OK, so when you decide to do a Top 10 list you are suppose to start with number 10. This, of course, generates an increased level of interest and ends the count with a bang. I blew that since I started with No. 1. Lesson learned as I am going to skip to 7 through 10 and provide the middle group on Friday. That should provide for an increase in interest as well as a touch of confusion. Hey! Letterman I am not!
The first three criteria covered in Mondays blog for Internet service provider selection were:
The final four are:
7. Tools Service providers should provide tools that can support prospecting, proposal generation, management of client projects or installs and track commissions. Using a combination of portals, file downloads and templates, the VAR should have access to all of the marketing collateral (print, Web, and video) to develop engaging presentations and proposal that move an opportunity to closure.
8. Support While it is common to provide support to channel members through assigned channel managers, that should be considered the ante. Full support to the channel includes engineering support when needed and an ongoing commitment by the management team to the channel. Deference should be given to the channel when resolving channel conflict between the direct and indirect channels with fairness employed when multiple indirect channel members pursue the same prospect.
9. Customer Experience Customer support is the lynchpin to success when any questions regarding a FOC, activation or billing date is communicated. Contacting customer care is not always about fixing something; sometimes they are the source of pertinent information regarding the provisioning of an order. Post the sale, customer care does need to be responsive to any and all issues that arise. Customer service staff need to be properly trained and backed up by engineering resources to quickly answer questions to avoid the transfer” syndrome that leads to frustration for the channel member as well as the customer.
10. Certification Internal or external training that supports the channel members addition of new employees or the need to receive training is very important. For some months, Broadvox discussed developing a certification program and ultimately chose to partner with The SIP School to perform training creating Broadvox Certified Agents. Your partnered ITSP should also want to see you improve in understanding, implementing and supporting IP Telephony. When we do this better, we accelerate the migration from TDM to IP.
Friday we will cover 4 through 6, or should it be 6 thru 4? I am still trying to get a handle on this Letterman Top Ten thing.
David Byrd is vice president of marketing and sales for
and is responsible for marketing and channel sales programs to SMBs, enterprises and carriers as well as defining the product offering. Prior to joining Broadvox, David was the vice president of Channels and Alliances for Eftia and Telcordia. As director of eBusiness Development with i2 Technologies, he developed major partnerships with many of the leaders in Internet eCommerce and supply chain management. As CEO of Planet Hollywood Online he was a pioneer in using early Internet technologies to build a branded entertainment and eCommerce website company partnered with Planet Hollywood. Having over 20 years of telecom sales and marketing experience, he has held executive positions with Hewlett-Packard, Sprint and Ericsson.