Managed Service Providers
Embedded IT work closely with their Channel Partners to help identify relationships, either with upstream Clients or with their downstream Vendors. Whether Reseller, Service Provider, System Integrator, Outsourcer, VAR, LAR or Distributor, Embedded can work with you to determine the best methods of managing your marketing and sales, or vendor/supplier partner relations.
Embedded IT have significant experience in the creation and delivery of Marketing and Sales strategies to optimise engagement with key clients. Based on business direction, Embedded can review current Marketing or Sales performance and propose tangible quick actions to improve results, ranging from branding, target market definition and collateral production, through to sales enablement and training for key messages.
Underpinning sales for most channel engagement are the quality of products and vendor relationships, driving technical delivery in the marketplace. Embedded can support the development of product or portfolio strategies, and assist with processes to drive adoption and management of change in this volatile industry. Relationships with key Vendors can make or break a deal, and our consultants can assist with implementing best practice for vendor relationship management, staying on top of partner programmes and supporting profile raising.
Marketing Audit / Strategy
With 6,000 IT and Telecoms suppliers, the UK market is a busy and fragmented one. Brand development, marketing and client engagement is the key differentiator to getting noticed, ensuring your business stands out from the crowd when you most need it.
Alongside this, technology and propositions are changing every day. Understanding how to align your brand to the right solutions and key messages for your target market is a complex task. Staying abreast of developments in your core sector without “chasing the shiny ball” of new and interesting technology, for an industry that is attracted to new and shiny things, is nigh on impossible.
Embedded IT have significant and practical experience in the development of marketing messaging for IT and Telecoms companies. We will independently work with your core business stakeholders to identify the direction you want to take, and align marketing activity and messaging to this direction to help keep you in the forefront of your target clients minds for all the right reasons.
Perform an initial audit of marketing team, collateral, web and social media, campaign plans and comment on the suitability for target market
Evaluate brand and identity to align to target market goals and business objectives
Look at Lead to Cash Sales process to identify bottleneck / under-performant processes and propose remedial actions
This relatively short piece of work can help with direction setting for business and marketing / sales teams, and can provoke appropriate debate to ensure core business messages are consistently adopted across all business teams.
IT and Telecoms Sales is an art form in transition. Moving from traditional product reseller propositions to more complex cloud and service based, consulting led conversations needs strong and structured management. Refreshing the sales team, or retraining them to adopt a more complex approach, is a project that current business management struggle to achieve within the bounds of their day jobs. However achieving this transition can make or break the future of a business.
Performing this transition, whilst delivering to forecast and managing pipeline for the complex world of UK IT and Telecoms companies is difficult to achieve. Without an appropriately managed sales team, performance can be difficult to track, budgets can be difficult to hit and staff can become disorientated and demotivated. Sales is a department is a difficult thing to perfect.
Embedded IT provide sales management as a service, full or part time, either to support a change in business direction or priority, or to drive more success from existing staff.
Our consultants act as the sales manager for a particular business, offering advice on a range of facets of a successful sales team, such as:
• Marketing integration and proposition development
• “Funnel” planning and resourcing
• Staff incentives and commission plans
• Ongoing pipeline / forecast management and activity reporting
• Recruitment / Retraining of sales teams to boost performance
Using specifically focussed sales management consultants with in excess of 25 years in the IT and Telecoms industry, Embedded can assess the current situation with a channel partner and recommend a specific action plan to increase sales or change direction. We can then execute this plan with a focus on specific business objectives such as pipeline development, revenue generation or overhead reduction.
Sales Management As A Service
Marketing Proposition Development
IT and Telecoms are not short of opportunity to create interesting propositions. With new technologies being developed each day, and new business problems being identified even faster, aligning technology to business benefits can be a time consuming but high volume business.
Many IT and Telecoms suppliers however struggle with developing appropriate propositions to their target markets. With too much onus on technical speeds and feeds, and less understanding of core and tangible business benefits, IT and Telecoms Proposition Marketing can be more “byte” than “bite”, to the detriment of marketing conversion and performance metrics.
