O2 expects direct partners numbers to fall in the New Year

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Increased focus on fixed line and IT sales likely to see members of O2’s Centre of Excellence and Approved programmes dropped 

O2 says it expects the number of direct dealers it works with to drop in the New Year as it prepares to “raise the bar” on targets

The operator is in the process of re-evaluating its partner programmes O2 Approved and Centre of Excellence (CoE) as part of a restructure which will place a greater emphasis on convergence sales.

According to O2 business director Ben Dowd, O2 currently has direct relationships with around 83 B2B dealers. 57 of those are O2 Approved and connect through distribution. The remaining 23 are CoE connecting directly to O2 and described by Dowd as “inside the family.”

Dowd told Mobile News the operator is raising the bar on what it wants dealers to sell – placing a greater focus on its fixed line (Joined Up) and IT services (O2 Unify). O2 will be changing its commission structure in the New Year to reflect this.

Dowd said he expects some of those partners will “struggle” to achieve their targets, whilst others, who have not “embraced” convergence at all, may not survive.

He does however expect a number of new entrants from non-mobile backgrounds such as fixed line and IT to join its CoE and Approved in the New Year.

New propositions around O2’s convergence push, including IT services are expected to be revealed today (November 29) at O2’s annual dealer partner conference.

Dowd said: “We have a direct relationship with around 80 partners right now but that will naturally consolidate as the bar gets raised. Some partners will struggle, some will look to get out and sell up. However, there will be some new partners which will come in to our space to give us the distribution to sell some of the products we are talking about next year.

“We may look to drive the commission in a different direction than what we do now.

“The reality is with products you launch, you always have to pay a disproportion amount of commission and put a disproportionate amount of effort in to them in order to get them moving. And we will continue to take that approach.

“Mobile is still important, but its a diluting revenue stream and its a dilute profit stream therefore it’s really important that our partners understand they need to be selling other products and services.”

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