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.
© Vivolution Limited