Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Digital Marketing – Dos and Don’ts

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 11-Jun-2018 14:25:42

Partners often get in touch with the Jola marketing team, for help adding new products to their portfolio. They want basic product information for their website, but more importantly, they want advice on what works and what doesn’t. Digital marketing works really well, has measurable results and is cost-effective, but with any strategy there are dos and don’ts.

Choose the right channels

You have your new products on the website, you have identified your target audience, planned your strategy and are now working on your comms. Think about the best channels to communicate your message. Can you email them? What social media channels do they use?

Be original

So many partners ask for something they can copy, but to have a successful digital marketing strategy, originality works best. Your objective is to catch the attention of your own target audience, engage and eventually convert them.

Do your research

You need to know your market to understand their pain points, your products to understand how they can solve these problems and your competition to know how your proposition is better.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Getting started with Jola

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 11-Jun-2018 14:19:23

When new partners sign up with Jola, they receive a full on-boarding programme. We provide tailored support and advice to every level of the business.

Business Owners

For MDs we run high-level strategic sessions, analysing the market and identifying current opportunities. We help business owners to build profitable, recurring, revenue streams, increase ARPU and decrease churn.

Marketing

We help partners to productise, price and brand services to meet the needs of their customers. We provide white label marketing materials for websites, flyers, presentations, proposals and campaigns. We spend time understanding the marketing objectives of the business, target audience and marketing plan. We offer advice on messaging for launch and on-going campaigns.

Sales

We provide sales teams with product and portal training via webinars and face-to-face. We develop products to meet demand, that are well-priced, which uniquely solve a problem. Our sessions give partners battlecards for each product, which identify low-hanging fruit, USPs and key benefits. We spend time understanding territories, targets and customers and share our experience and strategies for success. We also provide pre-sales support, tender/quotation assistance, conference calls and joint meetings as required.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Measuring Innovation

Posted by Andrew Dickinson on 26-Apr-2018 15:18:03

In the IT/communications industry most of the products we buy from the networks are essentially commodities, in vanilla form. This is because product development in the large Telcos lags technical innovation by 2-3 years. With such rapid technical innovation and cost/unit (£/MB, £/MBs) decline, more bespoke products are often out of date before the network has a chance to launch them.

This is one reason why good aggregators thrive in the channel and why good resellers and dealers are able to beat the direct selling divisions of the networks – particularly in the SME market. For aggregators, tailoring these vanilla products for specific markets is critical to continuous growth. For resellers it often comes down to their process for evaluating, selecting and on-boarding new suppliers (usually aggregators) and then how quickly they can produce collateral, update provisioning systems and train staff.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

White label documentation at your fingertips

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 24-Apr-2018 21:43:55

Selling services to UK SMEs is rarely a nine to five occupation. When customers need information quickly, companies can’t afford to rely on third parties. They need access to answers fast. For core products this information is readily available. When launching new products, easy access to relevant information helps to influence decision makers, improve sales and reduce churn.

The Knowledge Base

Jola is a wholesale provider of hosted telephony, internet connectivity and 4G solutions to the voice and data channel. We created the Knowledge Base for partners to have 24/7/365 access to our product information, templates and guides in a white label format.

It is divided into product sections to make it easier to search for materials. Partners can re-brand ‘how to’ guides to help customers manage their own changes instantly. Guides are designed for both the employee and organisations to answer common set-up and provisioning questions such as; how do I set up busy lamp fields on my new handset? and how do I reset my Office UC password?

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Building a strong brand

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 18-Apr-2018 10:22:45

There are many ways to build a strong brand to positively influence your target audience and support sales. There are also a few things to avoid. Jola is a wholesale provider of hosted voice, internet connectivity and 4G solutions to the voice and data channel. We provide white-label services to help our partners build their own brands and increase the value of their businesses. Our top three tips on building a strong brand are as follows;

Naming

The name of your business is really important. It is tempting when you are starting a business to link your company name with the products you sell. This can be challenging in the voice and data industry, where technologies have shorter product life cycles and ‘the next big thing’ doesn’t take-off as predicted. By distancing your brand name from your products, you are less likely to have to re-brand, if the technology you sell becomes obsolete or your business goes in a different direction.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Building to sell

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Apr-2018 12:14:15

When starting a new business venture, it is useful to consider your exit strategy, especially when building a business to sell. Many of our partners started their business with a view to sell it for a life-changing amount, in an agreed timeframe. By considering the types of business that are attractive to buyers, you are more likely to build a business that sells.

