Thanks to rising customer expectations, shifting business models and disruptive technology, the face of telco as we know it is changing.
The landscape is increasingly competitive — and for telcos to keep their edge, they need to strike a balance between trusted ways of working and revolutionised strategies that can spread their portfolio of products and services far and wide.
For decades, the channel has been synonymous with wholesale distributors. The traditional has served its purpose: the distributor, acting like an independent contractor, sells the products and services of a vendor, utilising the distributor’s customer base and existing connections.
But now, the master agent model has started to establish itself around the UK and Europe — opening up opportunities for innovation. It allows telcos to work as the middleman, providing vendors’ products to sub-agents (what we like to call ‘channel partners’) who package the best deals for the end customer.
Still with us? Let’s look at the major differences between the two models…
The wholesale distributor model
As a wholesale distributor, not only do you connect with a vendor — you grow with them.
By developing this direct relationship, you can take the time to become an expert in their products and services and build on your existing sales skills.
You’ll work closely with your customers, acting as their point of contact and developing a clear understanding of what their business needs and how you can supply them with the solution.
So, becoming a wholesale distributor has its perks, but it also comes with its challenges.
As a wholesale distributor, you’re limited to the amount of business you can take on. There may be opportunities to sell for multiple vendors — but doing all the heavy lifting like finding the customers, negotiating and closing their contracts, and establishing trusted long-lasting relationships with big vendors is no small feat.
Getting your foot in the door with big vendors (whilst being the direct point of contact for all your customers) is a little, let’s say, ambitious. And if any IT issues arise, it’ll be on you to liaise with customers and your vendor’s customer services teams until the problem is resolved.
It can be a promising career path, but the pressure will definitely be on. You’ll need a strong roster of trade connections to get you started and an extensive knowledge of the vendors’ products and services at the ready.
So, if you’re looking for a way into telecom distribution, how about option B?
Why become a sub-agent?
Working with a master agent means you’re not out in the field alone. You won’t need to start from the ground up, struggling to find windows of opportunity to deal with big-time vendors — the master agent does all the legwork for you.
Through the master agent, you can access the vendor’s entire portfolio (or multiple vendors’ portfolios!), bundling products and services together to maximise your profit margins and get the best possible deals for your customers.
After all, every business has its pain points. As a sub-agent, you’re not limited to showing up with a pre-identified solution and then trying to find the right customer to fit it, like mismatched puzzle pieces. Instead, you’ll have the opportunity to investigate the solutions they already use — and what they want to achieve as a business — which will allow you to present packaged solutions to suit your customers’ needs.
Thanks to support from the master agent, you’ll also have the freedom to think outside the box. For example, most businesses nowadays have unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platforms, so how can you approach their needs with an innovative solution to help you become a reliable telecoms provider they’ll keep coming back to?
Whilst you worry about what your customers need, the master agent remains the single point of contact. So, you can put together effective packages for the end customer without the hassle of negotiating and closing contracts, dealing with IT issues or providing ongoing support.
Sound too good to be true? Hold onto your hats. There’s more…
Get on board with Invosys
You might already be selling products through one company via the wholesale distributor model — but if you’re looking to embark on a new venture that could take your telecoms career to new heights, now could be the perfect time to become a sub-agent.
Want to work with a master agent that has access to a stellar portfolio and provides ongoing support? You’ve come to the right place…
As the proud master agent of Avaya, Invosys provides innovative solutions that our sub-agents can present to their customers — including UCaaS, bundled carrier services and desktop options with monthly, subscription-based billing and support delivered by Avaya.
And we’re only growing from here. Working with Avaya gives us the opportunity to create bigger and better partner products to layer over our professional and managed services. So, as we’re committed to offering choice in the channel, our sub-agents have the chance to offer their customers industry-leading solutions that create effortless experiences.