B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 3 years ago

Comfortable in Your Industry? You’re Getting Passed By- with Kirk Robinson

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We sit down to discuss this more in-depth with Chief Country Executive of Ingram Micro’s U.S. branch, Kirk Robinson. He gives us specifics on how getting out of your comfort zone can lead to growth in your industry, including,  

  • Taking calculated risks 
  • Continuous learning 
  • Working towards a major goal  

”Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” - Kirk Robinson 

Follow Kirk on Twitter @thekirkrobinson and LinkedIn - Kirk Robinson. 

You're listening to be tob tech talk with Ingram Micro, the place to learn about new technology and technological advances before they become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by dealink. Technology make your home smarter, safer and truly seamless. Let's get into it. Welcome to be to be tech talk with Ingram micro. I'm your host, Carrie Roberts, and our guest today is Ingram micros top US executive, Kirk Robinson. With more than two decades of experience in the IT channel, Kirk leads Ingram micros largest region, the US. Welcome Kirk, to your team's new podcasts. Be To be tech talk with Ingram micro. So thrilled to have you as our first guest. Thanks carry great to be here. So let's start. When you think of today's it marketplace, what is one word or phrase that you would use to describe it? Never...

...dull. I think there's always opportunity for growth and there's never really been a better time to be where we're at today, and that's helping our customers be more successful through a quickly changing industry. And in this industry that tends to be full of hype, do you think trust is harder to earn, and if so, why? I don't know that it's harder or earn. I think no matter what changees are going on in our industry, business is always built on relationships and trust and for forty years Ingram's been doing business with integrity. But I think one thing our team also knows is that you have to get up and earn that trust every morning. That's very true. With the IT market place growing and trust being so crucial, it's no wonder that the industry headlines are obsessed with customer experience. What else do you think is lending to this obsession? Well, there is a lot of conversations around customer experience and I think we probably all have companies that we've looked at that deliver great...

...customer experience. What we're focused on is knowing the customers needs better than anyone else so that we can deliver that customer experience. So when you have the right talent and play and the technology to enable your customers, it's never been easier to get closer and stay more sticky with them. The relationships and results are always going to rule and if you do right by your team and do right by your customers, then they're always going to do right by you. And you have certain techniques or methods that you guys use at your company to help get to know your client a little bit better. We do. We do. We use a crm tool, so customer relationship management tool, and we spend a lot of time with our sales teams having conversations around a customers needs technology wise, asking them their go to market strategy and, as you would imagine, what the thousands and thousands of customers we have, there's a lot of got to market strategy. So the more information we can pull into our database and continue to have conversations around directionally what services can engrad micro deliver...

...to enable them to be more successful, the better off we both are. That's wonderful. Now, as we said earlier, this is Ingram micros first podcast. Why start it now? Well, I think it's a great opportunity to share Ingram's thought leadership and how that ties into what's going on in our market place. So we appreciate the opportunity. Yeah, and I think you know we've been talking about there's so many new things coming in technology. It's constantly growing with things like voice and AI and Vre and your company kind of being this leader within that and bringing other thought leaders in to talk about what's coming next. Is that a huge part of the show as well? Absolutely, in our industry and within our micro we have so many services around the different technologies. We want to make sure we can continue to communicate and get the word out to our partners in anybody in the into industry on all the...

...great things that Ingram micro has to offer. Now, on the other side, and doing some of my research on yourself, I notice that you've been challenging your own team, as well as the countless partners and manufacturers who look to your company as an indispensable partner. With one specific phrase. Can you tell listeners what that phrases? Absolutely, get comfortable being uncomfortable, and what does that mean and why is that important to you? Well, we're in an industry that's changing at a rapid rate due to the technology, but it's not just the industry, even if it's in your career or how you build your relationships. If you're comfortable, it means you're getting passed by. You have to get into that uncomfortable position of constant learning. We call it lifelong learning. So whether it's building relationships, understanding technology. You have to find comfort in being uncomfortable, because that's where you grow. Now you've been with Ingram Micro for a little over twenty five years and you've done various roles within...

