Agents Resting on Their Laurels




By Peter Radizeski, President of RAD-INFO

In Consulting Magazine this month, Deloitte announced 18 percent in year-over-year growth and double-digit growth rates for the past four or five years. Deloitte notes that it probably can’t sustain that rate, but the secret was in staying ahead of the curve in what its customers need. Right now, performance improvement is where the emphasis has been, but health care technology is a huge opportunity right now. Deloitte does not “rest on its laurels.”

I know, you are wondering what this has to do with the indirect sales channel, right?

Well, many agents are not seeing double-digit growth. And there are enough agents resting on their laurels. The channel is changing. It is becoming more like consulting than about sales. TEM is more like consulting than sales, so is asset management.

As more VARs enter the channel, the traditional “telco agent” will be squeezed out by someone selling a solution, instead of 10 percent savings.

The technology has far surpassed what the average person can understand/use/keep up with. I’m in technology and yet I get lost in all the new trends, mashups, apps, etc. Everything is an application right now: VoIP, backup, SAAS, telepresence, UC, even mobility. It isn’t about the features of any of it. It’s about performance improvement, the business productivity gain, the efficiency.

Having just come out of a project for a Fortune 500 company, these companies are looking for answers. In an MPLS migration, they want to know how it will benefit DR/BC; how will it be rolled out, managed and installed; how much will it cost, the pricing delta, ROI and TCO.

Do all that and you can get paid big bucks.

In last month’s PHONE+, GCN was highlighted for Capitalizing on Colo. When a company is migrating to a new data center, there is a bunch of details to manage, including insurance and indemnity. That’s consulting on a larger scale. But even your transactional sales for small business VoIP have details that need to be addressed and managed including a LAN test, training and compatibility (the call park problem).

This isn’t much different than coordinating with the telco and the PBX vendor or the telco and the router guy, but it is getting to the point where you want to be bringing all of this to the table with you as a package.

Strategic partnering is critical, so that you become a resource as opposed to a Sales guy.

Peter Radizeski is president of RAD-INFO. He is a member of the PHONE+/Channel Partners Conference & Expo Advisory Board.


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