SMBs today face more universal truths, such as finding a new vendor partner or buying or selling a company.

Bob Stegner, host of CompTIA’s Universal Truths from the Son of an SMB YouTube channel, says that it is important for tech companies of any size to remember that they were all small businesses at one time or another. You can watch the most recent episodes to learn how small businesses can best serve their customers and ensure your long-term success. Bob Stegner has more than 30 years experience in the tech industry. He’s seen and done many things with customers. He has learned a few lessons along the way that he shared with guests and viewers of the CompTIA Connect YouTube series “Universal Truths from the Son of an SMB”.
SYNNEX’s senior vice president of North America marketing recently completed his second set of episodes. Five shows were added to the original three. Stegner and two guests discuss the tried-and-true strategies and practices that tech companies can use in each episode.
The first three episodes covered topics that are familiar to small MSPs or solution providers. These included how to get more out of vendor partner programs, customer service expectations, managing multigenerational companies, and how to manage them. The latest series continued the SMB-focused trend by offering advice on how best to service customers, how vendor relations are changing, how you can buy–or-sell–your small business and how to work together with a new vendor.
Stegner stated that tech companies of any size need to remember that they were all small businesses at one time or another. “Even the biggest companies started as SMBs. Never forget your roots. He said, “No matter how big you get, don’t forget where your roots are.”
Let’s take a closer look at the five episodes that have ended.
How to best serve a SMB customer today
Today’s tech companies can’t wait for a small-business client to contact them. They need to be proactive and, increasingly speaking on behalf of their customers, a trusted advisor rather than a tech guru. Stegner speaks with Ryan Morris, principal consultant at Morris Management Partners, and Hannah O’Donnell (director of sales at Collabrance) about how to keep SMB customers happy and loyal.
Morris stated that solution providers, and any business, should take great measures to measure customer satisfaction. He said that without this, you are not really helping your client. “If you aren’t [measuring customer satisfaction], you’re hoping next year they’ll say, “It was good enough and it’ll be my second time buying from you again.” It is important to help customers succeed. This means understanding their business and then helping them improve it.
O’Donnell stated that solution providers often have the technology products and services, but listening to customers is a crucial component of success.
“Listen to understand, don’t respond. This is the most important thing salespeople can do. We want to talk about our solutions and Ts and Cs. She said that we can’t sell anything if we don’t know what our customers need. “Listening and asking questions is the key to building trust and relationships.
How have vendor relationships changed in the cloud/multi-vendor solution age?
Channel veterans will likely recall the days of dedicated account representatives and frequent business reviews with your top vendors and distributor partners. These are no longer the norm in today’s multi-vendor and cloud world. However, maintaining strong relationships is just as important. Stegner speaks with Frank Rauch, Head of Worldwide Channel Sales at Check Point Software Technologies, as well as Colin Knox, CEO of Gradient MSP about how to get maximum value from vendor partnerships and what to expect in the future.
Rauch stated that communication is important. He also suggested that vendors should be able to see how you differ from your competitors. “Articulate your worth. Talk about the outcomes and be specific about what you want. What is the vendor’s benefit? If you approach it this way, we’re sure to listen.”
Knox stated that it can be easier to get attention from vendors if you join a peer group or partner community that has a greater voice collectively. “We are all SMBs, and there is power in numbers. It can be difficult to sort through the noise when you are a vendor with thousands of vendors asking you for information.
How to find and work with a new vendor
While tech innovation has not slowed down since the pandemic it is still challenging for many SMB solution providers. They must identify and work with the right vendors to support their business. It can be costly and time-consuming. Stegner discusses this topic in this episode.