IT trade association CompTIA will be unveiling a new sales toolkit for technology businesses at its CompTIA ChannelCon 2015, to be held August 3-5 in Chicago. The toolkit will be made available as a free download on a trial basis to all attendees at ChannelCon, between August 3 and August 15, After August 15, it will be available exclusively to CompTIA Premier Members.
“This is a brand new offering,” said Stephanie Morgan, Director, Member Education at CompTIA. “We have other toolkits in Member Education, with one of the more popular ones being the marketing toolkit. This sales one is almost entirely new, although it does include some things we have made available before. What is especially valuable is the new guidance on how to use them effectively in a comprehensive sales program.”
CompTIA estimates the sales toolkit’s value at $5,000. It includes templates and tools to help owners and operators of technology solution provider companies successfully plan, run, improve and maintain their sales operations.
“Sales is as much about relationships as it is about technology,” Morgan said. “Solution providers and others in the channel have been asking for support on some of the soft skills associated with a successful channel business. This toolkit isn’t something you use to win one particular sale, but to think about your entire portfolio and approach to selling your services in a comprehensive way.”
Morgan said that the sales toolkit is useful both for companies that are pretty basic in their sales knowledge, as well as those who are more experienced.
“Even the most successful sales organization will find something in the sales kit to really advance their game, such as information on recruiting and hiring techniques,” she said. “For the more introductory audience, the kit is more of a road map than the ‘dip in and grab’ it is for a more experienced sales organization. Selling, particularly managed services, is a moving target, and that is something that applies to both the experienced and inexperienced. We are in a market where margins are coming down and where we could be one day from the next disruptive influence.”
The limited term offer is frankly designed as something to expose Registered members to the benefits of CompTIA’s content, in the hope that they will consider becoming a Premier member to access that content regularly. Premier membership, unlike Registered, is not free.
“CompTIA is committed to making ChannelCon an experience where people can use ideas as soon as they get home, and we hope they will see the advantage of accessing our very deep catalogue,” Morgan said.
“It’s a great opportunity for Registered users to get a flavoring of what our content is all about, in the period up till August 15,” said Liz Navlen, Vice President of Marketing & Communications at CompTIA.
CompTIA is also promoting several new certification sessions at the event, and two updated Quick Start Guides.
The Executive Certificate in Financial Management, which is being offered at the event, is designed to help solution providers strengthen their businesses by sharpening their financial skills.
“We expect this certificate will be very popular,” Morgan said. “Once they register at ChannelCon, they can just drop in. It’s not designed as introductory content. It’s managing the health of a business, so it will be useful to owners and people on the finance side.
The second cert is the ChannelCon Executive Certificate in Cloud Success, which discusses key drivers and opportunities in cloud computing today, and how to build a profitable cloud business.
“This one is a ChannelCon exclusive, and the only place it will be offered,” Morgan said. “It’s not introductory, and is at a more intermediate level, for those who have a cloud business already, and who want to be better.”
“These are ‘how-to’ guides where some of the foundations have been revised and updated,” Morgan said. “We had a lot of community involvement in the revision of both these guides to make sure they are current.”
CompTIA is also launching its inaugural ChannelCon Vendor Summit concurrent with the main event.
“In the past we have had educational sessions for vendors and distributors, but the last couple years we have upped our game and this year we have a full-fledged vendor summit, targeted at channel chiefs and C level execs,” Navlen said. “While it is concurrent with the main event, there are a lot of shared general sessions.”