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Buying Telecom: Direct Sales Rep vs. Indirect Agent

Posted by on September 19th, 2017 in Blog Posts, Service Providers

Clients often ask us for advice on purchasing telecom services. Whether they are looking for reliable providers or the best service options, often they are trying to determine whether to buy direct from the provider or leverage an indirect sales partner. While both are viable outlets for acquiring services, the agent model provides some distinct benefits to your business that you simply don’t get with direct reps. First, it allows for a broader spectrum of solutions rather than only the products and services the carrier offers. Additionally, agents are typically more aggressive in obtaining competitive pricing than direct reps would be – again working on behalf of your interests. Here’s a look at some of the other advantages of leveraging agents for telecom services.

The Tools in the Toolbox

Direct sales reps work for one provider which limits their service offerings to that particular provider. If you’re looking for basic telecom service, that may not be a bad way to go. But, if you are considering additional services like CRM integration, video conferencing, SD-WAN, or an MPLS network you might consider working with an indirect agent that has access to an arsenal of solutions from various providers. An agent will be able to examine your existing services and communications goals and then recommend solutions from different providers that best solve your business challenges and prepare you for a successful long-term solution.

One Night Stand or a Meaningful Relationship

Success is often based on strategy. Telecom is no different. You have short-term needs and long-term goals. What you need today and what you will need in 5 years might be drastically different. With indirect agents, you are essentially getting a partner that is focused on helping you scale your services as your business grows. On the other hand, direct sales reps are typically focused on high commission incentives that reside in the short-term sale of services. That’s not to say that you can’t scale if you go with a direct rep, but in many cases you’re better suited to leverage a partnership with an indirect agent that can guide you from the beginning.

Hands Off or Hands Dirty?

As we mentioned before, an agent has access to a deeper portfolio of services. With this, they can quickly obtain quotes from multiple providers and help you compare apples to apples when shopping for telecom solutions. This is particularly attractive to clients that don’t have the internal resources to manage comparison shopping on their own. Instead, they hand this off to the partner and eliminate the painstaking and time consuming task of obtaining and comparing quotes from multiple providers. That said, your IT personnel might prefer to run these comparisons on their own to ensure they get all the details they need from each provider. Either way, it’s a personal choice based on how dirty you want to get your hands in the process.

Final Thoughts

Whether you chose to go direct to the provider or leverage an agent is a choice that depends on a variety of factors. Consider how engaged you want to be with the sales rep. Are you looking for a partner to guide you or a quick turn up of services from a particular provider? If you don’t know or have additional questions, give LanYap Networks a call. We can help talk you through it.

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