Sennheiser gets selective with resellers

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Sennheiser Communications has unveiled a new selective distribution strategy as part of a bid to triple its market share in the global Contact Centre and Office (CC&O) headset market.

In 2012 the vendor announced plans to grow its sales force by a factor of 10 in its six key markets of the US, Germany, France, Benelux, China and the UK by 2018. Since then it has doubled its team in the UK – including a new distribution sales manager, reseller sales manager and a UC sales specialist.

However, a significant part of Sennheiser’s plans for the channel includes a new ‘selective distribution’ scheme which it launched in June, and is currently working on getting all of its reseller partners signed up to.

The programme aims to ensure partners deliver a high level of service to customers through accreditation.

“Resellers that are successful in this market are the ones who add value, and not simply box shifting,” Jane Craven, director of sales for Sennheiser UK Telecoms tells Channel Pro.

“There will be pure transaction resellers who won’t want to sign up to it, but those aren’t necessarily the right sort of people to be selling the Sennheiser brand,” she adds.

“It’s all about the end user having the best possible experience, and that’s not just receiving a box with a headset in it. Resellers that want to invest in sales staff, a high quality website, a good aftercare service for their customers – they’re the people we want promoting our products.”

While Craven admits the vendor can’t stop any reseller from selling its products, eventually distribution will only be allowed to sell Sennhesier to its accredited resellers.

Analysts at Frost and Sullivan forecast total revenue for the enterprise headset market at around $2.2bn by 2019 – driven by demand for Unified Communications (UC) solutions. An estimated 50 to 70 percent of companies that buy a full UC solution equip it with headsets, says Sennhei­ser.

The vendor has just put the final piece in place in its portfolio with the addition of a new multifunctional wireless, Bluetooth presence-based headset.

Craven says the new headset is the final crucial piece in the vendor’s UC portfolio: “One of the reasons Sennheiser might not have been as successful in years previously is that we’ve never really had a focus on telecoms, and also we never had the full portfolio. Now we’ve got that,” she says.

Sennheiser has also established strategic partnerships with major UC players such as Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Aastra Telecom, Alcatel-Lucent, Polycom, and Avaya, which he says will expand globally to deliver more sales opportunities.

Sennheiser’s UK distributors are Nimans, Corptel UK, Go2, Westcoast and it‘s most recent signing, Triade.

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.