...bi sales marketing and then, of course, now is the chief country executive. How do you suggest channel partners become better leaders to their customers and in turn, become more customer centric? Truly about listening. Carry always be listening and learning to both your associates and your partners, and I would stay also learning from other industries and sharing what you learn with others, and that can be the good or the bad. We also focus on taking calculated risks and if those risks don't work out, you have to know when to cut your losses, learn from them and then keep trying. Can you talk a little bit about what you mean by calculated risk? Yeah, absolutely. You hear a lot of people talk about learning from failure. You know, I enjoy reading books, biographies on leaders in different positions, different industries, and every single one of them learned how to take risks. You don't become successful by...

...playing it safe. So it also reminds me of the statement that when you write a business plan the first day you go into business, that plant changes. So you have to be adept at recognizing what's working and what's not. And it goes back to listening to the customers. And if you're willing to take those risks and try new things and recognize and listen to the customers to see if they're working, then you're going to be more adept at making changes and continuing to evolve. And in what way is your company and Gra micro helping your own channel partners deliver an exceptional customer experience? Well, for us it's all about being the business behind their brand and how we help them with the technology, the solutions, the financial offerings, the list goes on and on. So the better off we are in understanding their needs of their customers, the better are we presenting the right solutions, whether that be technology,...

...financial or just guidance on where the trends are heading. Do you have any tips, maybe like one, two three tips, that you would give to somebody on finding ways to dealing with being uncomfortable and kind of trying new things within their company or with their clients? Sure, I'm an avid reader, so I'm constantly reading books on either business or leaders to look for examples of where other people were successful. I mentioned it earlier. Look to other industries, look to the market and understand the mergers and acquisitions and why they're happening, and that can help lead you down a path of where you need to be. I think the other thing that you have to do is to look a little bit further out, because you've got to have a goal far enough out there that excite to you and excite your team, a mountain, a line that every day you're going out and for us it's around customer experience.

How can we deliver the best customer experience in the industry? Because we think that's how we're going to win and there are a lot of things that go into that, but you find those things and you measure them and you continue to tweak along the way and that's how we found success. And I just have a personal question for you. With all the technology you're surrounded and what is kind of the thing you're most excited about in the next space of technology? I think Iot there's a lot of conversation around it and it's still early stages, but everything going there and what ties into it with AI machine learning, our PA's and data. I had the pleasure of running our business intelligence team for five years back in the mid two thousands and I became a big, big believer in what data can do for your business, and you're seeing it happen right now and I think that's a huge opportunity in our industry and...

...a huge opportunity for anger microwing our partners. I think that's great. Well, thank you so much, Kirk, for being here. I'm super excited for the growth of this show. Likewise carry and appreciate this support and I look forward to talk and to you again sometimes. Well, that is a rap for the first episode of B Tob Tech Talk with Ingram micro. Again, thank you to our guest, Kirk Robinson. You can find Kirk and connect with him on Linkedin, as well as follow him on twitter at the Kirk Robinson and for those road warriors out there, if you're attending the two thousand and nineteen best of breed conference in October, you can catch him on the main stage delivering a powerful keynote, and he will be speaking at the Ingram micro one event later this year. If you like this episode or have a question, you can join the discussion over on twitter at Ingram Tech Soul, with the Hashtag B Tob Tech Talk. Thank you for tuning in and subscribing to be tob tech talk with Ingram micro. You've been listening to bedb...

...tech talk with Ingram Micro, hosted by Carrie Roberts and sponsored by dealing technology. Be Tob tech talk is a joint production by sweetfish media and Ingram micro. Ingram micro production handled by Laura Burton and Christine Fan. To not miss an episode, subscribe today in your favorite podcast platform.

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