As I write, it’s 11:30 p.m. — nearly the end of a very busy day at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo. The early exit polls give the show a resounding thumbs up.
The attendance is up as Sarah noted — pre-show trends are holding up (but we’ll let Sarah update us on those exciting results). What I am most excited about was the attendance at the education sessions was up. Delegates were interested in learning more about opportunities in wireless and VoIP — the day’s two main tracks. Some of the sessions had standing-room only!
I spent the afternoon moderating the new Wireless Dealer track. What an education that was. Partners who attended this track really hit the jackpot with tips for how to get in on this $175 BILLION industry. At a minimum, they developed a laundry list of the things they didn’t know they didn’t know.
We could have spent a whole day reviewing Wireless Dealer compensation opportunities. If you are under the impression there are just upfront activation commissions, you would be mistaken. In the “Where’s the Money in Wireless?” session, Mitch McCoy of master agency American Wireless put up a great hierarchical diagram of the three primary revenue categories — traditional activations/accessories, management (order/device/app), and consultation/integration — available to a dealer. Under each was a litany of specific things that can deliver revenue.
Wireline and wireless master agent Vince Bradley of WTG told attendees “you cannot afford NOT to at least know about if not sell wireless.” The reason he said is that many carrier reps are now leading with the wireless play and bringing landline services along.
This may well be the case, John Horn of T-Mobile showed a bar chart indicating Verizon is very close to surpassing wireline revenue with wireless. Other carriers — AT&T, BellSouth and Sprint — also are nearing the breakevent point.
While many dealers are sorting out whether to go direct or to go-between with a master agent, there are opportunities to assist customers with wireless management without ever selling airtime or devices. There are several consulting opportunities around mobile governance and expense/order/device management that are commissionable without a corresponding network services sale. Check out what I mean in this month’s premiere issue of Wireless+. If you couldn’t make the show or would like a great review of topics touched in the sessions, this is a great resource. We will be bringing you another issue next month, courtesy of Sprint. Some of the cool topics we will be covering for B2B sales is signal boosters, desktop docking stations and multimode phones.
Meanwhile, let me know what you think of our first effort and any ideas you think we should cover in upcoming issues!