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

Episode · 2 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 talkwith Ingram Micro, the place to learn about new technology and technological advances beforethey become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by dealink. Technology make your homesmarter, safer and truly seamless. Let's get into it. Welcome to beto be tech talk with Ingram micro. I'm your host, Carrie Roberts,and our guest today is Ingram micros top US executive, Kirk Robinson. Withmore than two decades of experience in the IT channel, Kirk leads Ingram microslargest region, the US. Welcome Kirk, to your team's new podcasts. BeTo be tech talk with Ingram micro. So thrilled to have you as ourfirst 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 thatyou would use to describe it? Never...

...dull. I think there's always opportunityfor growth and there's never really been a better time to be where we're attoday, 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 youthink trust is harder to earn, and if so, why? I don'tknow that it's harder or earn. I think no matter what changees are goingon in our industry, business is always built on relationships and trust and forforty years Ingram's been doing business with integrity. But I think one thing our teamalso knows is that you have to get up and earn that trust everymorning. That's very true. With the IT market place growing and trust beingso 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, thereis a lot of conversations around customer experience and I think we probably all havecompanies that we've looked at that deliver great...

...customer experience. What we're focused onis knowing the customers needs better than anyone else so that we can deliver thatcustomer experience. So when you have the right talent and play and the technologyto enable your customers, it's never been easier to get closer and stay moresticky with them. The relationships and results are always going to rule and ifyou do right by your team and do right by your customers, then they'realways going to do right by you. And you have certain techniques or methodsthat you guys use at your company to help get to know your client alittle bit better. We do. We do. We use a crm tool, so customer relationship management tool, and we spend a lot of time withour sales teams having conversations around a customers needs technology wise, asking them theirgo to market strategy and, as you would imagine, what the thousands andthousands 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 conversationsaround 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 wesaid 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 howthat ties into what's going on in our market place. So we appreciate theopportunity. Yeah, and I think you know we've been talking about there's somany new things coming in technology. It's constantly growing with things like voice andAI and Vre and your company kind of being this leader within that and bringingother thought leaders in to talk about what's coming next. Is that a hugepart of the show as well? Absolutely, in our industry and within our microwe have so many services around the different technologies. We want to makesure we can continue to communicate and get the word out to our partners inanybody in the into industry on all the...

...great things that Ingram micro has tooffer. Now, on the other side, and doing some of my research onyourself, I notice that you've been challenging your own team, as wellas 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 thatimportant to you? Well, we're in an industry that's changing at a rapidrate due to the technology, but it's not just the industry, even ifit'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 positionof 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'swhere you grow. Now you've been with Ingram Micro for a little over twentyfive years and you've done various roles within...

...bi sales marketing and then, ofcourse, now is the chief country executive. How do you suggest channel partners becomebetter leaders to their customers and in turn, become more customer centric?Truly about listening. Carry always be listening and learning to both your associates andyour partners, and I would stay also learning from other industries and sharing whatyou 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 thenkeep trying. Can you talk a little bit about what you mean by calculatedrisk? Yeah, absolutely. You hear a lot of people talk about learningfrom failure. You know, I enjoy reading books, biographies on leaders indifferent positions, different industries, and every single one of them learned how totake risks. You don't become successful by...

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

...financial or just guidance on where thetrends are heading. Do you have any tips, maybe like one, twothree tips, that you would give to somebody on finding ways to dealing withbeing 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 eitherbusiness or leaders to look for examples of where other people were successful. Imentioned it earlier. Look to other industries, look to the market and understand themergers and acquisitions and why they're happening, and that can help lead you downa path of where you need to be. I think the other thingthat you have to do is to look a little bit further out, becauseyou've got to have a goal far enough out there that excite to you andexcite your team, a mountain, a line that every day you're going outand for us it's around customer experience.

How can we deliver the best customerexperience in the industry? Because we think that's how we're going to win andthere are a lot of things that go into that, but you find thosethings and you measure them and you continue to tweak along the way and that'show 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 mostexcited about in the next space of technology? I think Iot there's a lot ofconversation around it and it's still early stages, but everything going there andwhat ties into it with AI machine learning, our PA's and data. I hadthe pleasure of running our business intelligence team for five years back in themid two thousands and I became a big, big believer in what data can dofor your business, and you're seeing it happen right now and I thinkthat's a huge opportunity in our industry and...

...a huge opportunity for anger microwing ourpartners. 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 youagain sometimes. Well, that is a rap for the first episode of BTob Tech Talk with Ingram micro. Again, thank you to our guest, KirkRobinson. You can find Kirk and connect with him on Linkedin, aswell as follow him on twitter at the Kirk Robinson and for those road warriorsout there, if you're attending the two thousand and nineteen best of breed conferencein 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 thediscussion 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 withIngram micro. You've been listening to bedb...

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

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