Earlier this year, we conducted a survey with our brokers, to find out what is important to them, their business, and their relationship with OnlineDIRECT, below is a summary of our findings:
Where are they?
Our Brokers are spread pretty evenly throughout the country, we have high density pockets in the South East (26%), the North East (21%) and the Midlands (21%), with the rest spread every evenly throughout Wales, the South West, and Scotland.
Who are they?
The majority of our Brokers are aged between 35 and 64 (82% of respondents fall into this bracket). And 93% of everyone surveyed, had less than 25 employees. We saw a fairly equal split between Male and female respondents. Which bucks the trend in a usually male dominated industry.
What are they selling?
Unsurprisingly, 100% of Brokers are selling energy, but impressively (given the relatively recent deregulation in England, and only small numbers of brokers having sold in Scotland prior to 2017), 69% of Brokers are also selling Water. 46% of Brokers also sell Telecoms and just 3% of Brokers are selling Energy linked products like Solar PV and thermodynamics.
What is most important to them?
Back office Support and Customer Service were the stand out winners here (31%), with Commission, and Finding New Business in 2nd and 3rd place (25% and 20% respectively). Conversely, Finding New Business was the top answer to ‘What Keeps you awake at night?’ with 60% of Brokers choosing that option.
Are they happy with their own Business performance?
On a scale of 1 – 10, we asked Brokers how happy they were, and the average score was 5.97 – showing there is a lot of room for improvement. 53% of our Brokers also stated the would benefit from more training.
So – what are OnlineDIRECT doing to help?
Over the last 9 months, we’ve done a lot of work on refocusing the business, to better aid our Brokers. As the only non-direct selling energy aggregator in the UK, we have a duty to ensure our Brokers get what they need from us, to ensure they build long term and successful businesses.
We’ve split the Broker portfolio into two regional teams, to better suit the needs of Brokers in different parts of the country. Each regional team is headed by an Area Manager (familiar names to most of you; Sam Hicks and Scott Barber), and their teams are a collective of Key Account Managers, and Account Managers, whose sole focus is to ensure you get the pricing and solutions you want for Customers, when you want them. The Broker sales Teams will work with you on rejections, offer you training, visit you, and ensure you’ve more time to find the new business you need. Our Broker sales teams, work for you, and are an extension of your Business.
We’ve completely reshaped our Back Office, and split our Customer Service Teams into three areas, Frontline – the Team dealing with queries and picking up the phone to you; we’ve employed some experienced and seasoned professionals to ensure our Brokers get what they need from us with minimal fuss. Secondline – Our Supplier experts; they chase the Suppliers for you, batch your contracts, get your prices, and are passionate about speed and accuracy. Specialist – They ensure your SME pricing is loaded quickly, and accurately, and you’re communicated to through energyengine® whenever there is a change. They fight objections, (with an average resolve rate of less that 4 days), and they pick up any unique or out of the ordinary query.
Not many of our Brokers know we offer training through OnlineDIRECT, we have a range of solutions to fit most Brokers; ‘New to energy’, ‘Best practice’ and ‘Improving live rates’, as well as tailored packages to suit enhanced solutions. Our Account Managers also offer energyengine® training, either remotely, or from our office in Northampton. And soon, we will be launching new modules and mediums, to ensure we’re catering for every business type.