Turkish home and professional appliances manufacturer, Vestel recently launched its digital partner VIP programme. Here David Flintoft, Vestel’s Sales and Marketing Director explains the key benefits of this new sales support mobile app and web page and how the company is well poised to enter into 2021.
- So tell me a bit more about Vestel?
Vestel Visual Solutions is a global manufacturer of professional display solutions, which help to digitally transform organisations within the corporate, retail, education and hospitality sectors. As one of the largest display manufacturers in Europe, our professional display solutions enable resellers to create new revenue streams within a growing technological space – through hardware and software, as well as support and maintenance services.
- What is your experience in the channel and your current role?
I’ve been in my current role as Sales and Marketing Director at Vestel for five years now. While initially assuming responsibility for the Toshiba consumer TV business here in Northern Europe, my role expanded about three years ago as Vestel entered the professional display market in the region. While at Vestel we’re just launching our first ever partner programme, I’ve held several roles previously within which I was engaging with the channel on a daily basis, and so I fully understand the value channel partners bring to a business like ours.
The goal at Vestel was always to establish the professional display business at a certain level to then reach the point where we were able to rollout a fully-fledged and tiered partner programme. We’re delighted to now be at that stage – the platform is there but we can only continue to grow with the support of the channel, in what we’re sure will be a mutually beneficial partnership.
- Please could you tell me a bit more about the launch of Vestel’s first partner programme?
Accessibility was a key requirement for our first ever partner programme, even more so in these times of remote working where, while we may not be able to meet our partners in person, we can still ensure a personal and human touch is there. As such, we’ve made everything easily accessible through Vestel VIP, a mobile app and web page. This provides channel partners with quick and easy access to the necessary sales tools and support required to grow their business. Throughout building the programme, it was important to keep our partners in mind, and we engaged with them throughout its development to help us shape the content and incentives according to their needs.
Through the portal, partners are given varying levels of access to resources and benefits based on the type of partnership with Vestel, as well as access to either Gold, Silver or standard pricing for Vestel’s products.
- How will this benefit your partners?
By bringing the entirety of the programme together within one, easy-to-use app and website, our new portal will save our partners valuable time and resources required to gather these insights, so they can focus on targeting new customers and increasing their sales.
The portal gives Vestel partners access to the latest industry trends and information across the education, retail, hospitality and corporate sectors. This information helps them to plan their business strategies accordingly. We’ll also provide access to demo products to support the sales cycle, as well as a host of sales and marketing collateral.
In addition to this, it will also help us to strengthen partnerships with the channel outside of the traditional, revenue-based relationships. Our partners will have support from our account team, as well as the opportunity for hands-on or in-app training with the latest products, so again that human contact is a vital element for us.
- What features does the new channel partner VIP portal offer?
The portal features important sales information such as stock availability and pricing of the latest Vestel AV products, after-sales support, product & training videos and content and case studies. It also comprises a Vestel communications guide, marketing assets and sales incentives, as well as prizes, for example, Love2shop vouchers or UHD TV’s – all of which are available through a tiered incentive system.
Given the current climate, the portal also ensures partners still have access to the personal relationships they need in a digital way, providing direct access to a dedicated account manager, as well as the option of face-to-face or online training.
- What about Vestel’s growth target here in the UK?
We have ambitious targets here in the UK, with an overarching objective to double our growth year-on-year in 2021, which in turn will grow the proportion of our business dedicated to B2B. We know that our partners will be central to helping us achieve this goal, which is exactly why now is the perfect time for us to launch our first ever partner programme.
From an onboarding perspective, our initial target is to sign-up 100 new partners by the end of 2020. We’ve had an excellent response so far with almost 70 new partners engaging with us via the new portal already.
- How has business been over the past 12 months?
While there’s no doubt that the pandemic has been a challenge for all businesses, as mentioned previously the AV industry is playing a critical role in helping many sectors manage the crisis and resume their operations safely. For example, the retail, hospitality, education and corporate sectors are all using digital signage solutions to provide the necessary safety guidance and advice, manage gathering numbers and also provide solutions such as LCD hand sanitisation stations. At the same time these solutions offer significant benefits to organisations beyond the pandemic, so for many customers it has brought about an opportunity to enhance the way in which display technology will support them, both now and in the future.
- What advice do you have for partners in this current business climate?
It’s of course a difficult and uncertain time for everyone, but fortunately we’re seeing a more buoyant market now than perhaps we were six months ago. Within the AV space, installations continue to take place – particularly in places like schools and shops where the technology is not only beneficial for educational or retail purposes, but also in helping to manage the pandemic itself. So our message to partners is one of cautious optimism, and to reiterate that we’re of course here to support them through this time as best as we can.
- What predictions do you have for 2021 across the channel?
Businesses have had to adapt quickly to new ways of working this year. This has ultimately helped many to strengthen their operations and understand the importance of remaining agile. This agility will be even more critical for the channel in 2021, as the uncertainty around Governmental restrictions makes it difficult to predict industry demands.
In this current environment, we cannot know for sure what 2021 has in store for any industry. However, we know that our market is resilient and we expect this strength to show throughout 2021. Whatever happens, we will be there to support the needs of our customers as they adapt to these new trends and demands from their own customers.
- Does Vestel have any major projects planned for 2021?
While we can’t reveal a great deal right now, I would certainly say to watch this space. We’ll be launching some exciting and innovative new display products across all of our key target sectors, from retail and education to corporate. At the same time, we’ve had a really positive response to the launch of the partner programme and are well on course to surpass our initial targets for this by the end of the year. Heading into 2021, we’re excited to work with so many new and existing partners, and we’ll continue to work with them to enhance the partner programme and the ways in which we can support them.
Read the latest edition of PCR’s monthly magazine below: