- You are here: Home > Your Clients. Our Solutions. Perfect Match.
You are here
Your Clients. Our Solutions. Perfect Match.
The most frequent call I receive on a daily basis is one where someone asks me how much it costs to track something. Inexplicably, with a stress filled intensity, the person on the other end will rattle off that GSE was the first company listed for tracking in a Google search, or that they found a bid online referencing tracking; and if I could just get them a price right away we can close the sale to a massive opportunity. My first reaction used to be to run around frantically trying to press the GSE team for assistance in building a quote and closing one of these monster deals. Time has taught me, however, that success in telematics is based on an ever-expanding knowledge base built from previous projects.
Being a telematics solutions provider means you cannot answer a single call with the pricing for cheapest hardware with the lowest monthly cost for connectivity. As a solutions provider, you have to slow things down and ask the right questions. This process ensures that when you do finally supply a quote to a client, you can do so with the knowledge that your client understands the investment they are making and appreciates how their investments will lead to improved security, greater efficiency, and most importantly, savings that will often far outweigh any ongoing or initial costs. Our partners and distributors understand this.
The Importance of Distributors and Partners
Our telematics partners or distributors are typically persons or organizations who will work with us to build a solution for their client. They will fully grasp what their client wants, and often have several opportunities beyond a single bid or sale. They will understand at least the basics of the products they want to sell or provide. They will also understand what is involved in supporting their clients after the sale is through, and the hard work of maintaining and growing that relationship as the client’s solution continues to evolve. This will include training their clients on how to use the hardware and software, and actively seeking opportunities to improve other aspects of their client’s operations.
Partners and Distributors vs. Clients
Identifying the Ideal Role
A potential distributor with specialization in selling satellite phones in their local market reached out to GSE to see if our company would allow them to brand and distribute our solution for the purpose of tracking trucks operating in a remote area of North America. As was customary, the potential distributor frantically needed answers and the pricing right away. Their intent was to use our GSatTrack software and the hardware we suggested to fulfill an open contract that had been made available to the public for bidding. Because this organization was servicing the needs of another organization, our assessment was that this might be more of a partner relationship opportunity.
Whether it is a large utility conglomerate or a government entity, when these organizations have defined their expressed needs in a request for proposal, they have shown that the means and money to facilitate a strong project exists. Our potential distributor highlighted this with the open bid they were seeking to fulfill. Answering all the potential questions that may be associated with a project out for bid, however, was not possible in a single phone call or with a simple summarization. Developing the right solution and providing pricing would take time. It became much more apparent that working with this partner to deliver a solution would result in a better outcome than treating this as a standard client relationship.
Understanding the Situation
The first step was to have the potential distributor share the website where the open bid was located. This would allow the requirements to be reviewed by the GSE engineering team. While the bid was being reviewed, the potential distributor filled out our online partner program questionnaire. By having the potential distributor go through this step it set both the expectations of what we expected from a distribution candidate and what they could expect from GSE. Based on the responses the distributor shared, it became apparent that they would be great candidates for helping clients in their region with hardware solutions and understanding networks, but that expertise wasn't accompanied by a strong understanding of telematics or IOT solutions.
Review of the comprehensive bid by the GSE engineering team showed this project was no small endeavor. The bid called for onsite device installation on various types of vehicles in multiple locations. The units onboard the vehicles would need to provide mechanical and maintenance data on all the vehicles, continuously, in areas where cell coverage was not always available. The bid called for round the clock technical support and ongoing training so as to provide a means for the client’s own team to eventually become proficient enough to perform installations unassisted. All of this was beyond what the potential distributor was able to provide.
What the potential distributor could provide were installers familiar with technical aspects of satellite technology. The potential distributor had personnel in the areas where installation was required, and could assist with training and onsite support. They also had sales persons and legal departments that could review contractual agreements. Account management could be achieved if the bid was won, and ongoing opportunities could be identified, but this bid would have to be responded to with a true partnership to meet the needs of the client by developing a complete solution rather than just the provision of hardware and airtime.
Solidifying the Position
The potential distributor reached out to the organization who had published the bid online and asked for an extension to respond. Based on the advice and observations of the GSE engineering team, the extension was granted along with an adjusted timeline for questions. It turned out, as is common with bids like these, that there was already another interested telematics provider involved. This provider also offered software as a solution but had few offerings in the satellite space.
Working with our potential partner, we answered questions succinctly that addressed every item related to the bid. This included a comprehensive hardware solution based on the needs of each vehicle and the environment rather than a one size fits all solution. We developed a plan for onsite installations, and a training plan to meet the expressed needs outlined in the bid. Finally, when our potential distributor was certified as a partner, we worked directly with them to write the proposal demonstrating that their company was capable and ready to support this opportunity backed by the GSE team of account managers, engineers, and almost two decades of experience in providing telematics solutions in the IOT world. It was that partnership that in the end allowed the opportunity to be won and the ongoing partnership and client relationship to grow into other opportunities.
If you are interested in becoming a partner of GSE, please begin your journey here.