For Agents that just don't want to go cloud, there are some alternatives. In my latest book, SELLECOM 2: Selling Cloud Services, there are a few products that Agents can sell that still fall inside the Replacement services umbrella. T1, broadband, cellular, voice are all replacement services for the transactional agent. That road is bumpy. It won't take much for you to make some extra revenue.
One way is SIP Trunking. Everyone offers it. Find someone you like and trust and sell that, although if you are reading this blog, you probably are selling SIP Trunking already.
Next up is Conferencing. Web, audio and video conferencing are coming of age. Most companies use some kind of conferencing, you just have to get in the habit of asking about it. It's as easy as asking them if they use Webex. Then go into your pitch about quoting them a cheaper rate. You will see a couple of conferencing companies with booths at CPExpo in Orlando in 3 weeks.
Another easy one is efax. If you are selling VoIP, what do your customers do about faxing? One answer is efax from you.
One more quick one for your customers is email. Hosted MS Exchange, Blackberry Enterprise Server, Office 365, Zimbra, Zoho and Google Apps are all answers to the email question. Almost all of them pay you a commission through a vendor. (Google doesn't.) Zoho just rolled out email marketing into their suite of services. J2 bought Landslide.com to create CRM with email marketing. J2 also sells efax. Faxbetter.com is owned by my pal and is always looking for partners to sell 50+ numbers. The efax and email space are a nice little sale that will make you money.
Now to hit two bigger options that may be considered SAAS, but them conferencing, efax and email are all cloud services too. Just most folks don't look at it that way.
Telecom Expense Management is finely coming into its own. Many master agencies - like PARTNERIQ by TBI, INSITE from Microcorp - are offering TEM. Your typical medium sized business problem has more than one contract for telecom. Multi-location businesses have a number of circuits at each location. TEM allows for the centralization and organization of billing and contract data. If you sell it, you end up being the outside telecom department for that business. Isn't that what you want? That's always been my goal.
The final thought for Agents is MDM, mobile device management. There are so many reasons to offer MDM. "One laptop is stolen every 53 seconds! 70 million smartphones are lost each year, with only 7 percent recovered."
"MDM is in essence software that secures, monitors, manages and supports mobile devices deployed across mobile operators, service providers and enterprises and its s main objective is to provide a high level of security on a mobile communications network, while supporting multiple devices and continuing to reduce cost and downtime," writes TMCnet. TDMobility and MetTel are just a couple of vendors that offer agents and VAR's the MDM service to sell.
TEM and MDM offer "a complete view of customer spend, billing; Inventory and trouble ticket management." They are a way for you to differentiate yourself from other agents and other sales teams, while increasing your own profitability per account.
We hear a lot of talk about cloud - and technically these are cloud too - but you have to add to the catalog of services you offer today to become a trusted advisor. TEM and MDM are just two ways to have a value based conversation with your customers.