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I love January.  I really do, it’s a time of new beginnings and despite the harsh weather and short days, I feel so excited for the prospect of what is to come each January.  Don’t get me wrong. I love the holidays, from Thanksgiving on through to New Year’s Eve – I love decorating the house, putting up the tree, creating a magical time for my kids in preparation for the holidays.  It’s such a fun few weeks but they tend to go by in a whirl and suddenly everything quiets down and it’s January.  

That is when the real fun for me begins. I love putting all those decorations away. The house feels clean, spacious, new.  To be fair, I have my share of OCD personality aspects that likely contribute to me putting it all away so quickly. But to me, the idea of cleaning house in preparation for a new year brings me great joy and infinite possibilities. 

This approach and attitude don’t stop with my house. I feel the same about my business.  Q4 is over and last year is old news. When you work in Sales, the ‘what have you done for me lately?’ message greets me every new year.  Rather than let that bog me down, I feel a rush when I think about what 2020 will bring as I work with my clients and prospects.  

During these early weeks in January, I love strategizing about what’s ahead for my clients, my company and my work community.  What challenges do they face in 2020? What new ways can I approach my job? How can I think differently, act differently, advise differently? As a  channel-focused sales professional, I pride myself on my active listening skills but can I do that better this year? Can I bring a new perspective to the conversation that will help prospects achieve their goals or give clients a new way to work successfully with my organization?  

Channel organizations should be asking themselves those questions, too. But doing so can be a lot more complex and cumbersome than packing up the holiday decorations. That’s where I know Zift can help. We offer Channel Readiness Assessments through our Channel Center of Excellence. This is a fantastic way to benchmark your channel program and partners. Determine key priorities and define your direction for the new year — and even beyond. We’re looking at a brand new decade! This is the time to think big, or even take a revolutionary approach to your channel program. A Channel Assessment isn’t just an exercise. Once it is complete, you receive a performance scorecard that highlights your strengths and areas of concern as well as a detailed action plan to meet specific goals. 

While my musings might sound like New Year’s Resolutions, to me, they are cleaning the slate, starting with the same building blocks but perhaps a new shape that drives different results in the end.  January may only see the start of these changes, but I view these exciting few weeks as a way to think about why I do what I do, how I can do it differently, and what I can learn along the way. Not necessarily a resolution but an intention I carry with me every day.  Unlike a resolution, this is harder to lose after the first weeks as well as easier to evaluate over time and potentially modify for growth and learning. I hope you will do the same.   

Here at Zift, we are so excited about the future of our business, how we can serve our clients with ZiftONE and how we can continue to grow, advise and guide our customers to their success, both for their partner community and their customers. I hope you will consider scheduling a Channel Assessment to kick off your new year with a clean slate and clear plan to define your own intentions to achieve measurable channel success.