Sometimes the best way to sell is to focus on your prospects’ and customers’ needs, rather than simply extol the virtues of the products and services you offer. That core insight is behind the success of a company that has offering water quality solutions to rural customers since 1982. That company resells water filtration products from an enterprise manufacturer and recently began using the manufacturer’s partner portal, powered by ZINFI, to transform its business and expand to a difficult-to-reach market.
The reseller has long recognized that the technology-focused water treatment industry can seem like worlds away from the day-to-day reality of being a plumber juggling installation, service and repair jobs across a large geographic area. These clients are constantly in the field and traveling to different work sites, often in rural districts where computer-based Internet access may not be readily available. Such tradespeople tend to be focused on accessing the tools they need to get the job done rather than distinguishing one brand from another.
Understanding the unique requirements of this target market is essential to the reseller’s success. “I don’t market to water treatment people; I market to plumbers,” says the reseller’s owner and CEO. The biggest challenge in this environment is providing clients with the basic support they need when they are immersed in a job in the field. Often that means giving them convenient, mobile access to basic information like product numbers, information sheets and current installation/service manuals.
While the manufacturer’s partner portal, a key component of ZINFI’s Unified Channel Management (UCM) platform, is primarily a tool for marketing through a partner network and enabling partner sales teams, when the reseller’s CEO encountered the portal he instantly understood it could be an enormously powerful tool for providing meaningful support directly to customers in the field without deploying overt marketing or sales tactics. He realized if he could provide useful services, such as a timely reminder to a plumber that a filter needs replacing or a valve is due for servicing—and then automate and track those processes across hundreds or thousands of customers—product sales would take care of themselves.
And that’s precisely what the ZINFI partner portal is doing for the reseller and its customer base. The company uses the portal to provide tradespeople, local dealers and other customers with assets that directly support their work: detailed, up-to-date information about the manufacturer’s water quality products that customers can easily access via downloads and mobile apps. He also syndicates the manufacturer’s promotional videos, accessed via the partner portal, on his company website. His customers can often get what they need with a single mouse click or push of a button on their phone. The owner also notes that the water treatment dealerships he sells to have found the partner portal’s systems for organizing prospect and customer information—and for tracking sales efforts—very useful.
The ZINFI partner portal is “the tool I needed that was missing,” declares the reseller. He’s used the portal to introduce his line of water quality products into the plumbing supply environment and “make plumbers believe in it.” Before, plumbers and dealers couldn’t readily get the support they needed to install and repair water quality products, and that’s why they didn’t buy them. “That information was essentially hidden.” With the help of the partner portal, the plumbers now have the support they need, and that gives the reseller “a significant advantage” in the marketplace, according to the owner. “I’m merging certified water treatment professionals with the plumbing industry. That’s the first time that’s ever been done.”
From the reseller’s perspective, the ZINFI partner portal “is tailor-made for somebody who is actually working in the field and needs help. No one else has done anything like this. Just the tool alone will help me sell products. Whether they use it all or not, the information is there. I’ve got everything I need in one place.”
ZINFI Technologies, the leader in Unified Channel Management (UCM) innovation, enables vendors and their channel partners to achieve profitable growth predictably and rapidly on a worldwide level. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, USA and founded by channel veterans with extensive global channel management experience, we at ZINFI see an immense opportunity to build high-performing sales channels by deploying an easy-to-use, comprehensive and innovative state-of-the-art SaaS Unified Channel Management automation platform that streamlines and manages the entire partner lifecycle through three core state-of-the-art SaaS applications—partner relationship management, channel marketing management and channel sales management. In 26 countries, these three core UCM SaaS applications are locally supported by ZINFI’s global marketing services team members.
A reseller of water treatment solutions is using the partner portal of a large manufacturer of water quality products to expand its reach to the plumbing industry. The partner portal is a key component of ZINFI’s Unified Channel Management (UCM) platform, which helps technology vendors manage the entire partner relationship, partner marketing and partner sales lifecycle. When the reseller’s owner encountered the partner portal, he immediately recognized that he had found a sales enablement tool that would help him provide key assets to plumbers in the field—a very-hard-to-reach group of trade professionals who are constantly travelling from job to job and rely on mobile phones for timely information about the equipment, parts and systems that they are installing and servicing. The reseller also envisions using the partner portal for keeping plumbers and water treatment specialists informed about impending maintenance tasks like filter replacement. Already, the reseller’s owner is unequivocal in recommending the ZINFI partner portal. “All the information is in one place where people can find it. I couldn’t ask for a better tool.”