Westcon-Comstor resellers will soon have access to round-the-clock instant quoting for VMware through a new guided selling portal designed to help resellers accelerate their sales and maximise market opportunities.
Alana Hoponoa, Westcon-Comstor vendor business manager, says the portal, launching today, will provide a real time saving mechanism for partners around basic VMware quotes, while ensuring they receive all the discounts available to them under their partner status.
“The focus really is around basic quoting requirements where the partner and customer have done their own research and have a clear idea around what they need, and just need a quote turned around quickly,” Hoponoa says.
Hoponoa, who has 17 years in technology and telecommunications, primarily on the customer side of the fence including eight years with Vodafone including managing the telco's network operations centre and heading up an incident management team and a change management team, joined Westcon-Comstor in July. Previous roles also include manager of service deliver for Carter Holt Harvey and a role at Toll Group which provided her with her first taste of software licensing.
She says most partners are familiar with the product ranges and different SKUs available and know what they’re after.
“In those instances they can plug in the information in terms of a product description or even product range and the portal will tell them all the descriptions and SKUs associated with it and they can pick and mix from there.
“Or if they have a bill of materials they can plug in all of that information and it will provide a quote.”
The guided selling platform enables partners to choose to bypass the traditional route of emailing or calling Westcon-Comstor for a price.
“During a business day, we will turn that around within an hour or so,” Hoponoa says.
“But if it’s after close of business and the customer is trying to get something out urgently for their customer, the portal provides a really fantastic mechanism for them to just jump in there and get the pricing immediately.”
Hoponoa says the platform will free partners up to do other things to provide additional value for their customers.
“And likewise, on our side, the time saving in not having those basic quotes coming through to us means we can also focus on the partners’ wider technology requirements and the wider technology roadmap for customers.
Hoponoa says that will enable Westcon-Comstor to provide partners with more advice on upsell and cross sell options for customers.
“We can see what a particular end-user customer has purchased in the past and make recommendations based on that. For example, is there an opportunity now that their environment is growing to offer some other tools to help them monitor and manage the environment?” she says.
“We can start making more recommendations and providing them with the tools they need in terms of data and analytics to say here’s where your next opportunity may be for this customer.”
Hoponoa says the guided selling platform features built-in smarts which enable it to link partner status, competencies and deal registration to a quote, ensuring the associated rebates and discounts are applied correctly and initiating Advantage+ deal registrations.
The platform also includes product positioning refreshers and guided questions to speed solution configuration.
More complex quoting and high-level solution approaches will continue to go through Westcon-Comstor’s staff, with Hoponoa stressing that staff will remain on hand to assist with any quotes.
“We’re certainly not trying to deter them from reaching out to us. We really do love to have that personal touch with them, it really helps to maintain the rapport with our customers.
“This is just an added bonus, an added self-service option they have at their fingertips when they’re in a rush or not able to call through to us for whatever reason, they’ll have access to this portal which is available 24/7 and they can get what they need really quickly.”
As an incentive to encourage partners to get registered and start using the guided selling system, Westcon-Comstor will be providing $20 coffee vouchers for the first 25 customers to register, with the first 25 customers to do quotes on the new system receiving $50 petrol vouchers.
Resellers can sign up to the guided selling platform here.
Westcon-Comstor will also be holding a webinar on how to make full use of the new portal.
Interested attendees can register here.