll begin to see the value of your input.
This will also help you discover who their ideal buyer persona is – as a result, you’ll be able to find out much more about what’s important to the longevity of their business. After all, each and every business starts by understanding their client base. Even if your product is as good as you say it is.
Research and statistics only get you so far. After that point, you need the human element to provide a competitive advantage over other innovation labs and competitors. Attending events, engaging in meaningful conversations, and understanding the needs of their business is crucial in understanding them as a potential client and moving them from a start-up to your start-up. Asking them directly what their pains are and addressing these with specific solutions helps show them that there are measurable ways to add value to any given business without taking unnecessary risks. Nothing is more important to a start-up if they are going to trust you with their future growth.
It’s not a sales pitch, it’s a conversation
Too often Channel Partners insist on using technical lingo and letting sales pitches dominate the conversation. Focus on them. It’s not about your knowledge or your products; it’s about how you can nurture them into your process: the IBM way of doing things. To truly engage them, you need to be as innovative as the products you offer, by providing personal examples that relate to their sector, their business, and their situation.
This conversation starts by writing blogs, designing social posts, and coming up with helpful infographics and videos to illustrate the process, not just sell it. Features and products are all important, but the applications and relevancy of these to unique scaling models is of more interest to these young, often erratic, businesses.
Vivolution is the bridge between Channel Partners and Start-ups
Vivolution facilitates the engagement between the scale-up business and IBM Channel Partners; tapping into technical expertise, and systems whilst shaping the routes-to-market strategy via the international channel partners and their clients.
This creates the opportunity for the Channel Partners and IBM to demonstrate their ability to introduce innovative emerging technology scale ups to their global clients whilst growing the usage of the IBM Power Cloud and creating a funnel of next generation enterprise clients who have the hunger to grow.
At Vivolution we help IBM Channel Partners to find and nurture the most qualified start-ups and growth drivers in a proven approach. Contact us today to uncover the innovative healthtech and fintech solutions which Scotland is renowned for; developed by industry entrepreneurs, clinicians and academics.
Author: Mark Roger
Starting a tech business is one thing. Acknowledging when and how you should grow is a completely different matter. It’s key to utilise the right growth drivers and apply the right commercial strategies to nurture your start-up and scale.
Most businesses find that coming up with an innovative business, portal, or app is the easy part. After all, it’s what you do after the inception of your idea that will determine whether you achieve the long-term success your business needs to create a lasting impact. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the best ways to scale your start-up properly, and what tools and resources you can use along the way.
Start small, think BIG
Even small companies who have yet to reach their full potential need to be able to think big. Or at least bigger. You can be a small four-man team of app developers working in a crowded coworking space and still have big ambitions. In fact, we recommend that you do, as that will ensure that you think about how you can scale your business and what you need to achieve to get there.
Think about some of the greatest contemporary tech influencers. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Ellison all shared a vehement passion and hunger to achieve the things they now have. Not because they were deluded or got lucky, but because they knew how they wanted to scale and grow.
If you’re a start-up and you’re unable, or more importantly, unwilling to think about the big picture and the future of your business, then you may not have the ambition to really drive major growth. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing – but for those really looking to make an impact and scale their business, planning is essential.
Be aware of what tools, resources, and infrastructure you need to take your business to the top. What’s the end goal? What are your biggest challenges? Competitors? Most importantly – how can you have the biggest impact, and what would that entail for your end users?
Don’t get caught daydreaming about success when you haven’t achieved it yet. It’s important to focus on the ‘here and the now,’ but it’s also vital to be aware of where that is taking you. Make sure to set achievable targets along the way that fit the scaling model of your choice. Remember that scaling too quickly or too slowly can have disastrous consequences on the longevity of your business. Finding that perfect balance is often the hard part, but once you’re there, you’ll realise you can apply that knowledge and experience to other areas of your business. As a result, you’ll find that some areas, products, or services will scale faster than others. Just remember to keep the growth in line with the rest of your business; you don’t want an unbalanced or unsustainable business.
Invest into the things that matter
When it comes to systems and processes, make sure you invest in the right things at the right time. If this means investing in expensive technology or software, then make sure to weigh the pros and cons of such a purchase early on. Crucially, don’t be the victim of your own growth. It’s better to grow into a system or infrastructure that initially feels too big, than to outgrow your business model when you experience a growth boost. Future proofing your business is something you’ll never regret, especially when you apply a good commercial strategy at the same time.
Seek out sustainable partnerships that work for your business
Most business will find that they require several key partnerships if they are going to realise their ambitions. This means you’ll need to identify and partner up with the right organisations and influencers in order to scale.
Take, for example, the IBM Channel Partners. They can help you apply the right commercial strategy, but more importantly, they can guide you through crucial decisions, helping your business come to a clear consensus about what’s important and what isn’t. Applying the right commercialisation strategy and identifying the right potential market isn’t something you’ll be able to do by yourself. And it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. It requires years of experience and extensive market knowledge and branding, which is challenging for several scale-ups.
If you are a novice when it comes to best routes-to-market to pursue, then make sure to seek the advice and guidance of a trusted expert. When it comes to scaling and growth, Vivolution are those experts and we can facilitate the relationships with the IBM Channel Partners. We’ve helped countless healthtech, fintech companies identify the right international steps to take, allowing them to grow at the right rate and to deliver the most optimum results. Contact us for more information or with any questions that you might have.
© Vivolution Limited