One thing you may have to answer as an Agent is "Why should someone buy from you?" They could call the carrier directly. Here are the top 5 reasons a business customer should work with an Agent.
Number 1: Saves time! Instead of calling around to collect quotes, the agent can do that more efficiently.
Number 2: Meeting Your Needs. The Independent Agent will be able to present a telecom solution more aligned with your needs. The Agent is not beholden to any one product or carrier.
Number 3: Translation. Telecom Agents can help make sense of your bill and the quotes from other carriers in order for the prospect to make an apples for apples comparison.
Number 4: Insider Knowledge: The Agent is familiar with the provisioning process and the carriers to provide the prospect proper expectations.
Number 5: Customer Advocate. The Agent has the customer's best interest at heart. Directs tend to come and go, but the Agent will be there for the Customer in the long term - and will always be looking for ways to add Value to the Customer. This is the main answer for me: Continuity. I've been doing this for 11 years and in that time I can barely keep track of the employee rotation going on at any carrier at any given time.
Number 5.5: Usually the same pricing and without cost to the customer as the carrier pays the Agent for sales. There are two caveats here. One is that I have seen cases where directs got better pricing (by working the system better than me). Two, there are times I will charge to procure bids for customers, especially if I don't ahve a relationship with the carrier.
Another great reason to get your TCA CTP: If you have a certification, you look more like an expert and you have a solid foundation of knowledge.