How resellers can ride the recession wave
In this guest article, Mark Jones, Head of Channel, for UK & Ireland, at Sangoma, discusses the looming recession, and how reselling business strategies can survive the economic downturn.
Channel resellers currently find themselves in a very precarious position. With the mounting pressure to cut enterprise costs and inflation at an all-time high, this is prompting vendors to liaise directly with distributors and customers, to ‘cut out the middle-man’.
The looming recession is one of the main challenges facing all businesses this year. They need to rethink business strategies, which is leading to drastic action from large technology companies such as Google, Amazon and Salesforce, in making over 55,000 layoffs in January 2023. Redundancies are being felt through the technology industry, with UC companies such as 8×8, RingCentral and Avaya making layoffs to help cut costs too.
However, despite cost-cutting actions causing chaos, resellers still have a key role to play within the channel. Their expertise and knowledge makes them vital to the channel supply chain, but they must position themselves as invaluable to both vendors and customers. The question is, how?
Resellers, more than ever, must show their value to vendors and customers by continuing to offering more value-added services to expand their portfolio. As customer demand shifts to wanting consumption-based models shifts to subscription models, resellers must evolve in line with this and offer these services too. Business no longer want to be tied into long contracts, and if resellers want to remain relevant and keep their client base, they too must do away with them.
Showcasing their value as a one-stop-shop for technology solutions, such as Unified Communications solutions, allows resellers to prove their worth within the Channel, and makes them more ‘sticky’ to their customers. If a reseller can provide a range of services in line with the vendor they are working with, they become far more expert in their field.
Establishing trust within the channel
In such tough economic times, it is vital to establish trust and collaboration between resellers, vendors, customer, and channel partners. But trust is mutual. Resellers must showcase their expertise, knowledge, and results to vendors to establish a trusting relationship.
With customers becoming more demanding and recession fears plaguing people’s minds, enhancing collaboration through the channel will allow both vendors and resellers to thrive.
Collaboration will allow resellers to continually expand their service offerings in new sectors, explore new customer bases and opportunities for growth, which in turn will provide more customers and sales for vendors.
Increased collaboration between the two parties will provide a full overview of the channel supply chain and streamline processes, ultimately enhancing the overall experience for channel customers. One-stop shop technology providers can go one step further by providing customers with one single channel partner, from which customers can choose which UC and tech service they require for their business.
Establishing trust within the channel will not only allow businesses to succeed, but also create a flourish channel partner network that can seamlessly deliver a super customer experience for the end-user. Establishing seamless channel collaboration between partners can help not only resellers showcase their value within the supply chain, but also enable vendors and MSPs to sell to a wider customer audience.
Resellers and vendors who establish a trusting relationship and collaborate effectively will be the ones to succeed in riding the recession wave. And establishing a strong working relationship makes it less likely for vendors to only see resellers a ‘middle-man’ in the cog.
Despite the economic challenges facing businesses this year, customers are still demanding a seamless customer experience. With customer demands becoming increasingly high, this could pose a further challenge for resellers to meet these demands, or risk being cut out if a vendor chose to sell directly to a customer. Resellers must provide customers with a seamless customer experience to reinforce and solidify their valuable within the channel supply chain.
Resellers can do this by building an agile workforce, utilising hybrid working practises and unified communication solutions to ensure employees are available constantly for customers at any time, from anywhere.
With new technologies offering businesses a range of new and exciting possibilities, the benefits of an agile workforce can place channel partners and resellers in a unique position to enhance efficient internal and external communications. Retaining customer loyalty and providing a high level of customer service is now vital for resellers to continue showcasing to vendors how valuable they are.
2023 will likely pose further challenges to technology and channel companies, however, aligning together now will enable vendors and resellers to prepare, and allow them to seize any and all opportunities within the channel.