If you lead a consultancy firm in project management, odds are that things have been good for you in the last couple of years: the industry has recovered from the global recession in many sectors, and PM has rapidly grown as a management philosophy to expand beyond the niche areas of software development, construction and infrastructures. In fact, many of our best customers come from industries as different as financial services, insurance, healthcare, or the food industry.
However, we still find it very surprising that many small-to-medium consultancy firms with great talent offering highly specialized consultancy services in project management are not stocking up in a solid and diversified portfolio of project management solutions.
Sure, many players choose to go hand in hand with a top vendor. This grants them access to big accounts and ensures that the complexity of the solution is a golden gate to offer on-boarding services. However, there are several reasons why you should not be content with doing just that:
- Improve your vendor portfolio
No matter how much you love your expensive and sophisticated solutions, some customers won’t fall for them for a number of reasons: price, past experiences, or very specific needs. It’s always a good idea to add additional vendors that stick out for different reasons: whether they’re targeted at specific industries, have a focus on certain buyer personas, a methodological edge or simply a lower price point, they’ll be a catch for a number customers you’d likely not convert on your own.
If built properly, a diverse vendor portfolio can better support your own service offerings. Different software solutions will need different forms of supplementary training and support, and the chances are that, unless you build your strategy around your main vendor, smaller players can better adapt to some of your already existing services.
- Care about your level of Sales Relationships
People outside the industry may think otherwise, but we know that selling technological services is fundamentally a matter of trust. Trust not only takes time, but the bigger the other size it is, the more laborious it will be to establish it.
What I’m trying to say is that the ladder of sales relationships can be very long if you’re partnered with an industry giant, but just takes clear strategy, periodical meetings and some sales with a smaller company.
- Grow your reputation as independent advisor
The more diverse your portfolio of solutions, the likelier it is that you can be perceived as a recommender with the ability to provide reliable, independent expertise, including non-biased advice on what solutions should be implemented in a given situation. A limited vendor portfolio immediately defies that purpose.
The example of ITM Platform’s Partner Model
Over the last three years, ITM Platform has built a network of partners to sell our PPM software solution globally.
A recently added partner in Mexico landed a $ 250,000 job after we referred them a company that had recognized their need to reorganize their processes on a project basis.
In a Southern European country, a former user of ITM Platform was put in charge of creating a new food processing plant and decided to stay with the solution he was already familiar with. Our local partners were able to secure the training and capacitation for the factory set-up in the first yearly period.
In all these cases, the price tag for licenses we sold was a mere percentage in single digits of the revenues that the services provided by our partners generated for them.
That’s not a problem. “We’re in the business of providing a solution and generating recurring monthly revenue from satisfied customers. Asking our partners to share their revenues for associated services with us would only distort the model and distract us”, says our CEO, Daniel Piret.
“We think we can have a particular appeal for firms that are interested in moving from the traditional model of service provision to the juicy recurring SaaS business model”, points Daniel.
Our mission for 2017 is to transform our partner network in our main channel for sales, and to do that we have designed new partner-friendly policies.
In other words, our growth strategy consists in helping our partners attract big business.
What do our partners get:
- A PPM solution that, added to their portfolio, competes in functionality with the top players, while having the extra appeal of being incredibly cost-effective.
- Our partners have priority as re-sellers: they can sell licenses for a lower price than our official price lists. It’s our way to make sure that customers won’t contact us directly after being approached by a partner.
- Hot leads coming from our marketing campaigns
- Recurring net margin
- And much more!
To apply for the program, register at our partner website, or download our brochure here.