Value-Add is in the Customer relationship say Tri-Line

For a reseller, the core foundation of ‘Value-Add’ is the relationship with their customer. This is where the whole proposition starts, says Tri-Line’s Commercial Director Kay Tobin.

“It is an established B2B truth that, as a supplier, if you want do business successfully you must do your customers’ business for them – and it starts with dialogue. Know your customer’s business; their operations and processes; identify the obstacles to their ambitions, for it is in these areas that opportunities for the reseller exist.

“Call management – be it call logging, call recording, CRM or CTI applications – is a tool that enables your customer to operate their business more efficiently, productively and profitably through better oversight, analysis and management. As a reseller, you can only identify the opportunity and offer solutions if you know about your customers’ business.

“Think of it as a journey: telecoms equipment is the vehicle – and the driver, the route and the travel experience is the ‘value-add’. True customer delight – the destination – is taking your passenger via a scenic route and arriving ahead of schedule and within budget. A clear example of ‘value-add’ is a petrol station that offers juice for your motor plus maps, food, music and a range of useful gadgets. In addition to petrol, how much do YOU spend in service stations each year? This is the ‘value-add’. You may not have wanted it, but you have to have it once you see it!

“Offering Value-Add solutions to business customers is much more focused – and margin rich – than the business model operated by a petrol station so it will naturally take more time to identify the potential for sales. But your patience and effort will be profitably worthwhile.

It took us two years to develop our TIM Enterprise product. This time was spent defining what was required by an Enterprise customer; analyzing what was missing in the products currently servicing this market; considering future requirements based on the newer IP based solutions and finally designing a product to suit. As a result resellers are picking up call logging sales at up to 10 times the vale of a traditional call logging sale. Of course the Enterprise call logger allows them to define and justify the upgrade path on the replacement switch sale as well.

“If you restrict yourself to selling ‘boxes’, maintenance and minutes the customer will, naturally, only see you in this light and, when they need additional services or solutions may not immediately turn to you.

If, however, you engage – in dialogue and in practice – with your customer as a business-enabling provider you will be centrally placed to offer solutions to their problems and needs – and be best placed to win new sales.”

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