Partners, consultants, and master agents regularly look to grow their existing book of business. If you currently provide IT consulting services including IT assessments, IT leadership development, strategic initiatives, IT project planning, or other IT-focused support, you may be researching to see if TEM is right for you. This blog highlights the qualifications, fears, preparation, and expectations involved in expanding services to include TEM.
The most important piece in TEM discovery is making sure that your firm is qualified to offer TEM services. Some TEM providers offer basic TEM services to partners and consultants. This is the ideal solution for TEM providers looking to expand their services as a “hobby” or sample option for current customers. However, if you are serious about adding revenue to your firm and aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and sell, you will want a TEM provider that offers a buffet of solutions to its partners.
To be qualified to offer TEM, you will need to evaluate your current contact database and estimate the following about your prospective TEM buyers:
Are they US-based?
Are they a small-medium sized business? ($2M - $15M in annual telecom spend)
Do they have several locations? (particularly helpful in healthcare, retail, and financial verticals)
Do they have understaffed or overwhelmed AP/IT teams?
Do they already provide TEM in a manual fashion, seeking a more automated solution such as a web-based application?
To better serve you and your clients, Valicom offers the following referral and strategic partnership opportunities.
Does your organization come across new TEM opportunities every now and then? This opportunity is for consultants that are simply looking for referral income. Pass through interested clients to Valicom’s sales team and earn healthy recurring commissions on a per-client basis.
Are you moving away from a TEM partnership, seeking better service, software and support? Are you looking to add to your TEM portfolio and add recurring revenue? Valicom’s strategic partnerships include three options:
White Label: Let Valicom brand Clearview with your logo and name to make our tool yours. Valicom will brand software demonstrations, sales sheets and marketing tools with your new, white labeled software logo and design.
“Back-Office”: Make our team yours by tapping into Valicom’s team for managed services that enhance and expand your current TEM offering. This makes you a stickier, more valuable, and a more comprehensive expert in the eyes of your clients.
Full Outsource: Connect your clients with our full suite of telecom expense management (TEM) services and push off the heavy lifting tasks like invoice auditing and the loading of invoice data to our team.
“Partnership options as unique as your consulting firm.”
Fear of Isolation
One of the biggest fears holding partners back from contracting with a TEM provider is the fear of isolation. Some TEM providers ramp up a partnership, set the consultants to go with the solution and service outline, then send them on their way. Pinning down the onboarding and nurture strategy is critical to finding a successful TEM provider. Some questions to ask in your search for a TEM provider include:
What is your training process?
Will we meet on a regular basis to touch base and receive updates?
How many contacts at your company will I be able to approach with questions?
Do you provide supporting documentation to help with the sales cycle?
What sales support do you offer?
Asking these questions will help you discover how partner-focused the TEM provider is and just how much (or how little) they will coach you to make your new service as successful as possible.
Fear of Commitment
On the opposite side of the spectrum is the fear of commitment. Not that you won’t get the service and support you deserve, but that you are falling short on the TEM provider’s expectations. When engaging in a partnership, it’s important to set expectations and align with a representative to train and coach you to pull in the most business possible.
Fear of Inadequate Value
Another fear most first-time TEM partners address is the fear that TEM will provide little to no value for their customers. This is a common fear in any busy, getting the new service off the ground and delivering ROI in a timely manner. With a carefully constructed pricing structure, customers are guaranteed an ROI. Upon opportunity discovery, your TEM expert should be able to analyze the prospect’s TEM environment and quote a price while determining projected savings in order to maximize the value of your TEM offering for both you and your customer.
Fear of Painful Setup
As stated above, there is a fine line between the fears of commitment and isolation. Following these fears is the potential complication of a painful setup. Painful setup can occur for many reasons, including:
Lack of communication
Absence of quality support
Little outside project management
To avoid potential complications during setup, make sure to outline all details of business and the onboarding procedure as well as stay as communicative as possible with your TEM vendor. Careful planning and communication will ensure a seamless setup process.
PREPARE TO MOVE FORWARD
Adding a new service requires hours of planning, communication, and preparation. To get the most out of your new partnership, it’s critical to prepare clear expectations. Here are some common questions to ask to get started in your search, canvassing for the perfect TEM provider:
How many partners do you have today?
What does your Partner Program include?
Are you aligned with any specific carriers?
How do we get paid?
How long does it take to get data loaded at the start of an engagement?
Can you white label the TEM software with our brand?
What do you need to get started today?
If you determine TEM is an excellent fit for your firm, you will want to have a clear understanding of what to expect by adding TEM into the mix. Aside from adding ongoing revenue, your current and future customers will be delighted to find every IT solution at one firm. Expectations include:
Enhanced Recurring Revenue: Improve profitability through additional consulting opportunities, white-label software options, revenue markup and/or commission-based sales.
Optimal Value: Adding TEM to your mix of managed services makes you a one-stop-shop for your clients. Layering value-added managed services builds trust and makes you the trusted advisor to your clients.
Expanded Services: Add to your service offering, making you a more versatile asset for your clients.
Streamlined Processes: Shorten the time to deliver results by connecting with expertise and tools.
TEM Software Access: Leverage Clearview, Valicom’s TEM software, to promote efficiency without building new solutions for each client.
Savings Advantages: Take advantage of savings and invest into equipment and other services that you provide, further increasing your profitability.
Valicom is a values-centered boutique TEM firm, focused on “whatever it takes” partner support, putting your interests first and foremost. Valicom pairs the elite partner program’s high expectations with quality training and hands-on services. Partners are a part of the family and are treated as such with ongoing communication, check-ins and updates. Success begins with mutual understanding and open communication. If you are interested to take the next step in growing your business, contact Valicom today to learn more and demo the industry-leading TEM software that could become yours.
About the Author: Victor H.
Victor brings 5 years of enterprise & SMB sales experience in the IT software space. Prior to joining Valicom, he served as regional channel sales manager working for one of the industry's largest enterprise labeling software companies. With a focus on great customer service in helping channel partners grow their businesses, Victor joined the Valicom team in late 2015 after relocating to the Madison area. Victor holds a bachelor's degree in Communication from UW-Milwaukee, and when he's not in the office he enjoys exercising, travelling abroad, and spending time with his growing family.