A partnership programme needs to be about more than financial incentives, argues Jason King, Head of Business Partners at Virgin Media Business.
“Resellers and partners need a different kind of support to end users, and that’s what the Business Partner programme can offer."
Wholesale Solutions: So, Jason – how does the Business Partner Programme improve on how things were done in the past?
Jason King: In a traditional setup, as a customer you deal with different people at your network partner depending on which products you buy – there’s nobody taking a strategic view of your business and helping you to drive incremental growth.
We think that process needs simplifying. Resellers and partners need a different kind of support to end users, and that’s what the Business Partner Programme can offer; we have a national team supporting our partners and their programmes, and we’re always looking for ways to help them grow their businesses.
At Virgin Media Business we’re in a unique position to take our strengths – the Virgin brand and the country’s biggest fibre-optic network – and help our partners use those assets to communicate with their clients. Plus, of course, users get the benefits of our customer service.
WS: How does it work?
JK: There are tiered levels of partnership with different benefits: gold, silver and bronze.
As a partner, you accrue funds that go into a marketing fund pot, depending on your tier – you could use it to produce collateral, or to fund seats in a call centre delivering a specific campaign message.
We’ll support your sales force and educate them about our products, train them on how to sell the material, enable them to produce co-branded material and collateral... whatever we agree works best. What we really like to do is sit down and develop a marketing campaign with you, rather than just putting money into the pot – that way you get the benefits of our market and product knowledge on top of the financial boost.
Of course, if you prefer to work transactionally we can focus on automation and tools, and remain pretty hands-off. It’s about finding the right solution for the right partner.
WS: What’s in it for customers?
JK: Above all it’s great for pipeline development. A small amount of time working with us can pay off in fantastic growth in leads and new business opportunities – and of course we get an overall view of your business, which means we can suggest new products and drive new campaigns one after another.
WS: Finally, why Virgin? There are other network providers, after all...
JK: There aren’t any with a next-generation, all-fibre network that passes 85% of UK businesses. And it’s our network, managed and serviced by us, not leased from another carrier. If you’re looking for an alternative carrier that’s truly independent of other providers, it’s clearly Virgin Media Business.
To find out more about the Business Partner programme, contact your Virgin Media Business account manager.