Peter : On Rad's Radar?
Peter
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

commissions

VoIP Via Affiliate

February 2, 2010

RingCentral has been selling their services via the affiliate marketing route for some time. LD.net built a big book of business through affiliate marketing. Now FreedomVoice has launched their affiliate network.

"The program offers affiliates the opportunity to sell three popular FreedomVOICE products: FreedomVOICE Toll Free Number Service (virtual phone system solution), FaxFreedom (an intuitive Internet faxing service), and AdTrakker (a real estate call capture system)."

Commission Junction is one of the portals for affiliate marketing.

Why Should an Agent Rep Your Stuff?

December 13, 2009

Many telecom execs think that agents are a free sales staff. I get calls all the time from people that want me to rep their services. I'm certain other agents do as well -- and master agents more than anyone.

Here are 5 things to think about before approach an Agent:
  1. What is your Value Proposition? As an unknown brand, why would an agent sell your stuff instead of a branded quantity like Level3, XO, Packet8, New Edge, etc.?
  2. Do you have the marketing available to support an agent?



Will You Be Extinct?

December 9, 2009

Yesterday I had lunch with XO's Tom Gorey and Peter Davis. We spoke about the fast changes taking place in the channel space. Tom used to work for Ingram Micro, so he understands the VAR space as well. 

The big issue for both VAR's and Agents is that the price pressure on hardware and telecom services is shrinking margins and commissions fast. We all remember when Internet T1's were $1500.

Where Has the Integrity Gone?

November 5, 2009

I received an email yesterday through my website contact form. From Dennis  asking me if I was a direct agent for Paetec. (I'm not; I sub through Microcorp). I reply that I am a sub-agent and ask why.

Telecom Takeover Tuesday

November 4, 2009

Yesterday was a big day for The Channel. Two separate acquisitions occurred with both takeover companies expressing interest in the Channel of the company being bought.

First, we have GTT buying WBS Connect. WBSC is just a reseller of Transit and Transport with about $28M in revenue. It was bought for about $1.8M in cash and notes plus $600K in stock.

Microcorp Announces Commission Insurance

October 30, 2009

Atlanta based Telecom Master Agency announced at their Annual One-on-One event that they would be providing Commission Insurance. The details are coming (Brad Miehl said in November), but it looks like Evergreen may get a new look. Is this more Master Agency 2.0 innovation? Looking out for the agent more than ever.

VoIP Providers in the Channel

October 14, 2009

Bandwidth.com just disbanded their agent channel. Other VoIP providers have done that as well.  And I hear some complaints about the cable company indirect channel programs.

The problem isn't the Agent Channel. The problem is the Channel Program design. 

You have to design a program that will work, folks.  You have to train your agents on the benefits, how it works, how it will be implemented, and how to sell it. You have to have a USP or marketing message that the salesperson can grasp and re-use. 

You can blame the agents, but most times companies don't spell out who the target prospect is and how that prospect will benefit.





Contract Law and Bad Advertising

September 4, 2009

Being a telecom agent usually means that you will have commission challenges with your vendors (the carriers). 

I have been on the receiving end of a big dent in my pay a couple of times. (Netting sucks). But it is the nature of the beast.

I would like to point out that time and again when agents bring their commission issues to me (because I am a blogger and a founding member of the TCA, a non-profit association for the betterment of the  agent channel), the dispute is a Contract dispute. Your agent agreement is a contract.



Could They Make It Any More Difficult

August 23, 2009

A client who ordered a 2xT1 MIS in March wants a stand alone Internet T1 at the same location to segment some traffic. Trying to pull a simple contract for this customer is a bear. Why?

DUNS number given to me by the carrier in March. Not found.

Times They are Re-Channeling

March 16, 2009

At the Channel Partners Expo, on individual calls with agents, and on a conference call with a bunch of agents today, I noticed something big: the Channel is shifting.

I have known for a while that VAR's would replace the traditional telecom dialing-for-dollars, save-you-10% agents. It's coming because sales cycles are longer; the product set is very different; and it's all about IP and Apps. (Net-head versus Bell-head).

There's another shift happening: agents are banding together every way they can to get leverage against the carriers, who hold too much power. It started bubbling  in 2007 with my post called What's a Partner Worth?



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