Windstream Enables Channel Partners With Simpler Pricing Power

By Karen Veazey

You can make a lot of money selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, but you can make even more money if you can cut a deal with family members to sell vacuum cleaners along with you, maybe adding their unique talents. The wife gives a year-long discount on her weekly home cleaning services, uncle Joey offers to do six-month maintenance, or the kids throw in a Saturday’s help to install the new carpet they’ll need with the new vacuum. In the old days these co-laborers might have been called assistants, sales people or franchisees but in our current corporate world we call them channel partners.

These partners are the gunpowder that helps a business explode its outreach by offering a manufacturers services, technology or products, often as part of a value-added sale. For corporations, taking care of their channel partners is a big part of business, since so much revenue and reputation can be gained or lost through channel partners. Think about it, if a customer has a bad interaction with someone repairing their Sprint phone, they don’t get on Twitter and complain about the poor service from the guy working the afternoon shift at the cell phone kiosk at the market – they get on Twitter and complain about Sprint’s customer service, or AT&T’s, or Verizon’s. People naturally default to blame the brand we’re most familiar with, even if the local representative for that brand is merely an independent salesperson.

So it behooves corporations to enable, equip and encourage their channel partners by making their jobs simpler and helping them feel supported. If a partner knows they can call their main corporation and get support for the customers problem they are much more likely to offer quick, kind assistance than if they feel left on their own with problems they can’t solve.

Network communications provider Windstream is moving in this direction with a recent released pricing tool which allows providers to provide quick and accurate quotes for Windstream solutions. The system is a fully mobile app-based product which allows channel partners to review, edit and save quotes, giving them more immediate power to offer solutions and close deals. "This pricing tool was designed to eliminate unnecessary review steps, increase efficiencies and accelerate the quoting process -- all with the ultimate goal of delivering the Windstream 'smart solutions, personalized service' brand promise to our channel partners and their clients," said Matt Preschern, senior vice president and enterprise chief marketing officer at Windstream. "This new tool assists our partners in closing on-the-spot deals, increasing their revenue and supporting their continued business growth and success.”

Empowering partners to make and close sales if just one thread of a strong multi-part partner strategy which includes problem solving, inspiration and providing sales opportunities. For an excellent overview of tools to ensure you channel partners have in their toolbox, check out a few more tips here from author Louis Columbus.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

MSPToday Contributing Writer

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