Before we begin looking at how 9 are doing this, CommsTrader decided to have a sit down with Group Marketing Director, Mark Saunders, in order to find out a little bit more about who 9 are, how they started and what directions they took to become the business they are today,
He began by telling us how the brand was initially founded in 2001 by current CEO, James Palmer, and was essentially a business that acquired its customers through a group of dealers, selling the Nine Telecom brand with a product portfolio of lines, calls and broadband.
An expansion into wholesale eventually came seven years later in 2007 when Palmer discovered a gap in the market for Partners and dealers who perhaps weren’t being given the best service from some of the larger vendors and, as a result, founded Nine Wholesale.
Two years later in 2009, Saunders informed us of 9’s acquisition of Club Communications, a much larger company widely regarded as one of the stalwarts of the resale industry, and how the move played a pivotal role in transforming 9 into the brand it is today.
Where are 9 at now?
Now billed as one of 2017s Top 10 telco companies in the UK with a community of around 550 partners transacting with them on a monthly basis, it’s clear that 9 has really gone from strength to strength and pushes an annual turnover around £50 million.
To help shed some more light on how this happened and what steps 9 has taken to appeal to a modern reseller market, we then turned to 9’s Director of Partners, Adam Cathcart, to find out more.
At present, Cathcart informed us that 9 is very much a channel-led organisation that works with Partners to help them grow and develop their organisation and achieve the very best of their potential.
“The reason so many Partners want to work with us is because of the relationships we have with Tier 1 suppliers and the services we aggregate from them. Essentially, we become the route for our Partners to get the best possible services and products they can from all of the tier 1 suppliers that we work with.”
As well as being able to provide Partners with cutting edge products based around everything from fixed lines, SIP trunking, calls, data connectivity, broadband, hosted voice, UC, IM, video conferencing and mobile, one of the key differentiators between 9 and other brands on the wholesale market are the “value added” services they provide on top.
With 9, Cathcart explains how Partners can benefit from a “Purple Partner Programme” that provides them with marketing and commercial support, plus additional insight and information, which they can use to drive sales. With insightful video guides on products and a series of training programmes structured to help new starters fortify their sales arsenal, it’s clear that 9 cares a great deal about its Partners and offers ongoing support to satisfy their needs.
Moreover, Cathcart explained more about how 9’s “Virtual Office” solution caters for Partners who would prefer to focus their attention on sales and growing their business.
“With 9’s Virtual Office, our Partners can rely on us to do all of their provisioning, answer their calls and provide customer support.“
Alongside this, it was also interesting to hear how Virtual Office could be used intermittently by Partners who are experiencing busy periods, or maybe looking to relax during their holidays and the festive season.
Finally, as a third offering, Cathcart also told us about the Managed Billing Service that 9 offers to its Partners to lift the burden of billing reconciliation and management. As well as providing standard billing, 9 once again demonstrates how it goes that extra step by offering a direct debit service in the Partners name, to provide an all-in-one billing soluton.
Get more information on Nine Wholesale.