Indirect channel “critical” to manufacturer’s B2B growth ambitions and to keep Apple at bay
Samsung is aiming to cement its position as the UK’s biggest handset manufacturer in the B2B market, with the launch of a new channel reseller partner programme.
The Korean manufacturer has appointed 12 partners for the programme and will officially go live October 1, headed up by director of B2B Phil Lander (pictured).
Samsung refused to confirm partner names as Mobile News went to press, but they are understood to include distributors Carphone Warehouse Business (CPWB), Daisy Distribution and leading B2B dealers Onecom, Olive Communications, CommsXchange, Aerial Business Communications and Vivio.
Lander said partners were selected based on their performances over the past 12 months and the indirect channel was “critical” to Samsung’s growth ambitions. More partners will be added – or existing ones relegated – depending on the achievement of set performance targets, which vary between each business.
“This channel has some very successful businesses that are very skilled in what they do, how they service their customers and build up strong loyalty,” Lander told Mobile News. “They are absolutely critical to us.”
As part of the programme, the 12 partners will receive improved commercials, increased
marketing collateral, staff training programmes and early hands-on access with newly-announced handsets, tablets and smartwatches.
Samsung has also created a new staff tiering programme, which indicates their level of
expertise on its products. Staff will be accredited Gold, Silver or Bronze reseller status, based on the level of training they receive.
Lander said the programme will bring it closer to the channel more than ever before, benefitting everyone involved.
“Setting the standard”
“We are setting the standard with how to engage with B2B partners,” said Lander.
“This programme is about forming much closer relationships with partners, understanding what we need to do, how we can improve and mark some of the successes that we’ve had so far that outline our ambition and focus for the coming year. It reinforces the message that we are very serious about the UK B2B marketplace.”
Daisy Distribution managing director Dave McGinn backed Lander’s comments, insisting Samsung has hugely “upped its game”.
He said: “The support and engagement it is providing is a lot better to what we received in the past. They are definitely saying they are an organisation that is open for business and actually wants to invest heavily in the B2B channel.”
CPWB head of B2B Bob Sweetlove added: “It’s great to see an investment in our channel. I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen and hope we can build something tangible which means we are selling more devices.”
According to the latest figures from analyst Canalys for Q2, Samsung continues to lead a closely-fought UK B2B market with a 27 per cent share, ahead of Apple (26 per cent) and Microsoft (25 per cent). It had overtaken Apple as the top manufacturer in Q1.
In an exclusive interview with Mobile News, Samsung IT and Mobile VP Conor Pierce said Samsung was seeing “record” numbers of customers switching from rival operating systems to its handsets, singling out its Galaxy S6 – launched in April.
Lander revealed it has won a number of connection deals from Apple in recent months in B2B, showing customers are more willing than ever to switch.He is confident last week’s iPhone launch will not affect its progress.
“Our growth and investment this year has been significant,” he said.
“Two years ago, the resource available to us in our IT and mobile division was minimal. Since then, we have been building B2B momentum and expertise. This has seen us make great progress in working with operator, distribution and indirect channels. Customers are looking for something different, and the S6 range has performed strongly through those channels.
“We’ll continue to drive the programmes we know work for us, enhance them, learn along the way and listen to the channel and for what customers need.”