Supporting the Channel in 2020
Emphasising value to reduce churn
It’s impossible to talk about supporting businesses in 2020 without mentioning coronavirus. The global pandemic although unforeseen and highly damaging to the economy, has also provided a common point of interest to build closer relationships with customers and to understand their business challenges and drivers.
While the things we know about how the channel needs to work with their customers haven’t changed-partners have to understand their customers, educate and add value-there does seem to be an increased need for collaboration and transparency. It seems that shared understanding , and human connection, matters more when you’re playing for keeps; reducing churn and satisfying customers as much as, if not more than, focusing on new sales.
Support for now, and preparation for business as usual
In supporting our partners this year, we have found we need to support them with both short-term sales stimulation and long-term strategy.
We are fortunate to work with a number of agile partners, with whom we can quickly put together sales stimulation promotions, Much of our short-term focus is around equipping partners to sell end users in this new, strange environment. The things that we do (like call analytics and recording) really come into their own in the world of remote working and managing business disruption, and we are helping our partners to communicate this message to end users. And for businesses whose traditional sales have slowed, these types of products enable them to keep in touch with their existing customer base, build on relationships and offer added value in these uncertain times.
For example, we saw a study the other week that said that calls to contact centres regarding financial hardship were not just higher in number, but were now 2.5 times longer than they has been in pre COVID-19 times. Customers that have visibility of information like this are much better equipped to deal with it in the right way, without wasting resources. By applying insights like this to their customers scenarios, our partners are finding that it’s easy to illustrate the benefits of the sale, and in most cases demonstrate a cast-iron ROI.
Our partners have been firm in that they also need to strategise for when they emerge out the other side of the disruption, and at the moment, the main way this is manifesting is in training.
We’ve responded with a series of webinars, and additional resources and training courses both for partners and their end user customers. This has been particularly helpful for organisation which have furloughed employees, as they are still able to complete training during that period.