Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Jola launches unlimited Vodafone mobile broadband SIMs

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 21-May-2020 12:34:12

Jola follows up their launch of O2 Unlimited data SIMs, with Vodafone Unlimited data SIMs. They are available without speed restrictions, on 30-day contracts. These SIMs will work on 5G, where available.

Extremely keenly priced, Jola’s new packages are designed to work in routers and M2M devices in the UK, offering unlimited data for business users.

Cherie Howlett, Jola’s Marketing Director commented, “Our new Vodafone unlimited tariffs are perfect for both our partners and their customers. The partner enjoys an uplift in revenue and margin and their end users never have to worry about usage. There is huge demand for these products in rural areas and industries that need fast, unlimited data from a reliable supplier.”

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Topics: mobile broadband

Selling into Major Accounts

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 20-May-2020 13:12:14

Salespeople selling into Major Accounts seem to be in a league of their own. They have great business acumen and converse easily at CX level. They tailor their own sales strategies, custom-built for each Major Account. They acquire a deep understanding of the accounts they hope to close. They understand the market in which they operate, their competitors and key customers. They also build close relationships with key decision makers and influencers over time, often socially. They become a trusted resource and offer help and support in situations that don’t benefit them directly, such as sharing recommendations for useful resources. As relationships strengthen, they are able to influence key decision makers and start a commercial relationship that is mutually beneficial.

The Sales Strategy

Salespeople selling into major accounts are very good at extracting the right information, from the right people at the right time, during the sales cycle. They analyse the information gathered and decide what needs to be done and how to do it. This often involves other departments, such as development if products need to be tweaked to meet the needs of a major prospect.

The importance of networking

Major accounts salespeople often have a large network of industry peers, reflected in their social media connections and popularity at industry events. They understand relationships between contacts in key accounts, suppliers, competitors and customers and are not afraid to leverage resources. They understand the value of supporting each other and building advocates.  They ensure everyone in the buying cycle is aware of the good news story, highlighting problems to be solved. They are very pro-active, excellent at overcoming obstacles and passionate about negotiation. They push for a decision and are aware of potential competition. They can demonstrate measurable results and show why signing with them is a good investment.

In a nutshell

The best Major Account salespeople tailor their selling strategy to match each step in the client’s decision-making process. They understand the financial levers of an organisation. Whilst the product department and sales teams of a target prospect may be primarily concerned with product, the CEO and CFO work at a different level. To properly understand their drivers, the Major Accounts salesperson, must be able to read and understand profit and loss and balance sheet.

They understand the psychology of the buyer and know how to overcome objections and reassure doubts. They look to gain entry to Major Accounts through many windows of opportunity. They always follow up warm introductions and offer useful information. They know how to take on the competition and win. They handle negotiations effectively and offer ongoing support to ensure they win future opportunities and keep the competition out of their accounts.

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Topics: Business

Targeting Major Accounts

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 20-May-2020 13:00:02

As business owners, we all have accounts we would love to land, but how many of us have a strategic plan and timeframe to close them? Without a focussed strategy to attract and convert these accounts, they are unlikely to close of their own accord.

How do you go about targeting major accounts?

Firstly, you need clear parameters to help you create a defined list of major accounts to target. Start by thinking about who consumes large quantities of your core product. Who do they buy this from now? What issues could they have with it? How can your product solve these issues? How easy is it for them to change supplier? Once you have your list, you need a strategy to attract and convert them, and a team dedicated to the project.

Tactics

All the usual marketing tactics are at your disposal, but they need to be used in a much more targeted manner. Email marketing campaigns may be conducted in other forms, such as LinkedIn messaging. Press releases and case studies communicated via social media, rather than industry publications. SEO is just as important when dealing with a smaller list of companies. Think through your key words and wrap content around them. Events are very important to ensure multiple peer conversations. With major accounts, you are often looking to influence a wider circle of decision makers and need to be visible at the exact time a decision is being taken, or better still, be the catalyst resulting in a favourable change. Contacts in common are just as critical as referrals and good case studies.

Your Team

Your team needs to be made up of both marketing and sales professionals with specific remits and tasks. There needs to be a task co-ordinator, who ensures the tactics are carried out and reported upon. For example, the Marketing Director may set the strategy and devise the tactics. They may be supported by the marketing team for data list building, social monitoring, content creation and engagement tracking. The marketing team will also need to engage the sales team and hand over tasks in order to gather further information about the account, as well as help engineer a targeted approach.

Closing

Major accounts can take over a year to close, therefore making sure you are investing your time in the right accounts is paramount. Understanding their customers, win rates, supplier relationships and new supplier onboarding processes, will help you to target the most likely to close and generate good revenues.

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Topics: Business

4G for Digital Signage

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 12-May-2020 11:47:16

In the current climate, demand for digital signage is increasing. Digital signs are being used to help supermarkets remind customers of social distancing measures, and to help improve queuing and in-store buying experiences.

