Guest Column | July 14, 2014

Is Your Cloud-Based Phone Provider Your Competition?

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Carl Watene, VP of Sales and Channel Development, Easy Office Phone

By Carl Watene, VP of Sales and Channel Development, Easy Office Phone

If you are a managed services provider (MSP), odds are you are constantly seeking new partners who can help you offer new products and services while complementing your existing lines of business.  Finding the right fit can be enough of a challenge — but did you know that some cloud-based phone service providers may, in some ways, be your competition? 

Here are three warning signs to watch for, along with suggestions for finding a more optimal fit:

1. Your Provider Will Not Refer Business. Getting started with a new product offering involves a commitment on the part of your MSP business. You will be integrating with your internal systems, training staff, and working out agreements and promotions.  It’s reasonable to expect a commitment in return from the provider. One show of good faith is for them to share leads in your local area once you are certified as a partner. Referrals demonstrate that the company is serious about driving business to you, and building a mutually beneficial relationship. Expecting a constant flow of leads may not be realistic as the provider will eventually expect you to take the initiative in selling, but if they won’t share business at all, be wary. Avoid scenarios wherein a provider “cannibalizes” opportunities in your area by chasing leads strictly internally. 

Recommendation: Partner with a phone provider who is willing to field some initial leads to you as you get your feet wet, and to work closely with you on those first few opportunities until you’re confident.

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