I recently came across some photos and as is often the way, it sparked a bit of retrospection. Thinking back to the experiences I was afforded in a role I held previously when I was employed at global telecoms vendor Avaya – and there were many. These experiences were for the most part shared with the folks working in our channel partners and most of whom I have personally known for more than 30 years. This is going to shock the reader because I know what you’re thinking – you simply do not look old enough Graham! 😉
Anyhoo, back to my reminiscing. The photos that I came across were from a trip we had to the Kruger National Park, followed by a few days in Mozambique. I am going to share these on Linkydink and Twitter for my good companions and friends to join me in the (hopefully fond) retrospection. So no people tags here, but if you are reading and reminiscing too – enjoy
Very recently (well about 7 weeks ago to be more precise), we participated in the annual Channel Live expo, held at the NEC in Birmingham.
We have exhibited there a few times with our partners and had some decent engagement, and this time was no exception. In fact, I would chalk this one down as one of the most successful, in terms of actual potential partnership opportunities for our current vendor partner Inovo Telecom.
AI and Automation
My business partner and I had been asked to participate this year, as presenters for a couple of the theatre topics – “AI and Automation”; and “Creating Sticky Customers”.
Despite it being quite some time since presenting to an audience like this, I was really excited and as a result hugely enjoyed my session, which is a topic I have a particular passion for anyway (thankfully)
Both sessions can be viewed below or via our Youtube channel (QR code connects)
You’re in an organisation that is providing solutions to address a certain business problem, and you’re seeking opportunities to grow your customer base.
You’re thinking that maybe you’ll find some resellers, as that’s a lower cost than hiring a number of new salespeople. The resellers get to sell your offer and you’ll give them a share of the revenue, or sell to them at a “dealer” price for them to invoice their customer and add a margin.
Yet who should sell it and why aren’t folks beating down my door to sell my product?
Those that I’ve spoken to haven’t really engaged yet and haven’t heard anything back from them.
Some of them haven’t enough resources to add new products, services or take on new skills at the moment and others have none at all, so they are struggling to get started.
We have a few partners who have signed agreements but haven’t sold anything yet, and I’m not seeing any marketing activity from them.
How do I get this machine moving, as all I have managed to achieve is to divert my energy into trying to find partners and reduce my available time for what I was already doing…
This is not an unusual story, but actually, rather a common experience based on a lack of experience and knowledge. Businesses wanting to identify and develop a channel sales strategy, need to do so with eyes wide open and a good plan.
Often a business gets lured into thinking that hiring a sales partner is less costly than hiring additional sales heads, but this is simply not true. The cost model is merely different.
A sales channel definitely offers a greater opportunity to scale, and also potentially gives access to customers whom you might otherwise expend significant efforts to build a profile with, more easily. But do not think this is the cheapest way of growing sales. It simply is not.
How hard can it be?
There’s so much more to this than a vendor thinking that it’s worth giving it a try…. Because that simply will not end well. Why would a potential partner invest any of their time or effort if you’re not prepared to? If a channel partner gets the slightest whiff that you’re just “giving it a go”, you are toast and you will get nowhere. Do not expect a reseller to damage their hard-earned reputation by introducing your solution if they think you’re not here for the long term to support them, and their customers. It’s not going to happen.
Done well, the channel is beautifully symbiotic and it’s very much the way to scale your business
Need help getting figured out and getting started? Then get in touch with me and I will be able to set you on the right track – here or use the WhatsApp link below.
London, 16h February 2020 – Trust Business Partners today announced that it has expanded its strategic partnerships through a new agreement with INOVO, who provide the tech and ongoing optimisation to boost contact centre efficiency, productivity and CX.
Trust Business Partners will be the face of INOVO in UKI & Europe, representing the brand through sales and marketing activity, recruiting new channel partners, systems integrators and creating local European strategic alliances. Trust Business Partners has over 30 years’ experience in the UKI & European contact centre space working directly with customers and partner channels.
INOVO is a cloud contact centre solutions provider that focuses on delivering business results rather than just enablement. The company devotes a dedicated team of industry specialists to every customer account to drive continuous improvements in efficiency, productivity and CX. INOVO’s clients vary from 10 to a few thousand seats across several sectors such as: financial services, retail, telecoms, healthcare, BPO, hospitality and travel.
