In May, Channel Partners editorial intern Lindsay Welnick interviewed five new agents about their experiences getting into the indirect sales channel for carrier services. Find out where they came from, where they're going and how their businesses are ramping up.
Founder and CEO
Start Date: Established company became an agency in January 2012
Staff: Domestically, 18; internationally, dozens of analysts and developers
Compensation model: I'm retained and then, when I get paid by the vendor, I pay it back to the client."
Résumé: Started in telecom in 1996 at Exodus Communications, founded RampRate in 2000
Target customers: Companies with IT spend of at least 3 percent of their top-line revenue, usually exceeding 10 percent
Key suppliers: "Everyone. There is not a telecom or colocation we do not work with."
Insights: Go deep and narrow: "[If] you focus on a vertical segment and their evolving business needs, you can do more [business] with one client than you can do with 50."
Start Date: November 2011
Staff: Two — TelecoWorks founder Valerie Brauckman Bergess and Nader
Compensation model: Recurring and up-front commissions
Résumé: Entered telecom industry in 1989, selling long-distance for Sprint; later served as director of sales and operations. In 2002, was working at RCN when tech bubble burst. Moved into the M&A industry but returned to telecom in 2007. Worked for Verizon for 2.5 years and Comcast for 2.5 years before becoming a subagent.
Target customers: SMBs such as continuing care and retirement communities
Key suppliers: Windstream, Telarus
Services offered: Mobility, mobility management, data, hosted VoIP, metro Ethernet
Insights: "The autonomy is absolutely there. One thing about being an agent is it's fun — you work on what you want to work on and you're always working on something different."