Supermarkets were early adopters of display technology, because signage can be changed quickly, as offers change. The ability to run vivid content, promoting offers appeals to this sector, who are fighting for market share.

Digital signs are being moved outside to help communicate new store restrictions, special opening times and let customers know the estimated wait time. In stores, digital signs are being used to track shopper numbers waiting outside, as well as the number of shoppers in the store at any one time. In staff rooms, digital signs are being used to remind employees of the latest government guidelines, and provide updates on stock levels and any purchase limits currently applied.

Using 4G, digital signs can be placed where they are needed without relying upon the availability of fixed broadband connections. 

Jola

Jola offers a wide range of 4G SIM tariffs suitable for digital signage. Our SIMs are available on 30-day terms. Fixed IP, Private APN and pooled data options are available. We partner with MSPs and Solutions Providers to provide the right package for their solution.

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Topics: 4G

4G for Smart Metering

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 12-May-2020 11:01:59

What is a smart metering?

Smart metering is the collection of remote data using IoT sensors in real-time, without human intervention.

Smart metering provides the tracking of any measurable parameter available on a machine, in a room or an outdoor environment. It is traditionally used to describe the monitoring of utilities such as water, gas and electricity.

Why are smart meters becoming popular?

Country-wide schemes, such as the Government’s Smart Metering initiative, have helped drive demand for smart meters in the energy sector, as it helps businesses to track their energy usage and provide more accurate bills. It also helps utility companies to plan resources and improve customer experience.

The Internet of Things (IoT) saves time and money by automating remote data collection. We have seen demand for mobile data surge for IoT devices, enabling the remote monitoring of devices measuring usage and temperatures.

Who are companies turning to for 4G data for smart meters?

Jola

Jola offers the widest range of mobile data SIMs from multiple suppliers, which are easy to order and manage via Mobile Manager.  Our multi-network eSIMs are very competitively priced and suitable for smart sensors, as they always offer the best possible service in any location. We also offer rugged SIMs, which can sustain extreme temperatures.

Multi-network

The eSIM will always enable devices to connect to the best, available mobile network. Jola’s eSIMs roam seamlessly over 450 networks in 190 countries, including EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three in the UK.

No need to travel to site to conduct surveys

Using multi-network eSIMs, end customers don’t need site surveys, as they no longer need to know the best network for each location.

Competitive

Jola's eSIMs are competitively priced to allow the channel to compete directly with the Mobile Network operators. Fixed IP eSIMs and L2TP eSIMs are also available.

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Topics: 4G

Is now a good time to add video to your marketing strategy?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 06-May-2020 14:30:38

Many of us are working from home. A percentage of our target audience has been put on furlough and traditional marketing activities, such as events, have been postponed or moved online.

Is now a good time to think about video?

With our sales teams busy conducting webinars, could video help to influence a wider audience and support growth?

Marketing Videos

Video content can be put together quickly and cheaply using third parties, which can be edited and kept up to date. It can help to convey complex messaging in a simple and visual way. It is popular on websites and social streams as part of an integrated campaign.

Training Videos

Videos can be created to train furloughed staff on new products. One downside is that they can go out of date very quickly, especially as products and portals are updated so regularly. Recording webinars can be a very effective way of keeping content current and can be distributed to a wider audience.

Recordings

Recordings of online panel debates or podcasts your company took part in, can enhance your credibility and get a key message out to a wider audience.

Personal Videos

Be very careful when going ‘live’ on social platforms. Without proper practice and strong key messages that are relevant to your audience, you run the risk of disengaging them.

In conclusion, if video can enhance your product content with case studies, testimonials and independent reviews, it can be a useful part of your online strategy. In the current climate having video content you can email to customers after an online meeting, can help to influence decision makers.

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Topics: marketing

4G for homeworkers, key workers and the public sector

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 06-May-2020 14:09:04

The current climate has been a catalyst for change in the public sector and demand for 4G data, for home learners, delivery services and the NHS, is increasing.

4G solves a few key problems. It does not require an installation. In many cases, it is plug-and-play. The device comes out of the box and when switched on, automatically connects to the network and allows the user access to the internet. 4G can roam. Multi-network, un-steered variants are available which can connect to the strongest 4G signal in any location. It can easily be posted as a physical SIM card or installed into a device and posted to where it is required.

Home Learners

MSPs supporting local councils and private schools, colleges and universities are being asked for 4G devices to support home learning. Online learning materials are being distributed and online classes organised, often involving multiple students at once.

Delivery Services

Delivery services are in demand delivering essentials to those self-isolating.  The Government is using local councils to deliver essentials boxes to those shielding. Supermarkets are increasing their deliveries to keep up with demand. All deliveries are being tracked via PDAs containing 4G SIM cards.

NHS

There is high demand from the NHS for 4G devices for healthcare workers visiting patients and ambulance crews updating patient records.

