August 29, 2013
HTG has just finished up the first round of summer events, and they were fantastic. Our Q3 centralized meetings validated the power of having multiple groups in the same property at the same time to allow us to engage more effectively with vendors, outside resources (like SLI) and our peers. The HTG Vision Summit, while a very new event with a completely different focus for HTG, was a raving success. Participants and viewers alike were excited about the thought leadership and opportunity to interact in an environment focused on thinking outside the box and looking forward. And the Service Summit was extremely powerful for those service leaders who were able to gather and get down to earth practical ways they can go back and help lead their service teams to new levels.
But wait, there’s more. We have two events mid-September that are designed to help two other constituencies of HTG go to the next level. The first is our Sales Summit, which will focus on helping sales leaders grow their company through practical ways to build and develop a sales organization. Much like the Service Summit we just completed, we have tried and tested sales leaders who will share first-hand experience about how to overcome some of the challenges in building a sales focus. Since 44% of HTG member companies listed sales as one of their top three challenges, this should be a very applicable event to help in overcoming that challenge. And best of all, if you can’t make the trip to Omaha, it is being webcast. You can register at http://www.htgmembers.com/SalesSummit2013.htm.
I want to focus most of this blog on the HTG IT Channel Summit which actually begins on day two of the Sales Summit and has a half day of joint interaction and content. The IT Channel Summit is targeted at a different set of HTG stakeholders, our vendor sponsors, whom we consider to be not only vital partners in the IT Channel, but a set of resources we can learn much from as we engage in growing each other’s business. This event is targeted and helping our vendor partners do exactly that – to grow their ability to work effectively with the SMB channel. We want to help them as they look to be effective in these key areas:
- Partner acquisition – signing new partners to sell your stuff
- Partner activation – getting partners who have signed up to actually sell
- Partner engagement – getting partners to actively work with you
- Partner enablement – training partners on how to effectively use your programs
- Partner execution – helping partners be effective in the marketplace
- Partner training – educating partners around products, services and other things
- Partner certification – getting partner teams certified on your products and services
This event is important for every HTG sponsor, or for that matter any vendor that wants to have success in working with the SMB IT channel to attend. It isn’t focused on new vendors to the HTG community, but every vendor who wants to learn how to successfully engage with SMB partner companies. Working with an SMB partner is very different than working with an enterprise partner. They have different capacities, focus, resources and needs. This event will help you understand the best way to not only acquire and activate partners, but to engage and be successful with them in reaching your mutual SMB target end users.
Not only will you be educated in the SBM channel at this event, but you also will have a chance to interact with HTG Sales Summit attendees through some of the activities the evening before the HTG IT Channel Summit kicks off including ice cream at Ted & Wallys as well as the Embassy Suites Complimentary Happy Hour on Monday night prior to the event. So there is opportunity for some bonus interaction with the HTG companies on hand for the sales event. The first morning of the IT Channel Summit is spent jointly with the HTG Sale Summit attendees with several panel interactions highlighting how to effectively work together. It will be a powerful start to this event.
While we have a great set of speakers with very relevant and applicable content, we also want you to leave with a plan which is one area we will spend time in a workshop. Ken Shetler and myself will share some best practices of those vendors we’ve seen successfully engage the HTG and SMB community. Then we’ll work with each company to begin a strategic engagement plan for 2014 with HTG. Our HTG staff will fan out and sit with each company or a small group of companies to serve as a “coaches.”
You’ll have an opportunity to present your plan to the group as a whole along with HTG staff for critiquing and ideas to help refine it. We want each attendee at the IT Channel Summit to not only leave with a wealth of channel knowledge about SMB partners, but to also leave with an actionable plan to effectively engage with the HTG community and the larger SMB channel as a whole.
I hope to see you in a few short weeks at our IT Channel Summit in Omaha Ne, or the HTG Sales Summit which happens simultaneously. Check out the agenda’s and details at those links and get your reservations made and travel booked today! See you in Omaha!