Dave Rusin, CEO at AFS, has some advice on his blog for agents (or on xchange). I agree with this one point: "If I were an agent of any sort, I would focus on carriers that have competitive sustainability." However, when Mr. Enterprise CTO wants a quote from CLEC ABC, then as an agent we get one. That's how an agent stays in the picture.
Dave, you have never been an agent - and I would suggest that you haven't been an outside salesperson in the current climate. DSL has created pricing confusion in the marketplace which has only been mitigated by falling IP prices from the likes of Cogent. This statement baffles me: "I have yet to have an agent show us a model which beats a direct sales force." Really?
I have seen agents sell successfully for fixed wireless companies and fiber companies successfully. Certainly better than most sales teams I have seen. When I compete against direct salespeople, who drops the price first? Not me. I need the price to be higher so I get paid more!
"My opinion is that the sales agent of the future is not an agent but a partner." Yeah, agents tried that but our "Partners" screwed us over. That's why there isn't any loyalty. Oh, and it was the guys the own the fiber that did the screwing because of their I OWN Everything Mentality.
But if you want help developing a sales channel, I would be happy to help develop one for you as a Consultant.