Embedded IT advise clients on their IT procurement processes, and as a result understand the language by which clients buy technology. The key to proposition marketing in this context is to create a number of different messages that match buyer persona, and industry, aligning non-technical messaging to specific job role or business based benefit.
We take your core propositions and create content that supports messaging for your typical target market, delivering copy and suggested media to deliver the message to your prospects and clients in the most consumable form.
Review existing collateral to identify appropriateness to the stated target audience
Develop new business level propositions to support sales and marketing objectives
Create content, copy, sales training materials, and other supporting detail to enable propositions to be delivered to internal and external audiences
Dependent on the complexity of proposition and the volume of work to support each one, this engagement can be a short or longer term project, tailored to work hand in hand with in-house marketing teams to meet budgetary expectations.
With the consolidation of the UK Channel, many suppliers are being asked to manage significantly broad and complex portfolios of technology and services. Convergent technologies across Voice, Data and Mobile, blurring layers between Application and Infrastructure, and complex delivery models from on-premise support to Cloud, or Reactive to Proactive Managed Services. With all of these multi-dimensional models, creating and maintaining a structured and pragmatic approach to portfolio and product management can be time consuming and complex.
Beyond the day to day portfolio, the downstream management of internal and external communications associated with changes in portfolio is an overhead most IT and Telecoms suppliers forget. Ensuring that the removal of a product from portfolio, or changes to pricing structures, are correctly briefed to market and sales teams is a task that no-one wants to perform, but not doing it can have catastrophic consequences. Portfolio management and alignment with marketing / sales has got to be the most important relationship within the IT Channel today.
Embedded IT have substantial best practice experience in the “art” of Portfolio Management for IT and Technology Suppliers. With the ability to take a complex group of technologies, and structure them in the best way consumable for your target market, Embedded can create a simple structure and process to manage changes in both technical and business level proposition marketing. Armed with this structure, we can create an “As Is” and “To Be” product roadmap, showing proposed changes to best align portfolio to your target marketing.
Perform an inventory of your current portfolio, and structure it to enable easy consumption
Identify state of readiness for each product within portfolio
Prioritise products within portfolio based on business agenda
Identify relevant gaps in portfolio to correctly address target market propositions
Create a headline roadmap of new products to be adopted, or existing products to be sunset, in line with business strategy
Deliverables for Portfolio Management can range from a simple audit / roadmap, to a more complex set of product and proposition literature to support focus portfolio items, dependent on requirements.
Audit / Strategy
Management of technology vendors is a significant overhead for all IT and Telecoms service providers. Maintaining partner accreditations and levels, staying on top of the ever changing rules, understanding revenue and customer reference requirements etc. is a full time job for someone that does not naturally sit anywhere in a specific organisation. Vendor Management principles touch multiple teams within the organisation, and ownership can be a problem.
More importantly, losing your partner accreditation can hinder you from delivering services to your clients. Wrongly claiming your partner status can lead to serious consequences, at worst affecting brand value and status in the market, at best limiting your access to preferential pricing for the given technology.
Embedded Vendor Management is a service that manages your conformance to Vendor Partner programmes, maximising your relationship with a chosen Vendor. Providing regular reporting of compliance, alerting on changes in approach by the Vendor, and providing advice on how best to get the most from your partner programme, Embedded Vendor Management leverages expertise in Vendor Programmes to the benefit of the Service Provider.
Embedded deliver tiered services that deliver monthly reporting on:
Partner level and conformance to requirements / risk of exposure
MDF performance and usage
Revenue achievement vs targets
Accreditation performance and plans
Sourcing / Procurement routes for a given technology, such as Distribution
Product and Service updates for a given Vendor, including notifications of changes in product collateral
Action plans and progress against plan
Improved visibility and control of partner levels will reduce the risk of non-compliance and ultimately lead to improved relationships with key technology vendors.