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.
I’d start from the premise of aiming to sell more things to more people. In practice this can result in a range of actions. One of those can be a cooperative sales motion and one could be to expand your portfolio, so that your clients can source multiple products and services from you. If they’ve already bought, they’re likely to buy from you again. Cooperative selling is where you’re partnering with another similar business with complementary offerings and you simply look to sell to each others’ client. I’m seeing a marked increase in this latter approach.
If you a bereft of ideas or simply feel are stuck – drop me a line. Always happy to help
Whatever your perspective, I think we would all probably agree, that for the IT and Telecoms reseller, things have certainly changed, and continue to do so. The vendor landscape continues to evolve too, with new vendors appearing, with innovative offerings, and many established vendors consolidating as they vie for position in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
For the consumers of the technology (the customers), things are forever changing too. Factors affecting their businesses are arriving at such a pace, and with their business cost base being under constant pressure, many are running on very lean staffing numbers. This compounds to effect somewhat.
What we have is more change and a greater pace of change, more vendors, more innovation, fewer staff, greater challenges and the same amount of time in each and every day.
How does a business stay on top of all of this and remain current with technology that can give them an advantage, or stop them being exposed, as well as attract and retain staff as a great place to work.
In life, and in business, for me, it’s about relationships – building trusted relationships, where over time you can outsource some of this to a specialist or specialists – ensuring you can focus on the business of running your business – and generally, the smaller specialist businesses are more likely to offer you the long term relationship building opportunity, as they are more often than not, owner-run and they are therefore unlikely to leave the business to work at a competitor, leaving you with the what to do dilema.