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Topics: 4G

A Practical Guide to working from home

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 29-Apr-2020 12:52:30

When we started Jola we worked from home for a few years before we grew big enough to have an office. I had a three-month old baby with me at home. Now our entire team is working from home, many with young children, and managing to hit KPIs and drive growth in a very strange time. We have put together a guide to working from home, based on our own experience and hope it will help others.

Self-care

First and foremost, look after yourself. Having a good routine, getting enough sleep, eating well and taking regular breaks are very important to maintain momentum and productivity throughout the day. You may not be in the office, but may still be taking video calls, so be aware of what you look like and your background. Try to start and finish at your usual times to prevent work sneaking into your down-time.

Focus

Having a ‘to do’ list has never been more important. Planning your day to ensure a good balance between inbound and outbound activity is important, especially for sales and marketing. Some of us can transfer our daily routine from the office to home, especially if we have our office phone systems set up the same way and still have access to all our systems in the cloud. For others like external sales, their routines have changed completely. They are busy booking video calls and webinars instead of site visits and have more time to spend developing existing partners and researching new ones.

Balance

Many of us are working from home with young children and are embarrassed when they pop into video calls asking for a snack. We all have to balance our work with our homelife, many of us are teaching a range of new subjects and coming up with ‘fun’ learning activities that we are hopeful will amuse our children, whilst we are on important calls. Putting that person at ease by showing empathy and sharing our own stories, can really help to overcome this and help build relationships.

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Topics: Business

Social Media During a Crisis

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 29-Apr-2020 12:43:23

Many partners have asked about how to develop an effective social media marketing strategy. Others have asked if they should change their strategy for the current climate. I have put together this blog to help answer both these questions.

Building target audience

Firstly, an effective social media campaign delivers the right key messages to the right audience at the right time and it is much harder than it sounds. Firstly, you need to develop the right audience. The mistake many partners make is thinking that because they have a vast amount of connections, they have a great audience to target. How many of these connections are truly target audience? It takes a lot of time and diligence to craft out a regular time each week to find and connect with target audience. Over time messages become more targeted, response rates improve and slowly the audience builds.

With many decision makers working from home, you may find that now is a good time to try and connect with more of your target audience, especially if you have a unique solution to a known problem. A good example is SMEs and homeworkers struggling with slow internet connectivity. With BT Openreach unable to gain access to install and repair many services, projects have stalled, and revenues have been affected. Providing 4G routers and unlimited 4G data SIM cards is a good solution to ensure customers get access to the internet in the short-term and can be used as a back-up in the future if primary circuits fail.

COVID is not an opportunity

Rule number 1. COVID is not an opportunity and should not be perceived as one. It is ok to continue to sell and market your products. Being seen to profit from a global pandemic is irresponsible and will negatively affect your brand.

Many social media posts paused as news of the pandemic spreading to the UK and the lock-down measures were communicated. Posts, like adverts have now been reviewed and messaging has been changed.

How can you help?

 In the channel many of us have been supplying 4G devices to the public sector and charities to help healthcare professionals work remotely. Others have helped homeworkers access files securely and use phone systems from home.

Social posts have been full of empathy and aimed at customers they can help. Others have highlighted how individuals can help such as making scrubs or raising money for the NHS.

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Topics: marketing

Microsoft Teams

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 22-Apr-2020 12:04:32

According to GeekWire, Microsoft Teams now has around 44 million daily users, up from 32 million before the COVID outbreak. It has been useful for many remote workers, who use it for online meetings, webinars, project collaboration and instant messaging.

There are a few new features coming soon such as a 9-person display, real-time noise suppression and ‘raise a hand’ options, for users not feeling comfortable jumping in at the end of the last speaker.

Direct Routing

For people working from home using Teams, this can also become their phone system. Instead of using Calling Plan to make calls outside of Teams, Microsoft will allow customers to connect Teams Phone System to an alternative network provider, using Direct Routing. It is quite complicated to set up, so is worth looking for automated provisioning, unless you have Microsoft qualified staff internally to help.

Jola Direct Routing for Teams is built on a Microsoft approved platform, offers numbers in 167 countries and every area code in the UK. Jola’s unlimited wholesale UK call package is a lot cheaper than Microsoft’s Calling Plan and comes with competitive international call bundles and unlimited in-country local call packages.

Jola partners enjoy healthy recurring margins on call bundles and out-of-bundle call charges, whilst still offering compelling prices to their customers. Ordering and management are all self-serve, through our well-established SIP Manager portal.

SIP Manager

Our SIP Manager portal allows resellers to place orders directly for Teams entities, configure Direct Routing and order UK and international SIP Trunks. Partners can set up call forwarding rules and manage customer address details, usage caps and fraud prevention rules. They can view real-time SIP logs, call logs and call answer statistics such as answer ratio, busy ratio and failure ratio.

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Topics: Microsoft Teams

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