According to Forbes, “I need a business coach” is a common phrase among business leaders today. With the professional mentorship trend also on the rise, today’s business climate is ripe for experts to help with counsel, out-of-the-box thinking and alternative approaches. Plus, according to the American Society for Training and Development, managerial productivity increased 88 percent with mentorship compared to 24 percent with training alone. It appears colleagues do better with mentors and coaches!
Based on this growing need, Tech Data has launched Tech Data Coaches, an exclusive, free online mentoring service for its resellers, providing access to a comprehensive team of subject matter experts (SMEs) from Tech Data to advise and coach on business-related matters via an easy-to-use online community. Check out this story in Channel Futures on the platform launch.
The Tech Data Coaches platform is available to partners in the U.S. and Canada. It includes more than 70 coaches who can provide expertise via live content feeds and through one-on-one coaching sessions offered exclusively to Tech Data partners. The coaches advise on a wide and varied range of business topics – from building a practice around next-generation technologies like cloud, IoT and analytics, and security, to helping individuals nurture and refine their personal and professional skills in areas that include marketing, sales, business development and organizational enablement and more. In addition, many coaches have vertical industry expertise in public sector, healthcare, retail and smart-cities.
The Tech Data Coaches online community is powered by a B2B social networking platform with features and functionality modeling other find-an-expert platforms (think TaskRabbit for the home improvement industry) with “match features” to locate coaches who have the “superpowers” to meet a wide range of needs.
“Tech Data Coaches is enhancing the way we engage with our partners,” said Stacy Nethercoat, senior vice president, Cloud Solutions, Americas. “This offering creates interactive environment that allows individuals within our partners’ organizations – each of whom represent an important role within their company – to innovate collaboratively, enhance their professional skillsets and accelerate business growth. We are excited to bring Tech Data Coaches to market after seeing the incredible results and responses we’ve received from our partners who participated in the beta phase of this offering.”
This service, Nethercoat further explained, is aimed at helping Tech Data’s partners readily develop skills and competencies needed to enhance their businesses and practices and enables them to create and deliver the best technology solutions possible for their end-user customers.
The online community is designed to support the needs of a range of job functions within reseller organizations – from CEOs and business owners to individual contributors in operations, business development, sales and marketing.
Begin by building a user “Smart Profile.” Users can access their personalized Tech Data Coaches homepage and receive recommendations on additional coach connections that fit their interests and needs, as well as search and browse resources and experts on-demand within the online community. Members can view coach profiles and see coach meeting availability to request personal one-on-one sessions, as well as mark their favorite coaches and opt-in to receive coach notifications and content on personalized content feeds.
A snapshot of a coach profile. Users can browse coaches by business, technology, skills and competencies, view meeting availability and thought leadership on their activity feed, as well as read up on their professional and educational backgrounds.
Tech Data partners using the system are matched with recommended coaches whose skills align with the user’s professional interests.
When a coach is marked as a “favorite,” the user begins to see posts shared within the community from those coaches.
“As a managed service provider (MSP), Tech Data Coaches is a valuable resource, providing guidance and support when we need it most,” said Juan Fernandez, vice president of Managed IT Services at ImageNet Consulting. “After building a profile on the platform, I was able to share my interests. Within minutes, I was connected with experts who could help me grow my skills in sales leadership and building strategic partnerships. What I find most impressive is that it’s not just for executives – it’s a great go-to reference for people at all levels who seek mentorship or seek input on how to grow their skills. I plan to have my entire team – including our marketing department – sign up to use this online coaching platform.”
Thought Leader Podcasts
The new online community also launches with a podcast series, “On the Clock (with Tech Data Coach),” featuring short informative audio segments covering each coach’s specific “superpower” specialty area. The first three podcasts are available (click images below) and future podcasts will be shared regularly on Tech Data’s Authority Blog.
Listen to Jade Witte, Strategic Enterprise Consultant, discuss his superpower: Cybersecurity
Listen to Derek Eling, Business Development Manager, cover details of his superpower: Technology as a Service (TaaS)
Listen to Jeremy Singh, Marketing Strategist, cover his superpower: Brand Marketing.
The new platform is also launching with 15-minute quick-start demonstration sessions to help interested partners get a first look and learn the ins and outs of the new platform. There are multiple quick-start sessions available from May through July. Partners can register for these sessions here.
Tech Data plans to expand its Coaches service in the near future and will fortify connections within the Tech Data ecosystem among resellers, vendors and other industry partners, including availability beyond the U.S. and Canada.
About the Author
Mardi Larson serves as Tech Data’s Manager, Content Marketing and Influencer Engagement, for the Americas Region. She started out her career in technology in the supercomputing industry at Cray Research and since then has worked for B2B and B2C mature and start-up brands and business across a range of marketing and communications roles. Mardi’s career profile can be found at LinkedIn.