Evolve IP LLC, a communications as a service provider, announced Wednesday the relaunch of its channel program wherein it will pair its top direct sales reps with its agents, which are telecom dealers/interconnects, in an effort to improve the conversion of prospects to its cloud-based services.
Tim Allen, chief sales officer for Evolve IP, said the company tested the concept in 2010 with two of its top salespeople and 10 dealers. Now it wants to roll it out to a broader group. The company has pledged 50 percent of its top sales reps time to the effort. And, to avoid channel conflict, it is enabling those direct sales reps to retire their quotas with either direct or indirect revenue.
The shift in focus toward the indirect channel makes sense. Allen explained that when Evolve IPs direct sales reps are able to engage in a financial discussion with prospects about the benefits of a cloud solution, their success rate is high. When they lose, its not usually to another service provider or premises vendor but to the status quo. The reasons quickly became clear: One, the dealer/interconnects were the gatekeepers. And, two, they had not been educated on the value proposition of the cloud solution to their customer and to their own business.
They really want to move to the cloud. Economically its better for them long-term,” he said, but the transition from a front-loaded to a residual compensation model is a difficult one. They have to bridge the gap.”
As a result, Allen said Evolve IP has changed its compensation package. It calculates the total contract value and offers a larger monthly commission for the first six to 12 months and a smaller one for the remainder of the term. Renewals reflect a constant monthly residual. We take the risk and give more upfront so the revenue looks more like their old model,” he said.
In addition, Evolve IP gives its agents access to its Evolve IQ knowledge center and its total cost of ownership tool. In the Osmosis partner portal, based on Salesforce.com, agents can build their own proposals and brand more than 150 pieces of marketing collateral.
Evolve IP presently has about 100 agents. From its existing base and new recruits, it is looking for a particular profile for its new program partners with more than 100 customer averaging 25 seats. Master agents serving interconnects also are part of the strategy, Allen said.