Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Interviewing for the right people to help grow your business

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 25-Jul-2018 13:17:28

Once you have a pool of candidates that have the desired skills and experience on paper, you will be filtering candidates for interviews. Many partners start by calling candidates and asking preliminary questions over the phone. If you do need to do this, be clear on your filtering criteria.

Telephone interviews

When conducting telephone interviews, it is useful for companies to go through employment history to understand why the candidate is looking to make a move. For candidates, telephone interviews are a good opportunity to ask questions to understand the role and remuneration on offer.

Face to face interviews

At Jola, we use a set of behavioural questions for face to face interviews. They generate real examples and allow us to probe further into the experience of each candidate. Can you tell me about a time when you…? How did you handle this? We look for evidence of each of our criteria and note down the positive, negative or no evidence presented. We avoid hypothetical questions and use probing questions to drill down further into answers given.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Advertising for the right candidates to grow your business

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 25-Jul-2018 12:42:52

As a growing business, Jola recently advertised for a range of positions in sales, marketing, support and finance. We were lucky to have access to a pool of experienced staff, who share our values and have years of experience in the industry on our door step. Partners looking to grow their business by partnering with Jola, often recruit additional staff and sometimes struggle to find the right people. To help we have drafted a few blogs on recruitment, based on our own experiences.

Step 1 – get the job description just right

Writing a very specific job description, outlining key skills and experience, rather than copying a standard template is important. Think about your corporate culture, your company values, the role and how it fits into your organisational chart. What are your expectations in terms of performance? What skills and experience are essential? What can be learnt on the job?

Step 2 – decide on how to advertise the role

Do you invest in a recruitment agent or advertise the role yourself?

If you only advertise on your own website, your reach is limited. You can advertise on the top-ranking recruitment websites for as little as £55. It is worth researching how long your vacancy will be advertised for and analysing the web traffic.

LinkedIn recruitment offers a cost-effective way to post a job and receive filtered applicants based on your criteria. You can share the job and encourage others to share the job within your industry, with the aim of attracting a candidate with the skills and experience you require.

For some roles, specialised recruitment agencies are useful to headhunt on your behalf.

Advertising roles internally and offering refer-a-friend schemes are also very effective, low-cost ways of generating a pool of candidates to interview.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

What can our new partners learn from our most successful partners?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 25-Jun-2018 16:40:33

Customisation

Our most successful partners integrate our products with their core services and tailor packages to meet the needs of their audience. For example, internet connectivity is packaged and installed with hosted applications managed by the partner. Hosted voice is tailored to meet the needs of target verticals. SIMs are integrated into multiple devices and sold as bespoke solutions. The objectives are to increase products per customer, increase customer satisfaction and decrease churn.

Visibility

Successful partners are very visible to their customers and target audience. They attend local events, pop up regularly on Google, post regular updates on social media and have regular contact with their customers and potential customers. They let their audience know what they sell and what problems they solve.

Credibility

Successful partners demonstrate their success on their website using testimonials, case studies and in some cases award wins. They promote their success to their target audience, using press and email communications.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd, marketing

How well do you follow up leads?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 25-Jun-2018 16:10:32

As business owners, there was a time when every lead we generated was followed up by us personally, but as the company grew so did the sales team. Now when you uncover a good lead you are more likely to hand it to the sales person who manages that area. How annoying is it when leads you generated personally go cold due to a poor follow-up process? Very… so what can we do about it?

Follow up every lead personally within 24 hours

The timeline here is very important. Whether the lead is a personal friend of the MD, or a new web enquiry, every lead needs to be personally contacted within 24 hours. There is a chance that you are not the only supplier the prospect is talking to and first impressions count. Reply with the information requested within the timeframe and try to get in a personal call to get a more detailed view of their requirements.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

How well do you generate leads?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 25-Jun-2018 15:59:20

Good leads are like gold dust. They are difficult to find, but worth a great deal. How satisfied are you with the leads your organisation generates? You don’t have to invest a small fortune to start a successful lead generation programme.

Jola, like many other wholesalers have a mixture of partners, ranging from large multi-sited organisations to one-man bands. Each have a different view on marketing and how it can impact their business. Companies with sales and marketing teams who share an interest in promoting and selling our services, tend to be the most successful at generating leads. Why is this?

Shared Vision

Both departments understand how Jola products fit into core business strategy. They are both targeted to deliver results and are measured regularly. Roles and responsibilities are clear, marketing engage the target audience and generate leads, sales convert leads and bring in the revenue and marketing promote their success.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd, marketing

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

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