This talk was given by Kalon Welch, EVP, Business Development of FastSensor at SaaS Connect 2019 in San Francisco, March 26-27, 2019. Get the slides

The Internet of Things has changed how we live, work and play. It’s no surprise that it’s changed how the channel operates, as well.

At SaaS Connect, Kalon Welch from FastSensor explained how the company uses the IoT to create new opportunities for resellers and distributors that benefit both their company and their customers.

Why are partners so needed in the IoT?

The IoT can be used very effectively to gather customer data. Because everything is connected, it is possible for retailers to gather data such as the following:

  • What does your customer look like?
  • How do they engage?
  • How do they shop?
  • Are they in the mindset to shop?

With this technology, however, comes some specific issues. For one, customers are more wary. This has created a new job for partners, as they now are an integral part in building trust between customer and business. New partners should be focused on making sure customers feel safe and are having their issues heard.

In addition, new technology also means that customers will want different things. Businesses can use partners to make sure those needs are met.

How can IoT partners benefit customers?

Customers today are inundated with things that they do and don’t care about. Because it is difficult to sort through the noise sometimes, customers might default to ignoring everything. Your service, even if it’s something customers want and need, can get lost in the noise as a result.

But customers will be more likely to listen to a partner than an ad or a paid social post, for example. Partners who understand their role in the buyer’s journey through the IoT are invaluable to a successful partner channel.

How do you stand out in an alternative partnership channel?

When it comes to partnerships, it’s important to think outside of the box. You have a powerful tool at your disposal, but if you’re too similar to other programs, you are far easier to ignore. In order to stand out, it’s important for a business to take risks.

Sometimes, this means trying something that doesn’t work. But the more you try things that don’t work, the better your chances of landing on something that does.

What are the key takeaways?

If there are four things people should take away from this talk, it’s the following:

  • Think differently about your channel program.
  • Partner with customers.
  • Partnership is about value exchange.
  • Build relationships, and have fun.