Unleash Growth: The Ultimate Guide to Portfolio Diversification

By Ideas @ AppDirect / June 2, 2023


In a recent State of the Union webinar, AppDirect sat down with a panel of experts from our advisor community to talk about portfolio diversification and generating growth. The expert advisors on the panel shared their invaluable experiences, revealing the secrets to crafting an exceptional customer journey. By implementing these steps, you can cultivate unwavering customer loyalty and forge enduring, successful relationships.

The ‘secret sauce’ for landing and expanding enterprise partnerships

Facilitated by VP of Strategic Sales at AppDirect, Mike Onystok, the panel included Amanda Cromar, CEO COMtuity, Ben Robertson, President of Menadena and Patrick Lawless, Founder of Conectix. Panelists revealed the ‘secret sauce’ for securing lucrative enterprise partnerships, sharing insights on how asking unconventional questions has increased their business and also garnered greater trust from customers. They also share how AppDirect opens doors to unprecedented opportunities, allowing them to assist customers in ways previously unexplored.

What are the advantages of portfolio diversification? Keep reading for top takeaways or watch the full webinar.

Zero in on existing customers

Tune into minute 4:22 in the webinar to hear more

Diversification has been a key focus and priority for COMtuity since it was founded in 2005, Amanda explains. To her, diversification can mean customer diversity, vertical carrier diversity, service diversity, or TSD diversity. “Without these diversifications, we wouldn’t have come into this year as strong,” she explains.

For the top-rated energy and technology solutions company Menadena, portfolio diversification means something different. Menadena President Ben Robertson explains that diversification in his business is having a catalog with the breadth and depth to meet customers' evolving technology needs. Ben explains that they started by offering web design services, added digital marketing, phones and internet, and most recently, energy solutions. His team can maximize customer value and enhance the customer journey and experience by offering competitive power and electricity services to new and existing customers.

“We serve businesses that serve regular people and I’m looking at ways that we can help them do that better,” Ben explains.

Now with AppDirect, Menadena advisors are uncovering additional opportunities for cross-selling other technology. Patrick Lawless, Founder of Conectix, agrees that the AppDirect platform opens additional opportunities. He says that once they get customers into the AppDirect Marketplace, they can diversify even more and have more meaningful and productive selling conversations. The Marketplace also enables customers to self-serve and search for solutions independently, and Conectix advisors still earn commissions on those sales.

By diversifying their technology portfolio through the AppDirect catalog, advisors are embracing new inquiries and market opportunities that may not have been previously available. This approach drives more business and nurtures a deeper sense of trust among customers.

As an advisor, it’s ok not to be the expert on everything

Tune into minute 12:32 in the webinar to hear more.

The panel iterated that as an advisor, you don’t always have to be the expert in the technology area you’re selling to make an impact. AppDirect provides all the resources and expertise you need. The AppDirect team can act as a solution expert on calls, or provide guidance and advice before you get on a customer call.

If you feel nervous about selling technology solutions you haven’t sold before, Patrick encourages advisors to have a conversation with the professionals at AppDirect, get educated on the platform, technology available to sell, and the tools and training resources available. This way, you can prioritize your time and talk to customers with confidence.

As Mike Onystok, VP of Strategic Sales at AppDirect explains, once you have the foundational knowledge to talk about software, you’re in the driver’s seat.

“Software is software. If you can sell Microsoft, you can sell Zoom.”

Don’t forget about other services you can offer, such as energy

Tune into minute 14:36 in the webinar to hear more.

Ben in particular likes the challenge of serving multi-location businesses. He stresses that as the multi-locations increase in size, complexity also increases.

Navigating the complexities of phones, internet, and digital marketing across multiple locations can be daunting. However, with a robust platform, diverse technology catalog, and expert support, Menadena is now seamlessly managing competitive power contracts with remarkable scalability. Ben believes this aligns with their overarching service offering stack—to enhance the customer experience through technology at every step of their journey. Harnessing the power of energy has proven to be an exceptional avenue for achieving this goal.

Customers buy from people they trust

Tune into minute 23:50 of the webinar for more.

It may sound simple, but it’s true: the same principles apply across every deal. And customers buy from people they know, trust, and like.

For Amanda, the key is to always be thinking ahead and asking yourself three critical questions.

“I’ve solved that business challenge, what is the next challenge they are facing, and as an advisor, how can I help with that?”

Amanda sees success in repeating key phrases like these to the customer throughout your conversations with them:

  1. “We can do this”

  2. “We’re going to help you with that”

  3. “We hear your problem and we’ve got two solutions for you”

She also recommends getting customers involved in the decision-making process early. She believes vetting the best options in a collaborative way, where they are invested and perform some of the due diligence helps take the edge off a first deal.

“They’re vetting a vendor for you. That has really proven successful for us.”

“It’s raining money”

Finally, when it comes to prioritizing your time and what you should double down on selling, Ben recommends that you don’t overthink it. But, also, don’t be afraid to get outside of your comfort zone to expand your portfolio. It’s crucial in ensuring long-term success.

“The market is so big. There is no end to it. I feel like it’s raining money as far as the amount of opportunity that’s out there and it’s really just about being aware of that and thinking about how you can best help people.”

Diversifying, cross-selling, and capturing a larger share of the wallet is an absolute game-changer for driving growth and ensuring customer loyalty in your business. The pivotal factor can make or break your success in today’s dynamic channel landscape. Don’t wait to make your impact by following cross-selling best practices and leaning on key partners to help drive your success.