Shorten the New Practice Learning Curve with the Right Hire
Article By VAR Staffing
The transition from a traditional break-fix business to a recurring revenue model requires solution providers to rethink and retool a number of the processes (and personnel) that they employ. Selling and supporting infrastructure (i.e. hardware and software) takes a team with a particular set of skills, while managed services, mobility and cloud solutions demand different capabilities. That’s often the biggest obstacle solution providers have to overcome—re-engineering their organization to take advantage of the latest technologies and better solve their clients’ business needs.
The most valuable resource that any company possesses is its employees, and putting the best people in the right places isn’t a simple task for most organizations. When the business model shifts or the portfolio expands, that undertaking becomes even more difficult. Project and product sales are typically one-time deals, requiring an individual with the skills and savvy to complete a transaction, but not necessarily the ability to forge long-term relationships. The team that services hardware and traditional software solutions may not have the training and knowledge to support a portfolio of cloud or managed services offerings.
That doesn’t mean a solution provider needs to fire all their employees to transition their business model, but it often requires the organization to reassign or retrain some for new roles. That frequently leaves gaps in critical areas of the business, open positions that must be filled with professionals who understand the company’s new direction or service offerings. The most difficult and critical duty for any manager is identifying the candidates who not only offer the needed technical or sales skills, but the personality and mentality to successfully tackle the organization’s goals.
That’s the reality of today’s solution provider business. To compete with the largest competitors and direct sales organizations, VARs and MSPs have to have a better understanding of their customers’ businesses than their peers, and offer them solutions that best fit their organizational needs. It’s no secret that solution providers can maximize those growth opportunities with the right hire, onboarding individuals with the skills needed to excel in a new vertical market or technology practice.
A perfect example of that new approach can be found in the healthcare IT market. Solution providers often bring on former pharmaceutical or medical sales professionals when building one of these practices, leveraging their knowledge of the industry (especially regionally) to assemble and execute an effective business plan. Their experience and understanding of office procedures, insurance and billing issues, and other practice-related issues lowers the learning curve for a new healthcare IT practice.
That same approach can be applied to prospective employees with a proven track record in recurring revenue-oriented services or success in a targeted vertical market. But, in order to identify and attract those individuals, solution providers may have to change how they manage the hiring processes.
If you’re attending XChange 2012 at the Gaylord Texan Hotel & Convention Center in Dallas this week, make sure to stop by the VAR Staffing booth (#104) to learn how they lower the new practice “learning curve” for your business.
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