In case you just got back from a long trip to Antarctica, you missed an amazing game on Super Bowl Sunday, one with more momentum swings and back and forth drama than the on-going Sprint T-Mobile merger lawsuit.  In fact, if you missed the last 10 minutes of the game, you might as well have skipped the whole thing.  And before any of 49er fans get upset, just remember – Cloud Age Solutions is headquartered just down the Beltway from the Redskins. We can only dream of getting beaten by Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs.

But as we were watching the game unfold, it occurred to us that it had some important lessons for service providers, managed service providers, and telecom resellers that we wanted to share.

The “Forgotten Plays” Matter — A Lot

Everyone is going to talk about the big plays – like Mahomes’ 38-yard pass to Sammy Watkins in the go-ahead drive, with 5 minutes to go.  They forget Chris Jones batting down Garoppolo’s pass in the critical series before that.  If the 49ers had completed that pass, they get a first down and we’d be watching a victory parade across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Likewise, for MSPs and resellers – everyone remembers that you won that big enterprise customer.  They sometimes forget that keeping that customer – and growing the account is built on doing a lot of small things well: solving a service problem quickly, making sure invoices were 100% correct, getting a new service installed on time.  These are the forgotten plays, but they can spell the difference between success and failure.  Those “forgotten plays” are often the difference between being a vendor rather than a trusted advisor.

Execute, Execute, Execute – even when there are bumps in the road

The Chiefs did not play anywhere close to a perfect game.  They committed turnovers and stupid penalties that killed drives and created opportunities for the competition.  And the 49ers did not exactly hand them the game.  But watching the Chiefs, you got the sense that the only play that mattered to them was the one they were about to run.  What they could not control or undo, was irrelevant.  Our best customers and partners at Cloud Age Solutions understand this as well.  That 100% sure sale that went to the competition – you move on.  That service outage at your best customer, the day your CEO went to visit them – you solve the problem, you learn, you move on.  The most successful companies we work with put the tools, processes, and technology in place to execute what needs to be done because they know it will pay off in the end, even when there are potholes on your way to success.

Build A Team You Can Trust

After winning his first Super Bowl, Kansas City head coach Andy Reid was asked if was thinking of retiring.  “I’d coach 20 more years if I could keep these guys,” he said.

And he was not just talking about talent.  Reid had a team that trusted and respected each other and knew how to do their jobs well.  The lesson holds true for telecom companies trying to get to that next level of success.  Hire staff and select partners for the long-term – people that you could work with for decades – even if no one stays at one company their entire career.  Give them the tools and training to be successful.

And maybe someday you’ll be taking them to Disney World.