Ecosystem Leaders

Episode 162

December 27, 2022

#162 Manoj Bhatia: Partnerships in the Conversational Engagement Era

Manoj Bhatia, Vice President of Channel Sales at Acqueon, joins Chip Rodgers on this Ecosystem Aces episode. Chip ...

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Joining Chip Rodgers in this episode of Ecosystem Aces is Manoj Bhatia, Vice President of Channel Sales at Acqueon.

Chip and Manoj discussed partnerships in the era of conversational engagement, elaborating on the following topics:

  • Creating Joint Solutions for Customers
  • Inbound versus Outbound Outreach
  • Co-sell Partnerships
  • Enabling Sellers
  • Partner Relationships
  • Best Practices in Customer Engagement Ecosystems

Conversational Engagement Era

Acqueon is a customer engagement data platform. Manoj shared that Acqueon is seeing significant impact for its customers through conversational customer engagement.  Conversational engagement refers to connecting with customers via messaging channels. Because messaging conversations happen in near real-time between two people, they are more like “conversations” than communications through a channel like email.

Companies across the globe are already seeing the importance of proactive engagement with customers. Instead of just focusing on customer experience and satisfaction metrics, companies now want to capitalize on the value that customer engagement can bring.  Aside from boosting the engagement strategies of partners, Acqueon also helps companies use this engagement data for revenue generation, retention, compliance, and collection.

Creating Joint Solutions for Customers

Manoj said that the heart of conversational engagement is the ability to link data to desired outcomes. Acqueon has various customer data sources and all of the data is analyzed and processed through their engagement platform. In order to make decisions, companies and customers need identifiable data - and every company needs a platform to manage this process.

Inbound versus Outbound Outreach

With his experience at Cisco and Acqueon, Manoj learned that there are many different ways to communicate with customers effectively, and outbound communication is an incredible tool for proactive engagement.

With the advent of call center tools and technologies such as those like Webex, people have now realized that they can proactively reach out to customers, and this outbound approach is significantly faster than inbound to gather the data they need from their customers.

While Cisco provides a platform for connecting with customers, companies like Acqueon process engagement data and show tangible benefits for heightened customer engagement. Both companies are essential in making the most out of proactive connections with customers.

Enabling Sellers

For partnering with larger enterprise companies like Cisco, Acqueon faces various challenges regarding seller enablement. Ensuring that sellers throughout a vast geographic market have what they need to co-sell is the biggest challenge.

Despite this, Manoj is focused on ensuring that Acqueon's story is understood within a partner's community.  And that all of the sellers have the tools that they need to share a compelling story and drive home the value that the solution brings to their customers.

After all, everything still boils down to improving customer experience.  Getting customers' attention isn't hard; the tricky part is what comes after. How do you use this attention to go about selling? This is where Acqueon comes in.  They bring the data to deliver concrete business insights about customers.

Partner Relationships

When partnering with larger companies, Manoj said that Acqueon’s competitive edge lies with the trust of their partners.  Trust is critical.

Furthermore, Acqueon's credibility in the field plays a huge role in their growth. After all, the company has been in the business even prior to certain technologies, such as customer AI platforms. This level of experience brings historical knowledge and expertise that drives trust.  That hard-earned trust has Acqueon hyper-focused on working to develop more solutions to improve customer experience and aid call center agents' lives.

Best Practices Customer Engagement Ecosystems

Manoj had some advice for other ecosystem and tech leaders: be very tactical about your moves. Instead of scattering bits and pieces of your technology everywhere, you should be surgical on your niche and stay focused.

Manoj also shared the importance of continuously elevating your intensity with partners and keeping track of the customers' side.  Raise the bar, and encourage your partners to continue to do the same.

"If you want to lead hyper-growth, you have to think of it in a slightly different way to see that amplification that you want," Manoj said.

Wrapping Up

Whether it's working on a deal with a billion-dollar company or working with your multiple co-sell vendors, Manoj emphasized that partnerships are all about building trust.

Build the trust, map out complementary capabilities between your company and your partners, and be strategically tactical in what the work that needs to be done.

Follow Manoj Bhatia on Linkedin to stay updated on his work with Acqueon.

Links & Resources

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