Last week I was at ScanSource's annual partner conference. As opposed to previous years when the value-added distributor had separate events for each of its different business units, this year marked the company's 20th anniversary, calling for an "all divisions" celebration and educational event.
During the conference's general session kick off, ScanSource CEO Mike Baur revealed that the attendees were among the top performing partners the distributor has. During a private meeting with Baur, I asked what challenges he feels smaller VARs face that are preventing them from evolving into top performers.[pullquote]You need to hire someone to make more money, but you don't make enough money to hire another person. So, what can you do?"[/pullquote]
His answer: "Many smaller VARs are trying to figure out how they can add one new salesperson. Doing so would greatly improve their growth potential." As a statement, this seems pretty simple. However, in light of the economy and the rapidly evolving IT world that resellers face, adding one new salesperson -- or any employee -- could be a big challenge.
Indeed, Baur's comment immediately made me think of a recent conversation I had with a VAR in the restaurant vertical. Due to the economic beat down suffered in 2008 and the uncertainty of today's economy, he's been resisting the urge to hire another salesperson. He knows he needs to hire someone for his business to grow, but he's afraid that the moment he does so, things will take a down turn.
That VAR has the money to hire someone. However, I'm sure many VARs don't. What a Catch-22 this is. You need to hire someone to make more money, but you don't make enough money to hire another person. So, what can you do?
Maybe it's because it's top of mind having just come from the ScanSource event, but I think one possible answer is to leverage the resources of your distribution partners. No matter which distributor I'm speaking with, I always hear that they offer a ton of services to help small VARs accomplish more, yet many VARs don't take advantage of the services.
In speaking with some of the VARs attending the ScanSource partner conference, I learned that many are taking advantage of ScanSource's services to help their company's be more successful.
So, if you're a small VAR (or even a large one) and you're looking to grow your business without the costly investment of adding more people, make sure you're speaking with your distributor about all the ways they might be able to help you. From marketing services to staging, setup, and configuration services, your distributor partners are ready to help you succeed.