Mobile phone retailer and b2b distributor Fonehouse is taking on four new b2b business development managers to help grow its b2b partnership programmes.
Lee Ross, former business development manager at Mainline Digital Communications, is the first of the four new BDMs to join the company. Ross comes with a track record in mobile and fixed line sales. His previous roles include national sales manager at Freephone Telecom and dealer account manager at One2One.
Two more BDMs are set to join the company this quarter with a fourth BDM set to come on board in May. Fonehouse has yet to reveal their identities.
The recruitment drive follows rapid growth of Fonehouse’s b2b business, which has seen its indirect dealer numbers rise fourfold to just under 100 over the past 12 months, and the launch of Fonehouse’s branded business partnership programme in March last year.
Thirteen partners have joined the branded programme since launch. Partners provide b2b deals on EE, Orange, T-Mobile, and Vodafone as well as unified comms services via Vodafone MVNA Gamma.
In return for a membership fee of £500 a month, partners receive Fonehouse branding, their own geographical region, competitive commercials, BDM support and training, a full back end service and dedicated leads from Fonehouse’s lead centre in Stoke.
Partners also get access to Fonehouse’s Deal Builder system and exclusive access to leads generated from a newly launched website www.fonehouse-business.co.uk targeting the SME market.
Fonehouse also runs a parallel, non-branded programme with nearly 100 resellers selling mobile connections on Vodafone via Gamma Mobile.
Russ Wheeler, Fonehouse sales director, told Mobile: ‘We are taking on these four BDMs because we are very busy and because we want to widen up the opportunities. There are a lot of dealers out there with no home for their connections.’
He added: ‘We have taken on 13 branded partners since we launched the programme in June and I expect that to grow to between 30 and 35 partners by the end of this year, on current rates.’
Wheeler forecasts Fonehouse’s total b2b mobile connections to more than double this year.
‘Our current b2b base is over 8,000 and we are making between 750 and 900 connections a month as a constant and that is growing. At this sales rate we should be making between 18,000 to 20,000 connections by the end of this year with 10,000 under the branded partnership programme.’
Wheeler said Fonehouse has benefitted from the current trend for operators to focus on larger dealers delivering high volumes. He explained: ‘We will probably see a surge of mobile dealers come on board this year as the networks and distributors continue to cut those that don’t deliver on volume.’
Wheeler said six of Fonehouse’s indirect partners have switched to the branded partner programme.
He predicts more indirect dealers will switch to the branded programme this year but added: ‘We don’t have an agenda to convert our indirect dealers as our indirect business is still very bouyant.’