The business world has been adjusting to a new reality over the last few years: Size is becoming cumbersome in certain scenarios, and lean businesses are surging ahead by dint of their agility. As a result, business associations and relationships are emerging as crucial drivers of stability and growth. Few sectors is this more apparent than in telecommunications, where in-market success now hinges largely on the relationships between telecom operators and their channel partners.
In essence, the channel partner’s job is to market and sell the products and services of the telecom companies to the end user through retailers. That essentially makes them the first “customers” of the telecom companies. And given their relationship with end users, they can provide telecom operators with vital insights into real-life consumer trends. As a result, telecom operators should view these channel partners, often referred to as distributors or franchise owners, as the necessary first step to succeeding with end consumers.
Channel partners aren’t unique to the telecom industry. They’re prevalent across an array of industries, including banking and financial services. Compared with other industries, however, telecom channel partners boast notably high relationship scores between themselves and the service providers. While telecom channel partners in India boast an average Relationship Strength Index (RSI) score of 7.07 out of 10, it’s still below the benchmark score of 8.
While relationships between the channel partners and service providers in the sector are strong, the first step in securing them further is to understand what factors drive these bonds. Our studies show that in India, return on investment (ROI; e.g., profitability), incentives and claim settlement, followed by brand image reputation and trust, are the most important drivers of satisfaction for channel partners.
Interestingly, the drivers in the telecom sector are distinct from those in other categories like fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), beverages and cement, which are primarily driven by order and delivery processes, product quality and packaging.
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