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How to get on the front foot

Well, it’s been one hell of a year so far, hasn’t it? We’re only halfway through 2020 and we’ve already had a pandemic that no-one saw coming, a lock-down that nobody wanted and a global slowdown that needs to be avoided. On a more positive note, it’s good to see that the journey on the road to recovery is well underway.

Now it’s time to get on the front foot. And at ReTell, we’ve been helping our channel partners to do just that – to be proactive and to be visible. We believe that now is the time to build on hard-earned expertise and confidently re-start conversations with old customers and new prospects. It’s a time to re-invent old-school marketing practices – with a focus on local geotargeting, community engagement, empathy-based messaging and social selling – to help grow a meaningful sales pipeline. Most of all though, we believe that developing long-lasting personal connections with the right kind of buyers is what’s going to ensure success.

Consultative sales

The real opportunity for resellers, MSPs and VARs now is to be more pro-active and consultative in their sales approach. The smart ones will find a way to meet the ever-changing business needs of their customers whilst securing new long-term revenue streams. Today’s business communications buyers are more sophisticated and better informed than ever before, so simply pulling off-the-shelf technology bundles together for them is unlikely to add any real value. Whilst this may require reviewing and updating their product portfolios, the channel now has the chance to be more creative in the way they develop business solutions – speed-to-value and ease-of-deployment will be the new watchwords.

Some businesses – especially in the Professional Services sector – are likely to want to maintain the high levels of flexibility that the social distancing restrictions imposed on them and retain a higher degree of remote and home working for their employees. New remote working practices are impacting digital transformation initiatives and the need for a more people-centred approach to technology adoption. Also, whilst cyber security has been a key driver for many businesses over recent years, now physical security and personal well-being are becoming a major priority too. This is a big shift for many channel partners who are now reviewing their solutions sets in order to develop the capability to solve their customers’ business problems from a completely different perspective. Luckily for us, this has led to heightened interest and demand for our cloud-based call recording solutions that cater for both landline and mobile users.

New realities

The channel is going to need to respond to the fact that many people will have been forced to adopt new technology solutions and be a lot more self-sufficient and tech-savvy in doing so. The technology companies that have thrived during the pandemic clearly have solutions that businesses value given this challenging working environment. However, there will be a slightly longer tail of businesses whose products will have their time in a post-pandemic world. It’s for the channel now to match the available solutions with the emerging needs of their customers – providing tailored solutions empathetically, creatively and proactively.

For example, our professional call recording platform allows end-user businesses to do three important things – and this fits perfectly with the new business reality of remote working and personal safety.
1. Record: Record reliably | Advanced analytics | Integrated solutions
2. Comply: Finance: MiFID II | Payments: PCI DSS | Payments: PCI DSS
3. Optimise: Business efficiency | Customer experience | Voice communications

Recurring revenue

Developing recurring revenue streams and finding new sources of recurring revenue is what’s going to help channel businesses to survive in these turbulent times. With all the current and new regulations coupled with the increase in home working, we’re confident that compliant call recording is going to be a business imperative for many finance businesses. Given this latent demand, we believe this will be an easy sale for our channel partners – especially if we take on the marketing and sales activity for them. As companies are often required to store their recorded calls for up to seven years too, there is a fantastic opportunity for resellers to lock-in their customers and ensure long-term recurring revenue streams and ongoing profits.

Good luck

From our perspective, we’re optimistic that the perfect storm of new government regulations and changing working practices will elevate the need for professional call recording as part of a wider digital transformation initiative for UK businesses. And as a result, we’ve relaunched our partner programme to focus on revenue generation and growth for our channel partners. We hope that lock-down has provided you with a period of reflection and the opportunity to reset too. Good luck on your road to recovery, hopefully we can help you get there.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine