When you’re in the market for business phone or internet service you can work through a telecom consultant or with a sales rep employed by a phone or cable company. Many people believe there’s less risk working with a direct sales rep or that they would pay more if they went through a telecom consultant, but that shouldn’t be the case.
This is the third addition of a multi part series comparing direct reps to telecom consultants or agents.
Telecom consultants earn a residual income, paid out over time, so they have a vested interest in their clients’ long-term satisfaction with the products or services they sold to them. A telecom consultant only receives compensation if the service remains with the business and they pay their bill, so they want to make sure they utilize the correct telecom solutions.
A direct sales rep is paid a one-time commission for making a sale and then is expected to move on to the next prospect. Your sales rep is probably your only contact to a carrier when you first start out with that company. You work directly with that individual throughout the entire sales process, only to be left in the hands of faceless provisioning and customer service people after you sign. Don’t expect much contact from your sales rep after the sale, because he or she is paid to do other things and very few providers offer compensation for renewals. This isn’t a big deal if you’re ordering something basic like business phone lines and DSL, but if you’re implementing a MPLS network or converting to SIP trunks, you want your sales consultant working with your telecom and I.T. vendors.
Working through an agency allows you to keep your vendors involved, establish and maintain a long-term relationship with your telecom consultant and frees up your time for other job responsibilities.
A telecom consultant or agent does not add to the cost of your business phone or internet service. A carrier wouldn’t be able to maintain an agent channel if the agents didn’t have access to the same pricing that their direct sales channel has access to. There is less cost involved with operating an agent channel, so its expense does not add to the cost of the carrier’s services. Agents operate in the most competitive environment in the telecom industry. When an agent requests pricing, they do so from a number of different providers. The provider understands that and wants to provide its most competitive pricing.
In next weeks article I’ll discuss channel integration programs that allow agents and direct reps to partner together.
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