PHONE+ and its T@G Partner Portal are rolling out the telecom industrys first master agent certification program in order to bring clarity to the definition of this unique player in the distribution channel.
The definition of a master agent has been a moving target, says Marla Ellerman, group publisher of PHONE+. Everyone has opinions but few can agree on what characteristics are common to the modern master agent.
She explains that PHONE+ has sought to formalize this increasingly important dealer category and to recognize those who meet its specifications for the benefit of subagents and suppliers seeking partnerships with such entities.
The criteria for the certification and its accompanying metrics are the result of consultation with industry participants both suppliers and agents.
Those companies that qualify for the T@G Master Agency designation will be regarded as the industrys premier master agencies, Ellerman says.
A T@G Certified Master Agency will have verified experience and stability, multitier organization, direct contracts with multiple suppliers, back-office technology (including both electronic interfaces to carriers and Web accessibility for agents), back-office staff in nonsales operational support roles as well as training and marketing support for agents. A T@G Premier Master Agency meets these requirements and maintains a base greater than $1 million per month.
Master agencies seeking T@G Master Agency status must submit requested documentation for each criterion in order to be certified. Once documentation is verified, applicants will receive a certificate, supporting certification information as well as camera-ready logos for use in their marketing materials.
Program details and application forms are available here.