Vodafone will develop its Partner Programme in 2014 with more face-to-face training, interactive sales tools and changes to its One Net Business and partner criteria.
The programme initially launched in late 2010 after the amalgamation of Vodafone and Yes Telecom, although it altered last July to combine mobile and fixed-line partners. Vodafone head of partner services,
Rob Mukherjee (pictured), told Mobile that he and his partners were gearing up for an ‘exciting’ 12 months.
He said: ‘We have an additional 50 partners since last July, while our year-over-year base of mobile, One Net and fixed-line customers has grown. It’s been a great first year in terms of that unified comms channel and really sets us up for an exciting next 12 months.
‘Going forward we’re going to take education and engagement to the next level. We’ll have more face-to-face training, interactive sales tools, hints and tips for our partners. It’s really important our partners buy into the journey that we’re going on.’
Mukherjee said that Vodafone was ‘really happy’ with how its partners had embraced not just training, but ‘the overall journey’. More than 200 graduates had completed the operator’s Better Ways of Working training, improving partners’ cross-selling and customer service abilities.
He said: ‘Our partners have the dynamism to bring Vodafone’s core offerings to market. The investment we’ve made in 4G and Project Spring gives us a core strength over our rivals, and with investment in tools and systems we help our partners provide great service to their customers.
‘Product per customer rates have improved significantly. We can offer mobile to voice and data, to Office 365, broadband and One Net Business. We’re investing significantly in One Net Business over the next few weeks.’
Mukherjee added that Net Promotor Score had also increased, especially with customers who had a selection of products and services.
The head of partner services also confirmed that several partners had been cut from Platinum Partner accreditation last year through ‘process and criteria’, but added new criteria for the 2014/15 programme will be settled in the coming weeks. Partners will be judged on their product mix in terms of total communications and total bill revenue, which recognises fixed-line, One Net and other avenues instead of just mobile revenue.
Mukherjee said: ‘Our partners have asked us for this. I’ve spent time with over 100 partners over the last three months getting their input into the evolution of the programme. They really support the directions we’re going in and the concepts for measuring and rewarding, as long as we give them the tools needed to deliver it.’
The former Yes Telecom exec said that while he was keen to see business growing number-wise, his main ambition was to see partners continuing to ‘buy in to Vodafone’s core philosophy’ and give their customers more confidence in their connectivity solutions.
He added: ‘It’s been a really big step evolving from a highly successful mobile channel to a highly successful total comms channel. If you think of it from this analogy: Vodafone is a high performing set of wheels, but to really put them on the road you need a high performing set of tyres. That’s where our great partners come into it.’