Thursday, 3 November 2011

Old friends and old ideas

Met an old colleague today to talk about VAR's in the IT industry. All vendors want to tie VAR's to their products - an understandable instinct. If they can get loyalty then the sales will follow. But often the sales don't follow. Why?

I think this is because VAR's and vendors mistake software for solutions. Bits of software, from individual apps to whole technology stacks get called "solutions" too easily and too readily. They simply are not.

And so the role of the VAR get's confused. The "V" in VAR just means the implementation and support of the software they are selling - but that is very limited and not at all what customers want. They want solutions to their problems - not "software solutions" but real solutions.

So I ended up thinking about something I had been talking to TES about. Ie the immortal words of David James at Henley MC. Try turning the phrase:

"Finding customers for products"


"Finding products for customers"

Just turning that phrase around gives you a totally different perspective on what the V could be in VAR. Get it right and you will avoid the competition over day rates and make yourself your customer's trusted advisor.

Now, and only now can you start thinking about CLV with any hope of exploiting the opportunity to the full.