Strategy & Best Practices

Exploring Operational Updates, Plus Insights from President’s Club Winners

By Ideas @ AppDirect / April 2, 2024

Operational Updates Blog

In our recent State of the Union webinar, our leadership team including Renée Bergeron, our Chief Operating Officer (COO), unveiled exciting operational updates. She also highlighted how new innovations will continue to drive your success as an advisor. The goal is to ultimately reduce the friction from selling, allowing advisors to sell more, sell better, and secure a bigger share of your customers’ IT budget.

In addition, Joel St. Germain, Founder and CEO of Global Communications Group, and Dan Bowers, Manager of Cloud Solutions at CMS Communications, were recognized as President’s Club 2023 achievers. They share insights, strategies, and best practices for optimizing customer service and capturing a larger share of customers' IT spending.

Let's dive in!

Embracing innovation

Renée kicked off the session by reaffirming our commitment to providing not just cutting-edge software, but also unparalleled support through our expert team.

Jump to 6:00 in the webinar to listen in to Renée’s update

“Yes, we are a software company, and yes, we continue to invest to bring you innovative capabilities, and that includes our catalog and new features. However, we will not push you down a self-service path. But if you choose to do so, the features will be there.” 
Renée Bergeron AppDirect COO

She also highlighted the pivotal features rolled out in 2023 and offered a preview of what's in store for this year.

Start the video at 6:00 to listen in to Renée’s 2023 recap

  • Customized logo experience—Responding to feedback, advisors now have the ability to showcase their brand prominently within the digital procurement management platform available to end customers. This includes displaying a personalized company name and logo throughout the platform to present a seamless, branded experience to clients

  • An enhanced navigation experience—Navigating the AppDirect platform is now more intuitive than ever with the revamped homepage. From streamlined access to key applications to personalized contact information for your success managers, every aspect was designed to optimize your workflow

  • Advisor notifications—Advisors now receive real-time notifications for every stage of your customer's journey. From quote approvals to order fulfillment, advisors stay informed every step of the way, ensuring seamless customer interactions

  • AppDirect AI Concierge—Leveraging the power of artificial intelligence, we introduced a revolutionary AI bot to assist you in finding the perfect solutions for your clients. Examples include the ability to recommend backup solutions after certain criteria are shared such as company size, industry, or tech stack requirements.

  • Proactive Commission Reports—Building upon capabilities inherited from TBI, we enhanced our commission reporting to provide deeper insights and proactive alerts. From tracking new commission gains to identifying potential discrepancies, empower yourself with comprehensive commission analytics. Current advisors can log into their AppDirect Marketplace account to view Proactive Commission Reports

  • Customer Marketing Toolkit—Empowering you with marketing materials tailored to your needs, our customer marketing toolkit equips you with everything from pitch decks to sales guides. Advisors can also customize these resources to reflect your brand identity and drive customer engagement

Jump to 13:15 to learn more about the Proactive Commission Reports & Customer Marketing Toolkit

> If you’re a current advisor, get instant access from the Customer Marketing Toolkit tile from your My Apps page. Or, sign up now to get started.

Looking ahead: How 2024 developments will drive your success

These updates underscore how the AppDirect ecosystem continues to drive advisor growth. Here’s a glimpse into the exciting developments on the horizon.

Jump to 17:05 to hear about the 2024 roadmap

  1. Driving operational efficiencies—Streamlining provider sales processes and enhancing communication channels are top priorities for the coming year. Advisors can expect revamped interfaces and enhanced features aimed at optimizing operational workflows

  2. Gain insights with customizable dashboards—Gain deeper insights into your business with customizable dashboards that span various domains, from connectivity to cloud solutions. With new dashboards advisors are empowered with actionable data to drive informed decision-making

  3. Grow with a simplified cloud experience—AppDirect is simplifying the cloud experience for both you and your customers. From streamlined quoting processes to an expanded catalog, expect seamless interactions and enhanced convenience

  4. Explore new opportunities with the AI Marketplace—The launch of the AppDirect AI marketplace will unlock new opportunities for advisors and customers. With AI applications catering to sales, quoting, and commission queries, you can anticipate unparalleled assistance at your fingertips. Read more about our AI Marketplace in our recent blog

Champions Corner—Insights from multi-year achiever Joel St. Germain

As a multi-year President’s Club winner, Joel St. Germain of Global Communications Group (GCG) attributes his continued success primarily to the people who drive GCG’s operations. It is their skill, determination, and exceptional relationships with advisors that have enabled GCG to have President's Club winners consistently.

Jump to 21:10 to hear from 2023 President’s Club winners

Focus on the full tech stack, new logos & enterprise accounts

Joel noted that focusing on enterprise-level accounts paired with goal-setting has been key to GCG’s steady growth.

“...We have big accounts, not a lot of advisors, but they've been exceptional as far as being able to develop relationships and developing the type of accounts that move the needle from a revenue, profit, and a sales perspective…” —Joel St. Germain of Global Communications Group (GCG)

His team’s recipe for success is having a multi-category focus and setting sights on adding new logos to its client list. The team prioritizes networking and the strategic implementation of referral programs.

“We focus across the full tech stack, and in going deep and wide within these accounts. That along with targeting new logos. And, you know, we typically each year will set goals for what we want to achieve from a new logo perspective."

You’re in the ‘relationship business’

He emphasizes the importance of learning customer pain points and understanding their larger technology ecosystem.

“It’s really about a variety of technologies. I've always been a proponent of, let's just get our foot in the door and develop the relationship. I've always preached that we're in the relationship business. And being able to go deep and wide and be truly becoming that trusted advisor and owning the relationship.”

> Learn how to qualify for President's Club 2024

Hear from first-time winner Dan Bowers

Dan Bowers, Manager of Cloud Solutions at CMS Communications, is a first-time President’s Club winner who emphasizes a strategic approach to building partnerships and customer trust. Dan revealed how gaining knowledge on different product categories through continuous training, along with forging deep relationships with customers built on transparency and honesty, has been instrumental in getting his foot in the door.

Closing a major UCaaS and Microsoft deal

Reflecting on his team's achievements, Dan highlights pivotal moments that propelled his team forward in 2023.

“...We closed an enterprise level account, a school district, which was a UCaaS deal. We've had a long term relationship with them…and, then the second one was actually utilizing the AppDirect Microsoft team.”

These successes underscore the importance of leveraging expert support and adopting a multi-category approach. Dan emphasizes the significance of training opportunities within AppDirect, particularly in expanding his knowledge of selling Microsoft products. This deliberate approach not only opens new verticals but also unlocks additional revenue streams for CMS Communications.

Jump to 36:12 in the webinar to hear from Chris

AppDirect VP of Sales, Christopher Shubert, echoed Dan and the CMS Communications team, recognizing their winning philosophy on training and development.

“It’s about building trust between your customers, and what we can do for them. And then ultimately, you always have to be increasing your knowledge. This industry is changing constantly.”

Dan plans to leverage more training opportunities available through the AppDirect Training Center and in-person events to become an even better trusted advisor for his customers.

Gear up for what’s to come!

As we look ahead to 2024, we are excited about the upcoming innovative updates to our platform and the expanding opportunities for advisors and your customers.

Looking for more? We’re also excited to announce Thrive 2024 registration is now open! Register for Thrive and join us in Chicago from September 17-20, 2024. The event is an exclusive opportunity to connect with channel and industry leaders, explore crucial trends, and learn strategies to help you and your clients thrive. Don't miss out—register now to elevate your expertise and accelerate growth.

For more, watch the full February State of the Union webinar to hear on market trends and winning strategies to accelerate your success. Also register for the series.