PHONE+ Group Editor Khali Henderson will announce the first graduates of the new Converged Solutions Provider Certification Program during her opening remarks at 1 p.m.
Ben Henkels, CEO for managed service provider Henkels Holdings, and Christy Green, outside sales representative for master agency Cory Communications Inc., are the first students to receive passing scores on tests of the six-module online course, which was rolled out last fall.
Henkels and Green are now CSP Certified Professionals and have mastered a minimum skill level in sales, converged technology and telemanagement necessary to serve their customers and represent their companies. Two additional certification levels Specialist and Expert are planned.
My drive is to get to the Expert level, says Henkels, but its important for the industry to set a baseline standard.
Henkels, who has 10 years experience in telecom as a direct sales rep, broker and managed services provider, recommends the training program to others, especially salespeople, as a means for differentiation in a crowded marketplace.
Its a good idea to substantiate your knowledge or skill set, he said, noting that a proven background in converged technologies, in particular, is valuable to potential clients who often have been disappointed by the performance of past communications providers.
Green, who has worked for Cory Communications in inside sales and customer service for more than two years, recently was promoted to her new outside sales position. She took the CSP Certification course as a refresher on selling techniques like cold calling.
I wanted to do it to get back into sales, she said, explaining that she had started her career in the telecom business four years ago as an account executive for Allegiance Telecom.
Green said she recommends the training program, particularly to those newer to telecom or those that are lacking in any of the focus areas. While she became quite familiar with carrier invoicing during her last post at Cory, Green said she and most direct sales executives arent trained to understand carrier billing.
Green and Henkels will receive certificates and authorization to use the CSP Certified logo on their business cards. Their names also will be featured on the CSP Certification Graduation page online at www.cspcertified.com. For attendees who would like to see their names on the graduate list, a full, unabridged module from the new
CSP Certification Program will be a featured seminar today during the Spring 2006 Channel Partners Conference & Expo. The session will be open to all full-package attendees at no additional fee. Thats a $149 value free, explains Henderson.
PHONE+ and its partner portal CSP Network are administrators of the program along with training companies IPx Connect and Telecom Solutions Center. The class, Seven Proven Methods of Prospecting, is designed to help indirect sales partners ensure a minimum of 60 percent to 70 percent close ratio. Among the topics covered are how to:
form alliances for success
make strategic partnerships work
obtain referrals without asking
get to the right person when cold calling
network using proven techniques
work with consultants that are on your team
We believe attendees who take this 90-minute class will be convinced of the value of the CSP Certification Program and will be eager to sign up to complete the remaining five training modules and testing, says Henderson.
For more information about CSP Certification, attendees can sit in on todays session, visit Booth 217 during the show, or check out the Web site at www.cspcertified.com.