If you don’t follow Jay McBain from Forrester Research, you should. Not only is he a thought leader in our industry and a really nice guy but if you don’t follow him you would have missed his recent article The 64 Best Channel Podcasts Of 2019 where the IT Provider Network was listed among the best of the best.

It was really ironic because I just saw Jay present at Marketopia’s 4U2Grow conference in Clearwater last month. Jay actually did two presentations but his first one blew me away and I want to share with you my takeaways from that talk on today’s episode of the IT Provider Network Podcast.

Before I get into Jay’s talk which was entitled “Achieving Extraordinary Success in 2020 and Beyond” I have to tell you that even before Jay added The IT Provider Network to his article about the best 64 Channel Podcasts I was going to tell you about this research because it blew me away. Honest Jay I was!

As I said Jay was one of the speakers at the Marketopia 4U2GROW users conference. If you have never been to a 4U2GROW conference I encourage you to attend next year. It is a really intimate event at a world-class venue with great speakers like Jay McBain,Terry and Andra Hedden, Manual Palachuk and Erik Simpson.

If you aren’t familiar with Marketopia, they provide the channel (MSP’s and Vendors) with Marketing and Appointment Setting services.

For full disclosure, I am a client and they gave me a Partner of the Year award. Having said that, they kill it for us with leads and that’s why we use them.

Back to Jay’s presentation – I could never begin to do it justice but never the less it was so eye-opening that as soon as I was back at the office I attempted to present it to my management team. Here were my big takeaways.

  • Buyers have changed – they are much more educated about what you are selling before you even speak to them. The playing field is much more leveled and in fact, buyers might know more about your offering and how it fairs in the marketplace that your salespeople do. Google is the great equalizer and buyers are making much more of the buying decision before they reach out to us. What this means to me is we all need to do a better job of getting in front of buyers BEFORE they have a need. Be the one they think of and can find on Google because 68% of them prefer to do their own research before talking to a salesperson.
  • A whopping 65% of tech buying decisions are now made by business leaders, not IT. What we used to call shadow IT and look at as a threat is now becoming the norm. Line of Business leaders are now sourcing their own solutions or demanding specific solutions from IT. What this means to me is we need to expand our marketing relationships with our clients and prospects. No longer is it enough to build a relationship with the owner of the company, you need to expand your definition of the buyer and cater to all of them…uniquely.
  • 80% of tech buyers report that the salesperson is NOT specialized enough. Wow, that means in our buyer’s eyes we are not getting it done. We need to work harder getting our teams up to date on the ever-changing tech landscape, cyber, compliance and everything else we profess to be the “expert” in.
  • Jay also reported that 96% of MSP’s are unable to scale past 10 employees, and although Jay didn’t report it, I know almost that same percentage can’t scale past 1 million in annual revenue.

The presentation went much deeper into these stats as well as the state of the channel, the explosion of software as a service and how buyers are bypassing traditional avenues and going to third parties to acquire the tech they need.

There is a huge opportunity for us but we need to adapt and be agile. We need to cater to these new buyers and the way they buy. We need to expand our relationships with the buying groups that exist at our clients and prospects and stay in front of them with educational based marketing.

Follow Jay – take a good look at your business and work on a plan to grow in 2020. I’m gonna help you if you are one of that 96 % do I have an offer for you. Stay tuned there is more to come!

You can follow Jay McBain on Twitter https://www.twitter.com/jmcbain and LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/jaymcbain

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