First, they don’t treat UC as a static product that their channel team walks away from once it’s launched. Effective channel teams provide exhaustive product briefings and training, regularly topped up with technical updates and refresher courses. Much of the delivery will be online – minimising downtime for the partner but maximising the benefit.
Second, smart vendors provide reseller training on refining their consulting skills – whatever the customer – and after care training. No-one respects a supplier that is big on promises and disappears when the tough questions come in. Selling today is about building an understanding of the customers business problems and issues, creating a solution which is differentiated from that of the competition and communicating effectively with your customer to make sure that they understand the benefits they will accrue.
Third, the best vendors are also working with reseller partners to build business strategies that get to the heart of different sectors’ requirements. These focus on resolving users’ daily needs and crises, and the business opportunities open to end-user organisations that are able to work smarter. Just a few examples show the way:
Carefully deployed UC platforms help small businesses streamline customer interactions and gain the edge over competitors. Small businesses represent over 80% of the economy, so this remains a huge opportunity.
UC is joining up office and mobile telephony to enable professional services firms to better manage customer demands and maximise staff utilisation – critical where time is their ‘raw material’.
As public services move online, taxpayers expect a common response from telephone, email and even SMS; even more strikingly, service teams that were once tied to depots and offices are being mobilised to deliver better community support and care.
Unified communications also deals with the curse of uncontrolled call expenses; UC platforms ensure staff calls are made off the Local Area Networks, not the main mobile networks, delivering savings that could make the difference between business failure and survival.
Because of this problem-solving approach, vendors are finding that, even in the downturn and dare we say it – recession – buying decisions aren’t frozen if resellers show endusers a way to transform productivity. Indeed UC can unlock doors which would otherwise be locked to the ‘do you wanna buy a new phone system’ approach.
The coup de gras delivered by UC is that it blends strong green credentials with strong cost saving capabilities. You can talk with your customers about reducing their carbon footprint and at the same time demonstrate how you will be able to reduce associated travel costs, a double whammy which is already proving to be a winning combination. In fact, it is difficult to think of a market sector or set of personal or business issues which you can’t address.
This is great news for all concerned with this wonderful market of ours – well it is if you have an award winning Unified Communications platform called HiPath OpenOffice in your portfolio anyway.
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