Category: MicroCorp

Channel Partner Marketing: Your One-stop Resource

Channel Partner marketing is often a big source of stress for telecom agents, VARs, and MSPs alike. You’re a salesperson and a business owner, so you want your time to be focused on what you do best.

At the same time, you’ve probably noticed how the sales process has changed over the last few years. The old sales and marketing tricks just don’t work as well as they used to, which is both frustrating and expensive. Your prospects are making decisions without you, and more and more people are involved in the buying decisions than ever before.

For all of these reasons and more, it may seem like doing marketing well is a lot like hunting unicorns.

Introducing a Channel Partner Marketing Blog Series

That’s why we’ve put together this blog series specifically focused on effective marketing for Channel Partners. Each week, we will post a new blog covering topics like:

  • Clearly defining your target audience for more effective prospecting
  • Crafting a compelling message that clearly communicates your value proposition
  • Creating a lead generation website 
  • The do’s and don’ts of powerful lead generation campaigns 
  • Why and how to nurture leads through your sales funnel
  • LinkedIn sales prospecting
  • Leveraging content in your sphere (there’s lots of free stuff available)
  • Video marketing: how to use it in prospecting and sales
  • Social media tips & tricks
  • How SEO works, and more importantly, what not to do 
  • Must-have telecom marketing tools

As the industry’s first exclusive telecom marketing agency, we’re looking forward to sharing some no-fluff expertise that will get you real marketing results.

Please let us know if there are topics you would like covered that you don’t see here…we’re all ears!

Lastly, if you’re shopping for a marketing services provider, check out MarketRight, MicroCorp’s exclusive marketing program for its partners, powered by us at Mojo Marketing.

Geoff Chretien sheds some light on what's new with cloud contact center for partners.

MicroCorp Catches up with NICE inContact

We like to catch up with our providers every so often to see what they’ve been innovating and to let our partners know what they can expect from a MicroCorp provider. This week, we talked with Geoff Chretien, VP Channel Sales of NICE inContact to give our partners an inside look at what NICE inContact is up to. If you’ve ever wanted an in-depth look into NICE inContact, keep reading!

Phil: What is the primary pain that your business or offering addresses?

Geoff: The primary “pain” that NICE inContact addresses is that of the customer experience. All businesses have customers, be it internal, or external. The primary problem these businesses are facing right now is that of aging technology and not being able to provide the type of experience their customers are expecting.

Capabilities such as skills-based OmniChannel Routing, IVR/Self Service, social media, artificial intelligence, analytics, and surveys are all critical to providing an excellent customer experience, and many mid-market and enterprise businesses are still stuck on old, outdated premise-based technology.

Phil: What is the most important thing for a partner to know about what you provide?

Geoff: NICE inContact makes it easy and affordable for organizations around the globe to provide exceptional customer experiences while meeting key business metrics. NICE inContact provides the world’s #1 cloud customer experience platform, NICE inContact CXone™, combining best-in-class Omnichannel Routing, Workforce Optimization, analytics, automation and artificial intelligence on an Open Cloud Foundation. NICE inContact is a part of NICE (Nasdaq: NICE), the worldwide leading provider of both cloud and on-premises enterprise software solutions.

Phil: If you could get one question from any prospective partner or customer, what would it be?

Geoff: I’ve never sold/purchased Cloud Contact Center before, how/why should I go about doing that?

Phil: What would your answer be to that question?

Geoff: There’s no better time than now to integrate cloud contact center into your business. One analyst estimates the industry to be valued at $14B now and expected to grow to $29B in 2022 as cloud adoption continues to expand. In fact, Gartner recently did a CEO study about the top 3 things keeping them awake at night. Improving customer experience was in the top 3! If you’re a sales partner, now is the time to introduce NICE inContact to your customers, and if you’re a customer, now is the time to talk to MicroCorp about NICE inContact.

Phil: What do you think is the most important emerging technology right now, and why?

