It was the Summer of 1991. I had just left a long-distance telecommunications carrier to start PlanetOne. I was all in, borrowed $50,000 from my parents and hit the ground running in an old beat-up Buick with no air conditioning in the heat of Scottsdale, Arizona. With two young kids at home, failure was not an option.
From the very start, I laid the groundwork of loyalty to our technology partners and agents. If you called, I answered. I brought my A-Game every single day and put our partners first. I prioritized relationships and the power of a handshake, reflecting back on a valuable lesson I had learned in a previous role, “The best brochure is never going to make a sale for you.”
The PlanetOne team grew, and employees stayed. I credit our “work hard, play hard” atmosphere and family culture. And this has only strengthened over time.
Within a few years, my parents were paid back (with interest), and PlanetOne was thriving. We were emerging as a leading technology sourcing partner for IT and telecom services.
Taking Success to the Next Level
At the foundation of our decades of success has been perseverance, the willingness to take a risk, and ability to identify growth opportunities. I learned very quickly that as a business owner, I needed to prioritize investing the money we earned back into the business, and our partners, in order to stay competitive.
A couple years ago, we saw a huge gap in the data that was being gathered within our industry, and the analysis and actions being taken from that data. Across the board, there was stress and strain caused by constantly chasing people down to answer simple questions, which lengthened the sales cycle and hampered growth.
The solution? Automate the process to provide scale and growth for our partners and technology providers. Provide a mechanism which not only analyzes but enriches the data partners need to grow their business.
Our team got to work. We started from the ground-up, customizing every aspect with account-based intelligence. We were onto something, and we were stoked.
Technology Enabling People
On September 13, 2021, after years of investment, we launched a game-changing business intelligence platform called SENTIENT. Our perseverance and investment had paid off. The feedback from partners and providers, and the media, was overwhelmingly positive.
- CRN REPORTS: “SENTIENT closes the ‘Grand Canyon’-sized gap in partner-supplier communication.”
- Channelnomics calls SENTIENT a “swiss army knife for industry partners.”
Since the launch in September, partners using SENTIENT report a 78% jump in revenue-per-order. We successfully closed the gap and opened doors. Our partners are accessing real-time, actionable data and analytics in a single pane of glass.
And we’re not done. We will continue to invest in our partners year after year. Upcoming enhancements for SENTIENT will include scalable commissions tools and custom CRM integration.
I’ve spent half my life building this business, and the basic principles that I prioritized 30 years ago – loyalty, perseverance and investing back into our partners – will continue to drive our success. SENTIENT is an example of technology enabling people. Without a strong human experience, automation will only go so far.
I challenge you to stay focused on how you can make your customers more successful by investing in the technology necessary for the human to make the deal.
PlanetOne is the IT channel’s preferred technology sourcing partner for identifying and delivering cloud-based and connectivity solutions to small and midsize businesses and enterprises. To learn more, visit www.planetone.net.
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