Traditional value added resellers (VARs) have historically shied away from reselling telecom services. They have resisted the headaches and bad reputation that can come with failed installations, outages, and poor performance. This is understandable, but having the bandwidth conversation can be a powerful and profitable conversation and by avoiding this critical component you are missing out on a chance to control more of the customer’s wallet share.
Resellers who are asking these questions will discover more opportunities inside their customer:
- Have you run a bandwidth utilization report to see how much bandwidth and how many trunks you are using and if you need to right-size?
- Have you considered data and infrastructure management services?
- What is your cloud strategy?
- Do you have a redundant network?
What Could Go Wrong?
Historically reselling telecom services required the VAR to quote and hope. They had very little visibility into the ordering of the services the customer required. Because of the unknown elements, VARs were skeptical of suggesting these services because they were afraid of having “egg on their face.” This egg could often affect the likelihood of successful hardware installations that was the primary source of profit and revenue.
There are numerous things that can go wrong. Things as simple as a port going bad to critical issues such as the services not being delivered on time can spell disaster. Partners are afraid of the unknown and don’t want to jeopardize my relationship with the customer over a few circuits.
As the saying goes, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” But wait—as profits have narrowed on hardware, and more and more movement is made to recurring revenue cloud services, is there a balance?
Reselling Telecom Services—The New Way
There are a couple options to consider when reselling telecom services. VARs can work with individual suppliers to bring services to the customer, or they can partner with a master agent to source data, voice, and cloud services.
The downfall of working with individual suppliers is it is impossible to design the best solution because there may be a better option with another carrier. Using a master agent allows you to design a solution with all of the options available.
VXSuite has partnered with Telarus because of their patented location and pricing tools, support before the sale and continued support after the sale.
Because the price of T1s and other commercial telecom products is so sensitive to geography, the Telarus created a quoting tool based on an address. GeoQuote, the Telarus exclusive real-time price engine, has transformed the quoting process and made getting the best solution for your customer as easy as entering an address.
Preventing the pitfalls of yesteryear is a top priority for Telarus. To ensure success, they have developed a six-step project management plan:
- Step 1: Discovery
Experienced Telarus managers begin by assembling all relevant information about the sale, and often create a full network diagram for project management.
- Step 2: Organization
Customer, carrier, and other teams are identified, communication distribution lists are created, and schedules are determined for updates and necessary meetings. A Telarus engineer can be consulted to assist in designing and diagramming a custom solution. Partners gain credibility with their customers by bringing resources to the table that are similar to direct carrier sales teams.
- Step 3: Coordination
Gantt charts, spreadsheets, and other customized tools are designed and shared among team members; both to time and coordinate tasks, and to track progress toward milestones and objectives.
- Step 4: Momentum
Telarus project managers aggressively escalate issues as necessary, to resolve delays and develop additional solutions to keep the project moving forward.
- Step 5: Collaboration
Regular, detailed collaboration is maintained with involved supplier(s) and all team members to quickly translate the sales agreements into installed, functioning services. The goal is to meet the customer’s performance expectations and deepen the customer’s relationship with the reseller.
- Step 6: Results
Telarus works to increase the opportunity’s value as additional revenue-generating needs are identified and resolved by the project manager before potential associated problems result.
Reselling telecom services doesn’t have to be fraught with headaches. Partners are finding, in many cases, it does require transitioning from a services-oriented business model to a cloud reseller model, though. This change is a chance to recapture profit and margins that have continued to morph in our changing technology climate. This requires the partner to make strategic changes to everything from compensation to staffing. There are certainly challenges to be aware of and overcome, and the long-term success of the business will depend on the overall philosophy and execution by upper management.
VXSuite has helped many partners work through these issues and make a successful transition. Call us at 866-489-8722 to see how we can help your company be successful.
Stay tuned for a blog on other changes required for success and our take on them.