INOVO was established in 2006 after a group of experienced contact centre specialists joined forces to disrupt the contact centre market. By adopting a “partner” over “vendor” approach, the goal was to deliver business services that extended beyond just providing great technology, and really focused on understanding, and meeting a customer’s unique requirements.
“Our success has stemmed from our ability to identify specific business challenges and use cases and be innovative in how we help businesses solve them. We look at a business holistically – whether it’s the underlying processes or the tech – and work with our customers to continually drive improvements. We’re looking forward to working with Trust Business Partners to help deliver this kind of business value to contact centres in UKI and throughout Europe,” said Wynand Smit, CEO and founding partner of INOVO
“Customers today demand well-informed and intelligent business conversations around technology and processes to enhance their contact centre and customer experience. INOVO’s ability to enhance services while improving time to resolution and reducing costs will be very attractive for partner channels seeking to grow additional revenue streams and service customers better. We believe that with this partnership, customers and partners in UKI & Europe will be able to differentiate themselves significantly with INOVO’s unique offer.” said David Pitts, Founder Partner at Trust Business Partners
INOVO is a cloud contact centre solutions provider that focuses on delivering business results rather than just enablement. The company devotes a dedicated team of industry specialists to every customer account to drive continuous improvements in efficiency, productivity and CX. INOVO’s clients vary from 10 to a few thousand seats across several sectors such as: financial services, retail, telecoms, healthcare, BPO, hospitality and travel. For more information, visit https://www.inovo.co.za.
About Trust Business Partners
Trust Business Partners are a niche consultancy specialising in supporting IT/Voice/Software vendors and suppliers go to market strategy in the UKI & Europe. David Pitts and Graham Bunting’s (founding partners) experience of local markets is second to none having worked at partner, distributor and vendor level plus running their own successful businesses.
To grow your business, we’re committed to innovation, partnership, and a relentless focus on what’s next. Simplification, communication and localisation provide a clear advantage in any market. We’re the company you can trust to help you deliver Experiences that Matter to your channels and customers.
As someone who gets to see a lot of new technology early, I’m often excited by the possibilities this affords our channel friends and colleagues.
How about you? Are you
1. Equally stoked by the opportunity of engaging with your customers to share an exciting new solution?
2. Not too fussed and prefer to stick to your core product or solution offer?
If you’re the second option here, then I’d urge you to consider this…
Your customers are investing in technology that you’re not providing and whilst they’re not talking to you, they’re building relationships and trust elsewhere. This carries risk for you as other suppliers are option 1 players and they’re following a LAND AND EXPAND strategy that will see them displacing you at some point.
Here’s a short video explainer for Koopid.ai – and we’re exhibiting at the Call and Contact Centre Expo at the Excel on March 18th and 19th, so please come and say hello and learn more. This could be what your customers have been waiting for.
Vendor accreditation programmes – who are they really for?
2. Channel partners?
4. All three?
Why does a customer care if their supplier is accredited by the vendor of the product, solution or service?
Why does a channel partner care whether they are Bronze, Silver, or Gold certified?
Why does the vendor need to create training and certification material, courses, tests etc?
It all sounds a lot of work, so why does anyone bother?
There must be some significant value in order to motivate everyone to care enough to get engaged – so what is it?
Customers are what this is all about! Customers require good advice from well informed representatives from the channel community and the channel community cannot rely on the resources of the vendor at every engagement they have, so the channel partners need to become equally well informed – This requires training and testing, which is great for the vendor, because they end up with well informed channel partners representing them and provides the scale required to develop more market coverage. In addition, an accreditation programme usually has a volume\revenue related metric, which rewards the successful sales partner – more of a value component than a quality component and an often thorny topic for engineering heavy partners with lots of skills but not too many new sales. Customers are usually able to see for themselves what partner accreditations are for channels and select based on a value\quality blend. In reality most customers want to know they will be well looked after rather than well sold to.
For the vendor, an accreditation programme provides a sense for channel partner commitment levels and focus on their portfolio, and training enables current knowledge to be maintained and product knowledge to be broadly well ingrained. The more a channel partner commits to one vendor programme, the less time and resources they will have for competing offers – stands to reason. So vendors see this as an important dynamic for developing partner commitments. Ultimately this enables scale and quality delivery for the customers and commitment for the vendor, with the reseller having the ability to wrap services and complementary products to their solution.