Zift is pleased to have Ron Salazar, General Manager, MR2 Solutions, as a guest contributor to Channel Chatter. In this post, Ron shares his perspective on how changes within the IT landscape have altered the role of IT professionals – and what it takes to engage them.
A Front-Row Seat to Paradigm Shifts
As a technology integrator, MR2 Solutions has had a front row seat to the paradigm shifts occurring in today’s IT landscape. We’re watching rapidly evolving technologies, such as virtualization, the software-defined data center, hyper-convergence and Cloud, really reshape IT environments – along with the role of IT professionals.
It’s no longer enough to share basic information or even demonstrate stand-alone IT solutions. Our customers and prospects need more comprehensive consulting than ever before. It’s our job to provide in-depth strategic insight into how new IT solutions will work within their established infrastructures. They also require detailed information to make informed technology decisions that address today’s business needs, while staying at least one step ahead of tomorrow’s IT challenges.
We have to be mindful of the fact that our audience is incredibly time- and resource-constrained. Today’s IT professionals are on the front lines of most businesses. They are constantly putting out fires and being tasked to do much more with less. They’re expected to address emergencies occurring now and see what technologies are on that horizon that they can adopt to help the business grow and innovate, all while staying within budget.
To compete for, capture and keep their attention involves maintaining a healthy database of qualified leads along with in-depth educational materials and carefully planned marketing outreach. If we’re interrupting their day, we better be providing value. That means we need more support from our suppliers. Thankfully, our strategic partner SimpliVity understands all of these challenges and has provided us with access to the Zift Solutions platform.
The Same Old Approach Doesn’t Work in Today’s IT World
Prior to Zift, we were doing a lot of field marketing events as a means of lead generation. We planned lunch-and-learns, webinars, movies, sporting events and more, many of which were quite successful. However, it was impossible to ignore the sales and marketing inefficiencies.
We could only effectively engage a small portion of attendees before and after an event, and had only a few weeks to follow up. If their interest wasn’t fairly immediate, we had no easy way to maintain contact after events and we had limited visibility into what interested prospects.
We now have SimpliVity-provided pre-packaged campaigns that we can easily customize and brand as our own through Zift. We look like experts from the start and are sharing in-depth, educational content with potential clients. We can see exactly what prospects are clicking on and tap into what interests them, be it a white paper on hyper-convergence or a data sheet on cloud services. We’re much more proactive with prospects as we have more visibility into their behavior along with an automated way to circle back and provide value-added, educational assets to continue, and deepen, the conversation.
Using Zift has strengthened our outreach along with our SimpliVity partnership. Of course, integrating any new tool into a sales process takes time. For those just getting started with Zift or considering Channel Marketing & Management (CMM) tools, I encourage you to really learn more about what these powerful solutions can do for your organization. You can start by reading MR2’s own success story to see how we’ve transformed own marketing and sales processes. Then, feel free to reach out and ask questions in the comments section below.