For the first time in Women in the Channel history, we invited our membership to participate in a satisfaction survey. We wanted to hear your perceptions and experiences about our organization and make certain WiC continues to your needs. The survey allowed us the opportunity to hear the voices of our members.
With a tremendous 31% response rate, we were able to confirm some things we knew, and also set goals for the future in hopes that WiC remains one of the most sought after women’s groups in the telecom and technology industry. That may seem small at first glance, but according to SurveyGizmo it is 2-times greater than the statistical average of 10-15%. It’s important to note that since the survey, our membership has grown an additional 35%! Today, we are over 320 members strong and growing.
ON A HIGH LEVEL, THE MEMBER SURVEY SHOWED US FOUR THINGS:
- Women in the Channel (WiC) is highly valued by a majority of members, with 61% of members highly willing to recommend our organizations to other women in the channel and 85% committing to renewing their membership. It’s no surprise that those who serve on a committee find WiC to be an excellent networking group and become some of our most committed members.
- Our members are highly successful women, with the largest majority generating over $250,000 in annual revenues for their companies. In addition, most of our membership wants to move up the corporate ladder, whether it’s into management, executive leadership or serving on a board of directors. Conversely, 14% of the respondents want to own a company.
- Challenges for most of our members include: filling the sales funnel, finding and retaining good talent, and keeping up with new technology. Their interests evenly span career development, gaining technical knowledge, promoting tech opportunities to young women, equal pay, and gender diversity in leadership. That said, this survey was released two months before Channel Partners published its damning research on equal pay in our community – where it’s shown that women earn only 60% of what our male colleagues do.
- We have opportunities to serve our members through career development, ongoing focus on leadership diversity and equal pay, along with new attention to the harassment women often encounter in our business – illustrated both by several member comments and Peter Radzinski’s recent blog.
A FEW MORE INTERESTING FINDINGS:
Volunteers remain more satisfied than passive members, and more likely to renew their membership and recommend our organization to their peers. The number one reason they renew? To continue the networking relationships and learn from other Women in the Channel.
Several respondents noted that they are looking to retire or to sell their organizations soon. For those members, company valuation and the process of the sale of a business are top of mind.
With the rapid deployment of new service offerings and the blending of agencies and distributors, the ability to be an expert in everything is gone. Members need to collaborate with experts in order to bring total solutions to their customers, while continuing to learn new technologies themselves. Relationships between WiC members enable that kind of partnering at the client level.
Overall, the survey validated what we’ve been working toward with our strategic plan: building our community, continuing to improve our new member on-boarding, refreshing our technology, and creating a welcoming organization with lots of opportunities to get involved and connect.
We are making progress on the diversity front. Holding high profile WiCConnect events and highlighting the annual compensation survey through Channel Partners Online helps to further that endeavor.
Looking ahead, we seek to create easier ways for people to get involved and volunteer with us. We want everyone to have the opportunity to participate and advance their careers by doing so.
We appreciate the thoughtful feedback shared with us during this process. We hope you are as excited about the future as we are!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
In addition to serving on the Women in the Channel Board, Rebecca Rosen’s consultancy, Sales Enabled, supports technology organizations in assuring that their sales force and marketing teams are aligned with and capable of effectively implementing their strategy. Rosen is a member of the Women in the Channel board, the Technology Channel Association board, member of the CompTIA faculty and the National Speakers’ Association. You can connect with Rebecca on Twitter @RebeccaMRosen and LinkedIn.
ABOUT THE EDITOR:
Morgan Granfield is the National Partner Development Manager for Birch, growing relationships with Master Agencies and their bases across the country through personalized training, partner appreciation events, and marketing. Morgan has been in various sales and training roles at Birch since 2012. She joined WiC in January as a member of the PR, Newsletter, and Event Planning committees.