CompTIA has added a free, easily accessible tool on its Web site that IT resellers can use to evaluate their business practices. The IT Solutions Assessment Tool includes 20 questions aimed at determining the effectiveness of IT performance in various areas, and benchmarks against about 600 technology companies across the United States.
“The intent was to get as broad a cross-section of resellers as possible,” said William Vanderbilt, vice president of education and training at CompTIA. “These companies vary in size by numbers of employees, annual revenue (from $500,000 to $300 million), the range of IT solutions and services they provide, and in the types of customers they serve. Solution providers who complete the self-assessment will get a quick snapshot of how they stack up against companies that are some similar size or have similar product portfolios or customer bases.”
Some of the questions users are asked include:
- What percentage of your sales revenue do you engage with or rely on vendors for support?
- What is the main driver of buying decisions with vendors?
- Indicate which types of lead generation and marketing activities or events your company does.
Once participants complete the self-assessment, they will receive a high-level diagnostic designed to assist them with improving certain aspects of their business, Vanderbilt said. “This analysis includes a point-by-point comparison of the reseller’s business model to optimum models, and an overall score, compared to the best performers with similar customers and offerings. For example, the reseller will learn that they are performing at better than the industry average in the area of net margins, but below the industry average when it comes to the percentage of service revenue they are generating. The report also includes high-level recommendations for maximizing financial performance. There is no shortage of information available to resellers on ways to improve their business. Their challenge is finding out where to start. The CompTIA Solution Provider Self-Assessment is intended to give them a good starting point.”
The Self-Assessment tool was largely the product of efforts on the part of CompTIA’s Reseller Transformation Advisory Council (RTAC), which helped identify the challenges and issues that their channel partners are facing today. “These issues include such things as selling consultatively, identifying and securing service opportunities, expense management, incorporating new technologies into their product and service offerings, articulating to customers the value of new products and services, and driving new revenue through current customers and acquiring new customers. A number of resellers also were engaged during the development process to provide guidance,” Vanderbilt said.
For more information, see http://www.comptia.org.