Laura Steward: Are you asking the right channel questions?

Are You Asking the Questions to Get the Answers You Need or the Answers you Want?


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Business models are constantly changing and evolving. And companies that adjust and adapt are the ones that survive. Doing things the way we have always done them is what can leave our channel programs and our companies stagnant or on the verge of collapse. The key to avoiding this unwanted situation is found in the questions that we ask.

This week’s guest is Laura Steward, an entrepreneur strategist, author, and host of the “It’s All about the Questions” podcast. Laura is also a former Managed Service Provider and frequent channel speaker. Learn about diversity of thought and the channel questions we should be asking ourselves and our customers to uncover new opportunities and minimize new threats.


Diversity of Thought
  • Start by learning from people from all different backgrounds with different perspectives. This creates diversity of thought and forces us to examine ourselves and start asking the questions that matter.
  • Diversity is important, however diversity of thought is what moves innovation forward.
  • Diversity drives change. Learning from different people with different perspectives will change your channel journey for the better.
  • The best way to ask the right channel questions is to surround yourself with people who think differently and have different perspectives than you. These are the people who will force you to examine your own way of thinking.
Asking the Right Questions
  • One of the first things we really need to do on both sides of the channel is just stop. We need to stop and give ourselves that moment to think about what we’re about to ask and the answers that we get.
  • At least once a quarter, stop and look at your businesses. Look at your client makeup. Determine who is buying your product and who isn’t. If they aren’t buying from you, why not?
  • Ask clients what is and isn’t working for them and how you can best help them. This is an important piece in learning what they truly need and how you can help them get there.
Channel Questions
  • Technology innovations including IoT, Cloud, and SaaS to deliver business outcomes rather than the traditional products and services is driving innovation and change in the channel. Do you have the right partners? What do you need to change to attract the right partners and get the results you are seeking?
  • Hacking is a massive problem and partners need to be looking more closely at what bad people could be doing. How are they thinking? What are the questions they’re asking themselves? Are they hacking your business to reach your clients?
Analyzing and Predicting Trends
  • Paying attention to soft trends and hard trends is important for businesses to recognize new opportunities and red flags of what is coming.
  • Channel pros need to be anticipating changes. Look forward to see where people and business are going and create environments to support and benefit from these changes.

Share This

The best way to make sure you're asking the right questions is to surround yourself with people who think differently and have different perspectives. @TheLauraSteward Click To Tweet Think carefully about the channel questions you're asking. Is your mind open to hearing the answers you really need and not just want you want to hear? @TheLauraSteward Click To Tweet Partners need to be asking their customers where do they want to go? Customers aren't buying a product or a solution anymore, they want to buy a business outcome. -Rob Spee Click To Tweet

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