Orange revamps partner scheme

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Orange is to split its old federated partner programme into three tiers and put new B2B connector targets in place to drive better user revenue and loyalty. The arrangement is also intended to bring in new business from non-traditional fixed line and IT reseller channels.

Orange is to organise accredited dealers and distributors  as ‘principle partners’, ‘specialist partners’ and ‘approved partners’ from April, according to the business they deliver.

Principle partners will be required to put 90 per cent of sales through Orange, and will work with it directly. Distributors Mainline and Midland will enter this tier.

Specialist partners will loosely comprise Orange’s 18 federated dealers, although certain of them committing wholly to the network will join as principle partners. Distributors connecting multiple networks will join this band. Approved partners will work through distribution. Orange will coordinate with distributors to pass stockists for approval.

Orange is to segment third-parties across those categories vertically also, according to the sector in which they work – retail, web sales, local business, distance selling, non-traditional channels, among them. Orange said types of marketing support, materials and training will depend upon those sector requirements.

Levels of support, along with targets and commercial packages, will be worked according to partner status.

Orange is also to unveil a new dealer portal, called The Point, to replace its Share and Enable hubs. Also, it will advance its revenue share scheme in the quarter, and introduce advance payments to support trading.

Orange UK sales director Steve Heald said the programme will improve conversion rates and customer retention, and reward partners better for those things. He said communication and support for dealers will improve also, so inefficient processes and areas of frustration will be resolved better.

Said Heald: “The federated programme has been running a few years, and we are trying to learn from it and replicate certain of its elements. The new tiered structure allows us to extend in two directions.”

The programme will run for three months to gauge performance and to establish members in each band. Orange expects partner numbers to double in the quarter – it presently works with distributors Anglia Telecom, Avenir Telecom, Brightpoint, Brightstar, EBS, Fone Logistics, HSC, Mainline Digital Communications, Midland and Shebang, alongside its 18 direct dealers.

Heald and Orange UK vice president of sales and loyalty Guillaume van Gaver (pictured) addressed more than 100 Orange connectors yesterday in London, at its first partner conference in four years.

Van Gaver said Orange has led the market with a 25 per cent share of indirect sales in recent months, including business from Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U.

He said: “We want to be number one in the market and to build longer term and valuable relationships with partners, and to be tactical. We need to make our federated programme stronger. We want to reward quality, and deliver profits for us and partners. This is not just about volume any more.”

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