As featured in the June 2014 edition of SCN magazine, Dave Forsberg, MarketStar’s EVP of Business Development, answered common questions people have about MarketStar’s influence and sales methods in the AV industry.
1) What market needs initially prompted MarketStar’s establishment as an outsourced sales company for the IT and CE channels?
Answer: MarketStar’s core value proposition is to provide “Sales as a Service” by extending and augmenting our clients’ internal sales efforts. Companies such as Sony, Cisco, HP, Polycom and Infocus have relied on MarketStar to help them more effectively develop and grow incremental and net-new customer and dealer bases. The constant evolution of technology in the IT and CE channels created a need for an ever-changing, scalable, and repeatable sales infrastructure which predicated the need for outsourced sales teams that could grow with those companies’ needs. Companies who outsource sales enjoy increased efficiency by avoiding overhead costs and management After more than 25 years of experience, MarketStar reaches those new channels while augmenting and enabling sales operations specific to the channel like partner recruitment, training, management – increasing the reach and focus of existing sales resources.
2) MarketStar works with many emerging IT and CE companies that have complementary technologies to AV, how do you see the industries merging from a sales or channel perspective?
Answer: Ten or 15 years ago, most security devices and telephones weren’t directly attached to your computer network environment like they are now. Today the ability to store, search, and access voice, audio, and video information is a critical consideration in the overall data eco-system. As a result, traditionally fragmented channels are becoming both redefined and more integrated. As technology and AV solutions become more widely adopted and easier for customers to understand and implement, it means your channels broaden. We’ve had many clients come to us and say their existing dealers aren’t ready and poised to capture where the market is moving because they don’t think of the many solutions that are now attached to a networked environment. As the AV industry continues to evolve to include the integration of traditional IT dealers and channels, MarketStar’s heritage in developing the IT channel can provide AV manufacturers and dealers with a compelling solution in the recruitment, on-boarding, and development of the IT dealers who are controlling and impacting AV solution specification and integration more than ever before.
3) Many AV companies are looking to develop an IT channel for their business, what recommendations does MarketStar have for those organizations wanting to recruit IT VARs?
Answer: Recruiting partners is one of the most common challenges our clients face. With more than 120,000 IT VARs in the US alone, finding “fewer, better partners” is critical. As an AV-centric brand, when you express interest in partnering with IT-centric distributors, they will want to talk about the masses of potential partnerships available to you. Instead of making the mistake of seeking thousands of relationships, focus on a handful of strong relationships to establish credibility, engage regularly with those partners, and be easy to do business with. MarketStar has a six-step methodology that helps our clients identify and tier their potential partners to ensure you are targeting the best of the best in the IT Space. 4) What prompted MarketStar’s renewed focus on the AV Industry and why are you looking forward to InfoComm?
Answer: AV has always been viewed as a channel or an industry adjacent to where we’ve operated historically. Many of our clients like Sony and Polycom are actively selling into both the IT and AV channels and we have resources specifically dedicated to effectively enabling dealers in both spaces. We have proven methods for driving demand and qualifying leads for partners. Our integrated approach leverages digital, social, and content marketing combined with the personalized outreach from dedicated sales professionals. We’re looking forward to InfoComm because our IT/CE clients are expressing renewed interest in the industry and because we feel we can drive real results for AV brands looking to extend their partner coverage and ultimately, increase sales.