Channel Enablement: our way to international success

Author

Gauthier Henroz

After 18 years of existence, EASI established a strong reputation as a reliable and dynamic IT partner in Belgium. We are very proud of where we stand. The results are amazing and get better every year thanks to our 200 co-workers. Our clients are very satisfied with our services and consider us as a close and long-term partner. We just got elected the best workplace in Belgium for the 4th consecutive year. Incredible! Of course, we do not take this for granted and we keep the pace to get better and better.

However, all of this is very limited to Belgium. We do have international clients, but the first contacts usually happened through the Belgian HQ or subsidiary. We have some presence in the neighboring countries (Luxemburg, France and the Netherlands), but we had no steady international strategy.

Until now.

We go international with SmartSales

We have 3 main products:

Adfinity (Accounting software)

SmartSales (Mobile CRM)

Cloud-Infra-Security solutions.

We know that there are markets abroad for those kinds of solutions. But thinking further, we should ask ourselves: are the products fitted for the targeted culture? This is totally the case for SmartSales, which is already used by international clients! Our other solutions need some adjustments before being ready for internationalization.

SmartSales is a mobile sales application that offers all the necessary tools to help the sales representatives optimize their sales moments. Such an app has a heavy cost of development in the first place.  But once developed and ready for commercialization, the market for such a solution is not tight to our kingdom. Seeking international growth is a normal process since it is easily useable regardless the country. We thus know there is a market abroad. We know that our product is appealing to others countries. The next question is: how do we reach our potential customers?

Our strategy to go international: Indirect sales channel

One of the strengths making our success is being close to our customers. We want to have this local approach at an international level. This naturally led us to develop SmartSales internationally through indirect sales channel: local distributors

The main advantage is the market knowledge of the distributors. They know the culture and the specificities in their country. They can be rapidly responsive and have this local approach dear to EASI. Furthermore, they already have a network and existing customers. The ideal distributor will have customers interested in our solution, or at least sales experience in the targeted market. This enables a rapid development.

On the challenge side, indirect means that you leave the control on the reputation of your product to the partner. It’s like a long-distance relationship: total trust and transparency are prerequisites for success. We thus pay a particular attention to carefully select distributors matching our values. However, the risk remains.

Secondly, there might be a lack of focus on SmartSales. The distributors already have their own products and their ongoing business. It takes some time and efforts to get used to the new solution and it demands commercial efforts to launch it. Without those initial efforts, the channel will never rise.

What could be the solution to those issues?

You might say that our distributors have a contract and should honor it? Indeed, but we are partners in this adventure and we see the partnership in the long term.
For those that need some structure, help or boost in their commercial approach, EASI is here to help. We send our channel enabler.

Channel what?

EASI is a sales oriented IT company. We have more than 30 sales for 200 people in total. This ratio is huge compared to other firms in our industry.

The role of the channel enabler is to assist our distributors in their sales process. From the prospection to the signing, he brings EASI's expertise, knowledge and positive attitude to the partner. He also ensures that they get all the knowledge to be experts in our solution. We give them the best chance of success by sharing our experience and marketing tools. The channel enabler is the physical link between the two companies.

In practice, he goes on the distributors’ premises a couple of days/weeks per month to enable their sales until the commercial pipe is up and running smoothly. His presence eases the communication and feedbacks across the channels.

We can say that EASI takes the notion of partnership to another level. This approach totally reflects our mission statement:  “In everything we do, we believe in bringing each person and organization to its full potential”.

It is only the beginning

For the moment, we have 3 distributors :

 in Neuchatel, Switzerland

 

in Paris, France

in Barcelona, Spain

We are actively looking for additional partners. We sent 2 explorers in Germany and Canada and we have a dedicated employee actively looking in other countries. Do not hesitate to reach us if you know an IT company interested to join our amazing journey.