Synaxon’s B2B marketing machine: IT-Service.Network-Plus ends the pilot phase
Since 2016 the “IT-Service.Network“System houses with five to 70 employees standardized marketing services, currently 430 Synaxon partners in Germany use this service. In August 2020 the association started the” IT-Service.Network Plus “initiative, which adds additional modules to the existing marketing services Six system houses were involved as pilot partners from the start.
The aim of “IT-Service.Network Plus” was to win over non-franchisees to purchase Synaxon’s marketing services. For the six pilot partners, the whole thing had the advantage that they did not have to invest a lot, but could continue to work with their systems (merchandise management, ticket system, etc.). In the one-year pilot phase of “IT-Service.Network Plus” it was necessary to find out which marketing services were actually required by the system houses and which were not. Synaxon Marketing Director André Vogtschmidt gave more details in an interview with ChannelPartner: “These system houses all work very differently, so they didn’t want to be integrated into a franchise system like Einsulleins”.
“IT-Service.Network Plus” started with local marketing campaigns for the connected system houses. At that time “local” meant “within a radius of 25 kilometers”. “It started off right away, we were able to generate promising leads in the first few weeks,” recalls Vogtschmidt. “We were able to transfer a total of 35 high-quality leads to the six locations,” said the marketer in the course of the conversation with ChannelPartner.
And Vogtschmidt also specifies the term “high quality”: “The interested parties told us exactly what they needed and what challenges they were facing at the time.” “IT-Service.Network Plus” obtained missing information and only then passed the full leads to the connected system houses. But the service spectrum of “IT-Service.Network Plus” is by no means exhausted: “We also observe what happens to the lead afterwards. Has an offer been made? Has an initial conversation with the corporate customer taken place? Or was the project about to open.” Have you put the ice? “, Says Vogtschmidt.
And even if the customer has “bitten”, “IT-Service.Network Plus” stays on the ball and continues to support the connected system house in customer care – for example with advice and more detailed customer analysis. Here Vogtschmidt refers to the strong increase in interest in modern workplace concepts that can be flexibly put together since the beginning of the corona pandemic.
“A customer asked one of our Plus partners for 70 PC-based workstations,” said Synaxon’s head of marketing. “And here we can actively support this partner, who does not yet have that much experience in selling modern workstations, for example with the procurement of the right devices and software.” According to Vogtschmidt, the customer wanted the greatest possible flexibility: sometimes setting up five new workstations, sometimes eliminating some – and all of this on a monthly basis.
Synaxon can keep up with this in terms of price, because with the current order volume of the group, special project prices can always be realized for the procurement of hardware. Then the cheapest contracts (rental or leasing) are tied together, with Vogtschmidt expressing a clear preference here (leasing), as this involves a lower risk for the system house.
Using this specific example, the marketing manager would like to emphasize the advantages of his own marketing services once again: “We won the lead online, handed it over to the system house and now we want to retain this customer for as long as possible.” After all, “IT-Service.Network Plus” has a ten percent share in the service sales if it is successful. Not only endpoints are set up via the network, data center or software equipment projects are also conveyed.
For system houses, participation in the “IT-Service.Network Plus” program is worthwhile for another reason: “The members receive territorial protection,” says Vogtschmidt, which is why I plan to work with a maximum of 200 partners in the final expansion stage. However, the requirements for the Plus candidates are higher than for the “IT-Service.Network” members: “Are there enough specialists there? Have the corresponding processes been established?” These questions should be answered with “yes” without reservation, because “IT-Service.Network Plus” system houses are also supported by Synaxon in employee acquisition. And they only want to help employers who offer their employees very good development opportunities. Therefore, the inclusion in the Plus network is relatively complex.
“The idea of networking is also crucial,” continued Vogtschmidt. All Plus partners meet once a quarter, so far only digitally, but hopefully soon again on site at one of the affiliated houses. This is necessary for the marketing manager because many of the requested projects exceed the resources of a single Plus partner, for example because a customer has several branches. Then close cooperation between several system houses is required and it doesn’t hurt if you know each other very well and trust each other. It is important to clarify who is submitting the offer to the customer, who will be working how often and at what locations of the customer, how is the internal cost and income distribution carried out, and so on. “It all works very well,” says Vogtschmidt.
The “IT-Service.Network Plus” program is currently attracting great interest from the system houses. “We have been working with ten Synaxon partners since April 2021, we are now better represented, especially in southern Germany, and we will finish the pilot phase as planned in September,” said the marketing manager. And then there will probably be a few more system houses, by the end of 2021 there could already be 20 plus partners, by the end of 2022 50 locations would then be realistic. There are already 60 to 70 interested parties.
“IT-Service.Network” wants to achieve a 15 percent market share in the target customer size (ten to 250 jobs) with local partners – each in an area with around 1,000 companies of this size – by 2030.
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