There are many qualities a potential buyer looks for in a business for sale such as;

  • A good spread of longstanding customers. Businesses with one large customer that makes up most of the revenue are riskier investments.
  • Loyal customers that order on a predictable and frequent cycle. Recurring revenue streams from a wide range of customers, on predictable contracts, with high margins are attractive.
  • Good quality financial information, showing which customers and products are profitable. Market data demonstrating future opportunities can also help.
  • A simple ownership structure is attractive. No one wants to deal with difficult shareholders with very different needs.
  • A flexible property position such as short leases are attractive. Requirements to sell a freehold property along with the business can complicate deals and put off potential investors.
  • A clean history of tax and regulatory compliance, if the seller wants to maximise entrepreneurs’ relief by selling shares.
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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Establishing Trust – 5Cs

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 22-Mar-2018 14:27:18

Growing a business is hard. Finding your niche, winning new business and retaining customers isn’t easy. Trust between you and your customers takes time to build and is easily lost. The same applies to suppliers. There are many ways to build and maintain trust. It starts with your employees and extends to your customers. The 5Cs summarises good practice as follows;

Commitment

A committed business is loyal to the cause, the vision, and the customers they supply. They are companies who persevere despite setbacks. When account managers are committed, they can build the trust of their customers by staying present, engaged, and positive. Commitment is the number one thing a business can demonstrate to build trust.

Connection

A trustworthy business is well-connected to customers who rely on them. They don’t get bogged down in the day-to-day and forget the needs of their customers. Account managers are always contactable and visible, never distant or detached. They take time to get to know their customers in a meaningful way. This helps customers to see businesses as people who care about their requirements and who value the relationship.

Compassion

A trustworthy company takes time to understand the needs of their customers, their requirements and concerns and responds in a meaningful way, each and every time. If a service goes down businesses take positive action to update customers and let them know when services will be restored.

Consistency

By being consistent across your business your customers know what to expect from you, which helps to build trusted relationships. By trusting you, customers are much more likely to share their issues with you and allow you to help them solve them. Being calm, collected and professional under fire is important, as well as reacting in a consistent and timely manner.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

The importance of ongoing business planning

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 22-Mar-2018 14:21:40

Most companies draft a business plan outlining the course of a business over a lifespan and share it with investors or the bank. Fewer than you would think regularly revisit the document to assess growth against target.

A good strategy document, regularly reviewed, can help to document latest market information and outline current opportunities. A good plan reveals how investment would be used and the expected returns.

It is a great document to review annually to see where you are, where you want to be and how you plan to get there. Were key targets met and business priorities achieved?

By adopting a continuous and regular business planning cycle, which keeps the plan up to date you can maximise your chances of success.

If you regularly assess your performance against the plans and targets you have set, you are more likely to meet your objectives. It can also signpost where and why you're going astray.

The assessment will also help you in discussions with banks, investors and even potential buyers of your business. Regular review is a good vehicle for showing direction and commitment to employees, customers and suppliers.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Why attend Partner Training Events?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Mar-2018 16:31:51

By attending a partner training day, you get the chance to visit your supplier, meet the team and learn more about current opportunities. They are a great place to network with other like-minded business owners focussed on growing their businesses and overcoming common challenges.

Jola Partner Days

Jola runs partner days every quarter at their head office in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire. Some partners fly in, others travel up the night before and stay in hotels to attend our events. They come to hear about new products and portals but more importantly, they come to see how we can help them grow their business.

The Content

Our training day is divided into two sections. In the morning we take delegates through our product set, highlighting current opportunities, explaining how our solutions win bids over alternatives. In our mobile section, we demonstrate Mobile Manager and the innovative way we manage data and eliminate bill shock. In the afternoon we focus on the JolaPhone management portal, sharing our tips and experience of solving common provisioning and support issues.  

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Marketing for growth

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Mar-2018 16:04:24

Growing a business is challenging. You need an innovative solution, a profitable edge and the right people to bring it to market. A good marketing strategy will fuel growth by; engaging the target audience, generating qualified leads and helping sales to cross-sell and reduce churn.

How do you boost visibility and increase sales, whilst retaining your margins?

Taking time out from the business to think about the basic mechanics which will bring in the right leads, at the right cost at the right conversion rate is critical. Without an effective sales funnel, reaching growth targets will be challenging, finding the time and the money to plan for growth is equally challenging.

Spend money to make money?

The first strategy to mind is often advertising. Who are my prospects? What do they read? Where do they go? We will advertise there. Advertising can be very effective over period of time, supported by additional campaigns such as PR, DM etc. however can also be costly.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

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