O2 today unveils its Partner Academy, a unique training facility that will host a newly extended sales development programme for O2’s key channel partners.

The O2 Partner Academy, which is based in Northampton, marks a promising development for O2’s Centre of Excellence partners allowing O2 to deliver extensive skills training to its partners’ sales teams, delivering product, sales and management training in the same venue.

O2 is working with leading sales development consultancy Space2 to deliver a full range of training courses addressing all aspects of the sales process ‘ from sales opportunity generation and qualification to account development. The programme has evolved to include a wider range of sales behaviours for all its key partners following a successful pilot solution selling training for sales consultants and account managers.

David Plumb, Head of SME Sales, explains: ‘We want to give our key partners the edge in winning and retaining business in this difficult economic climate. Building on the hugely successful internal O2 Sales Academy, the O2 Partner Academy extends our expertise to our partners. We hope that being involved in the Academy will help our partners win profitable new business and ensure they are strong leaders in the market place.’

‘The training we offer partners has been a key ingredient of O2’s recent success in penetrating the SME market. We have already had some very positive feedback from our partners around the Partner Academy initiative. We are confident that we will continue to attract the best partners in the business through our sustained commitment to improving our partners’ training programmes and facilities,’ continues Plumb.

In 2008, O2 SME channel partners delivered 25 percent year on year growth in connections whilst reducing churn to single digits for the first time. Jason Hall, Sales Director at Intercity Mobile Communications comments: ‘The best thing about the O2 Sales training has been the lasting and measurable impact it has had on our sales teams. Only months after undertaking the O2 Sales Opportunity Generation training my team has already achieved a record number of new sales appointments, three times the level it was achieving prior to the training.’

Martin Flick, Sales Director, Azzurri Communications agrees: ‘Azzurri assessed a number of leading training firms last year in search of a development partner for our sales teams. O2 introduced us to their sales development programme and we could immediately see why it was right for us. O2’s Channel Business Partners have worked closely alongside our sales team to develop the best possible solutions to meet our requirements, and the response from participants has been excellent.’

Simon Gardner, Head of Partner Training, O2 was involved in establishing the facility where the O2 Partner Academy will be hosted. He says: ‘We’re delighted to be able to support the development and delivery of world-class training skills to our partners in a specially designed venue. The Partner Academy makes a strong statement about our ongoing commitment, not only to our partners but to building a community and delivering excellence across the board.’

Centre of Excellence partners benefit from a range of these services as part of their commitment to O2, while other partners can find out more about the O2 Partner Academy from their Channel Business Manager.

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