The sales potential of certified staff

Acquiring multiple partner certifications can offer resellers a bigger bang for their training buck

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The sales potential of certified staff ((ITP Images))
By  Manda Banda Published  November 20, 2014

Who’s the smartest person in the room? You can tip the balance in your favour with certification training courses. When your reseller business and staff prove expertise and knowledge, the size of your sales opportunities increases. A recent Forrester research shows that resellers with certified staff sell opportunities three times larger than those without.

As companies downsize their IT departments, in-house technical expertise is becoming a thing of the past, creating outsourcing and support opportunities for resellers with proper skill sets and partner certifications. Certifications usually serve two purposes: enabling access to specific vendor products and educating candidates in the intricacies of a particular technology segment. Vendor-specific certifications obviously focus on a particular vendor’s product, solution or technology. At best, these certifications can make an individual an expert on a particular vendor’s solutions offering. At worst, vendor-specific training can give an individual a utopian view of a given product.

In other words, vendor certifications can tend to focus on what is “best” about their products and not on the real-world challenges a business is experiencing and want to use IT to overcome those hurdles. Even so, solution providers looking to build expertise in specific technology areas should look to combine product-specific training with real-world examples, and that is where cross-certification offers channel partners the biggest bang for their money.

There is no real magic behind cross-certification. Resellers will have to approach target markets by researching the opportunities available and then narrowing down certification tracks that are the best fit for those market areas. For many, just one or two vendor-specific certifications may be enough to get a foot in the door.

To make it work, channel partners need to shift their focus from a product-specific deployment to a technology-solution view.

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