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Your customers want to invest in your products, here’s how to engage them

Research revealed that businesses are open to spending more and understand that digital investment is a non-negotiable. Here’s how channel partners can build that digital appetite and convert sales.

It’s business’ evolving demands that drive your products and solutions. That means you need to know what makes them tick and what their needs are – sometimes even before they do.


To support partners of BT Wholesale, we surveyed UK businesses to get under the skin of your customers to find out what they are feeling and what is important to them. The report delved into customer investment priorities and the barriers they face when preparing for the digital revolution.


We’ve exposed a wealth of opportunities for channel partners, including that businesses are looking to increase spending on a range of solutions. Mobile connectivity took the top spot for 70% of respondents who are likely or extremely likely to invest. This was closely followed by cybersecurity (66%), digital phone line (64%) and broadband (62%). So, how can you win this business? Here are three top tips. 

1. Remove the barriers

Cost control was cited as a top business initiative. This is a risk mitigation strategy, and you'll need to be sympathetic to businesses navigating challenges in the current economic climate.  Increasingly, businesses want to avoid being tied down by inflexible contracts that could weigh them down and risk their competitiveness in the market.


Customers want a partner that can provide commercial flexibility and to be given freedom from long-term fixed cost commitments. When it comes to technology costs, transparency and predictability is key. You should consider providing customers with tools that enable scenario planning - particularly for small businesses with tighter budgets.


Barriers to investment include an outlook that current technology already meets customer needs, alongside internal resistance to change, a lack of skills or training for new technology, and use of jargon. Your role as a partner is to inspire customers about the benefits of new technology and how this can transform the working environment, as well as offering support and advice when it comes to digital skills. Customer training is a great way to increase engagement from end-user businesses, showcasing how to get the best value out of core systems.

2. Provide a personalised experience

88% of businesses are satisfied with their technology provider, with around one third of respondents reporting extreme satisfaction. Partners must strive for extreme satisfaction to maximise their selling opportunities and maintain a competitive edge. To do this, a personalised experience is key.


Customers value a consultative approach and forming a genuine relationship, something data can really help with. Partners should aim to leverage customer data to examine business behaviours and create bespoke product and service offerings. It will help you to understand where they are in the buying cycle to minimise churn and upsell at the right times.


Those armed with technical expertise, personalised data and a commitment to meeting the highest standards will put themselves in strong stead for success.  

3. Get them excited about all-IP

Connectivity and a reliable underlying network for business functionality was shown in our research to be recognised. As the PSTN switch-off swiftly approaches, now is the time for you to let customers know about the all-IP future.


Great news - three in ten business respondents have identified a shift to all-IP as an immediate priority. Drivers for IP migration include simplicity, speed, flexibility, and reliability of communications as key pillars that can be used to fuel digital motivations and sell related services.


While there is a broad understanding of all-IP benefits, partners must focus on injecting urgency into the move, as many businesses still report internal resistance to migrations. The digital ‘switch-on’ is coming and if you don’t wake up your customers to this, then a competitor will.


Partners are doing a brilliant job. To continue to build on, and therefore benefit from, customers’ digital appetite, all must elevate customer experience by providing personalised communications and services and raise the stakes around all-IP. 

To find out more about how to boost your sales and get new customers, speak to your account manager.


P.S. If you’re not a member of Partner Plus… you should be. Sign up here.

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