[NOTE: Because of our strict NDAs protecting our clients, these cases do not include identity indicia. We never post a client situation that can strictly identify them or could adversely affect them.]
An enterprise technology company faced a so-far inexplicable and significant decay in channel sales revenue. The company was already facing a precipitous stock price fall. Industry analysts were questioning their long-term health and viability. They could not afford the revenue decline from their channels.
There are myriad challenges facing a technology company, from innovation and competition to global impacts from “made here” political mandates and currencies through the stresses of finding sufficient technical staff to maintain and build leadership.
Conventional analyses arrived at causes for the channel reduction. Those analyses required a solution of a wholesale reboot of the company’s processes, organization and more.
We found that unnecessary, working to strip away complexity and overwrought analysis.
How We Addressed This Critical Situation
After careful, active listening, we put aside the assumptions up to that point to take a fresh perspective.
At the company, much focus was put on iterative innovation, keeping with current best-practices for software development.
That relentless focus on iterative change, while creating continually leading-edge products, produced a torrent of obsoleting information that flooded sales channels.
In this case the sales channels were all independent companies, and generally carried multiple lines over which they needed mastery. And the inundation of constant changes of micro-versioning of the software being sent by our client made that mastery impossible.
Unable to keep up, the channel was simply unable to compete and sell against technology competitors that had mastery over their lines. Additionally we found the channels began to emphasize other lines that were more structured.
The client had simply put speed and innovation over serving both their channels (their first line customers) and ultimate customers.
Not incidentally, those final customers were suffering from the deluge as well.
The situation that could have decimated the client was simply one of communication.
And yet this well-managed company did not have the in-house capabilities to put the oceans of information into a form consumable and usable by the channel.
Due to the time sensitivity of this complex and critical situation — in no small part because a major trade event was about to take place — we created and helped our client implement a structured system for that information.
Rather than trying to “find a needle in a needle stack,” the independent channels could easily find exactly what they needed, when they needed it.
That lead to the mastery they required to be successful.
The client was able to continue and build on this structure, and the growing pains associated with high-speed iteration of software could pass.
And vitally, attention on our client by the channel organizations and the accompanying revenue they generate would grow.
When a company’s success is on the line, we revisit current views and trends — no matter how “hot” they may be at that moment.
It’s not about battling those trends — it’s about ensuring the requirements for their execution have all been met… even if you’re the first to do it.