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4 Tips To Drive Business Growth Now And Post COVID-19: Vertiv

‘Even in a challenging market, our profitability and our bottom-line growth was very strong. These principals and concepts work,’ says Vertiv’s Peter Klanian at XChange+ 2021.

IT businesses need to constantly push themselves to flourish in today’s market while also keeping an eye on long-term success in a post-COVID-19 world. To achieve this, leaders should purposely set up challenges for their business and be ready to shakeup strategies as well as customer and vendor relationships, says Peter Klanian, vice president, Americas Channel and Federal Sales at IT infrastructure standout Vertiv.

When Vertiv’s stock began dipping below $10 per share in 2020, the $4.4 billion company created new concepts and principals that drove top and bottom line growth, which eventually boosted Vertiv’s stock to now over $20 per share, according to Klanian.

“Even in a challenging market, our profitability and our bottom-line growth was very strong. These principals and concepts work,” said Klanian at XChange+ 2021 today during his presentation titled, ‘The Winning Balance, Executing Today’s Business Priorities With an Eye Towards Tomorrow’s Success.’

Accomplish Two Conflicting Objectives At The Same Time

Vertiv pushed its executives to accomplish two seemingly conflicting objectives at the same time, Klanian said. And that self-imposed challenge led to great results.

“We were asked to keep our fixed costs constant, while also driving top and bottom line growth. So no additional investment, but grow,” Klanian said.

Every leader at Vertiv was forced to review their business, speak with team members, partners and customers, and to abolish any form of what Klanian called “intellectual laziness.”

“We couldn’t sit there and say, ‘No, this is too hard. We’re not going to do it.’ We had to force ourselves to rearchitect what we were doing,” he said. “Believe me, if you force your teams to do this, you’re going to be impressed and find out that their capable of doing these things at the same time. … One way to do that is enter new markets and expand the sale with new vendors.”

[Related: Schneider Electric’s New Edge Partner Program: 5 Things To Know]

Tim Joyce, president and CEO of Orinda, Calif.-based solution provider Roundstone Solutions, said Klanian’s concept of pushing yourself and employees to accomplish a seemingly impossible task is a great way to drive success.

For example, when Joyce was working at a different company, his former CEO was upset about not being able to get into a specific large account.

“He was lamenting that our company couldn’t get into a large account located right next door to our headquarters. He told me, ‘You know, I know a way we can crack that account. I’m going to assign it to you, and that will be your only account. You’ll have to figure out a way, and you will,” said Joyce. “It’s empowering how much that mindset works when you really have no other choice. You either do it, or you don’t survive. Pretty binary and powerful.”

‘Re-Anchor’ For A Post-COVID-19 World

Another concept that businesses need to think about is if their current operations will work in a post-COVID-19 world. Vertiv’s Klanian said every company needs to ask themselves if the adjustments made in 2020 are the right moves to support long-term growth goals.

“Question: ‘Is this how I want to run the business going forward? Is it the right way to serve my customers and grow the business?’ If it’s not, you may need to re-anchor,” he said.

Klanian suggests taking a white sheet of paper approach.

“Pretend you’re a startup again and you’re starting from scratch: would you structure your business, your offerings and other parts of what you do every day the way that it’s built today? Or do you need to go back to start from scratch? Think it through, speak with your team and make that evaluation. It’s very important,” he said. “Do it while your focused both on today and tomorrow.”

Reevaluate And Renegotiate Your Partnerships

One big key concept that’s worth reviewing with an eye towards 2021 and beyond is all around partnerships. Vertiv’s Klanian says reevaluating and renegotiating your company’s various partnerships can be critical for growth.

“Whether it’s with your customers, your vendors, your banks, your consultants that support you -- if they’re not driving maximum value to you, then you need to reevaluate,” Klanian said. “Go back and speak with them. Renegotiate terms. Renegotiate pricing. Renegotiate support. If they’re not willing to do that, you always have other options.”

Roundstone’s Joyce agreed with Klanian that partnerships need to evolve over time in order for mutual success.

“Partnerships shouldn’t be static, but rather they should continue to evolve as the needs of our company change. When we find a partnership no longer works for us, we look for a different partner which might be able to help us do what we want to do with our business,” said Joyce.

Driving Innovation

As an IT veteran with over 25 years of executive experience working for the likes of Dell and APC by Schneider Electric, Klanian understands how important focusing on innovation is.

A business needs to constantly look at how to be more innovative -- from customer engagements and services delivery to marketing and vendor partnerships.

“So look at your own team. How can they be more innovative in how they engage with customers, deliver services, do their marketing and messaging, connect with customers – but also look for partners who can help you do the same thing,” he said. “Are your partners helping you drive innovation? Vertiv is doing that in our market.”

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