There is little doubt that consultancy is one of the primary benefits that an effective channel partner can bring to both a vendor and a customer.
Whatever their size, resellers are, by definition, skilled at opening doors and generating sales opportunities through creative means yet we find that again and again, it is not the actual product or service being offered that clinches the deal, it is invariably the value-add that the channel offers over and above that of the vendor.
The consultative approach ensures that resellers service their customer base most efficiently by delivering revenue building strategies based on the product or service that they are selling. Consequently, by looking beyond installing hardware and troubleshooting, the multi-skilled reseller is able to position itself as a valued partner as opposed to being an expense.
We frequently notice a divide in approach between the larger and smaller partners, in terms of how they convey the service. Our larger partners look at the ability to customise the service and the potential to control the customer experience irrespective of the sector, whereas the smaller resellers look primarily at the ability to offer vertical market solutions.
This diversity actually allows potential customers multiple entry points they can choose to work with a partner that is right for their business. Some SMEs for example may require a highly configurable service that is bespoke for their sector whereas others may simply want an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution.
In the CRM sector, we tend to notice that resellers are most successful when offering specific suggestions for the prospect to become more productive by managing their customer relationships.
Our partners are becoming more creative in terms of tailoring the software to
suit the requirements of their clients’ businesses.
What is absolutely certain is that the value of consultancy is as clear and important as ever in terms of converting prospects and retaining customers.
Paul King is managing director of WiredContact UK
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