Executive Briefings

Recession Prompts Technology Solution Providers to Re-focus on Customers, Marketing and Investment

Technology solution provider companies have weathered the latest economic recession by strengthening ties to existing customers, stepping up their use of social media as a marketing tool and strategically investing in new products and services, a new survey by CompTIA and ChannelForce reveals.

The study, Weathering the Recession: How Solution Providers Coped, gauged how the recession affected IT channel companies and ascertained actions or changes those companies made to their businesses as a direct result of the down economy.

More than three-quarters of respondents reported that the recession impacted their business either significantly or moderately, as technology spending either stalled completely or was relegated to the most essential of new purchases.

Yet even as customers reined in spending, solution providers continued to call on their clients. Just less than three quarters (72 percent) of companies surveyed said they did not pull back on the number of sales visits they made during the recession.

Nearly two-thirds of solution providers (65 percent) said they curtailed their use of broad sales and marketing campaigns, favoring instead more direct, one-to-one visits with customers. Other recession-prompted strategies included hosting events with specific customer invitations and bringing representatives of product vendors on sales calls.

Some solution providers changed their business model to rely more on maintenance and services than product sales during the recession. Still others offered customers subscription pricing and leasing options to provide as much financial flexibility as possible.

The survey results also include some cautionary sentiment about the economy. Pockets of deep skepticism remain about the recovery, with one president of a large IT services staffing organization predicting at least another six to nine months of recessionary conditions, including stagnant IT spending among customers. 

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Technology solution provider companies have weathered the latest economic recession by strengthening ties to existing customers, stepping up their use of social media as a marketing tool and strategically investing in new products and services, a new survey by CompTIA and ChannelForce reveals.

The study, Weathering the Recession: How Solution Providers Coped, gauged how the recession affected IT channel companies and ascertained actions or changes those companies made to their businesses as a direct result of the down economy.

More than three-quarters of respondents reported that the recession impacted their business either significantly or moderately, as technology spending either stalled completely or was relegated to the most essential of new purchases.

Yet even as customers reined in spending, solution providers continued to call on their clients. Just less than three quarters (72 percent) of companies surveyed said they did not pull back on the number of sales visits they made during the recession.

Nearly two-thirds of solution providers (65 percent) said they curtailed their use of broad sales and marketing campaigns, favoring instead more direct, one-to-one visits with customers. Other recession-prompted strategies included hosting events with specific customer invitations and bringing representatives of product vendors on sales calls.

Some solution providers changed their business model to rely more on maintenance and services than product sales during the recession. Still others offered customers subscription pricing and leasing options to provide as much financial flexibility as possible.

The survey results also include some cautionary sentiment about the economy. Pockets of deep skepticism remain about the recovery, with one president of a large IT services staffing organization predicting at least another six to nine months of recessionary conditions, including stagnant IT spending among customers. 

Read Full Article