Geoff: I think Cloud Contact Center is the most important new technology right now, simply because it can transform a company’s entire customer experience.  Within that, features such as OmniChannel Routing, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) on one unified platform are extremely significant. They have been proven to increase revenue, reduce cost, and improve overall customer satisfaction. A typical NICE inContact customer ROI is < 4 months!

Phil: What technology or trend will be the most significant in the coming year, and why?

Geoff: We think the most significant technology trend will continue to be migration to the cloud. Businesses are no longer able to compete on price and product alone. Rather, companies that engage their customers with a variety of channels (i.e. phone, chat, email, or social media channels) will win in this new era of the customer where there is more choice and voice than ever before.

Phil: What would you recommend for partners who are trying to transition to new technologies?

Geoff: I would encourage partners to move up the stack. It’s no longer just about “building the network.” It’s about the cloud software applications that traverse the network that customers are buying to transform their businesses. Partners who step outside their comfort zone and adopt a focus on selling application software like the NICE inContact CXone platform for Contact Center, will win big with their customers. Average deal sizes are larger, stickier, averaging 8-12 years once installed, and tend to grow significantly over time. Partners should leverage their MicroCorp and NICE inContact resources for help in transitioning to selling these new technologies now.

Get in touch with MicroCorp today to learn more about NICE inContact’s offerings.

The Solutions Alliance can connect you with the industry's most knowledgeable partners and providers.

What Value Does the Solutions Alliance Bring to Channel Partners?

Working with an ecosystem of experts is the only way channel partners will survive in this era of ever-changing technology. The Solutions Alliance is one of the ways partners can connect with providers and other partners with specific expertise and experience to ensure their success.

What is the Solutions Alliance?

We cannot all become experts across all subjects within an industry that is infinitely complex and constantly evolving. To put this in perspective, it is impossible for any one person or firm to be an expert plumber, electrician, architect and welder across all residential and commercial building applications. As each project and development is unique and can vary wildly in scale and scope, contractors with specific knowledge and experience are brought in by the general contractor and developer of a project based on specific project needs.

The Solutions Alliance program thus serves as an ecosystem of specialists in specific areas who serve MicroCorp agents. These specialists — while associated with various companies — all remain agnostic in their approach when serving agents. They have also been vetted to bring unbiased value and education to their interactions with agents across a variety of IT disciplines.

For example, Open Spectrum focuses on data center, cloud, and hybrid hosting solutions. We bring strategic account engagement training, marketing collateral and our industry expertise to the table on-demand for all MicroCorp agents. Walking side by side with you, we help agents gain the confidence to open up broader business conversations, holistic application and work load resource discovery conversations, and different communication channels with existing and future client relationships. In short, we help agents make money selling complex data center, cloud and hybrid hosting solutions they otherwise wouldn’t be comfortable selling on their own.

What can partners expect?

In the Solutions Alliance, partners can expect to find a trusted and vetted network of established industry experts and consultants with niche expertise and experience across a variety of disciplines. As the Solutions Alliance grows, so will the capabilities you can offer your existing and future clients. With Open Spectrum, partners can access a global team of data center and cloud hosting consultants that have toured hundreds of data center properties, performed complex IT audits for companies of all shapes and sizes, and collectively negotiated thousands of colocation, cloud, and hybrid service contracts.

The IT buying landscape has evolved dramatically over the last few years. If you are relying on service providers to perform a truly agnostic open ended initial discovery and audit of actual needs, you are doing your clients a disservice. The agents who are thriving today have changed how they serve their customers and who within the organization they serve. They are also not afraid to bring to the table resources who are more equipped to provide specific knowledge and experience when needed.

Want to prepare for future sales?

Just as the decades of experience you have spent developing your core expertise in various Telecom, UCaaS, TEM, Call Center and/or related network technologies gives you a strategic advantage, so does the same deep experience give those in the Solutions Alliance a strategic advantage. The Solutions Alliance is thus not just a pool of contracted resources, but an insurance policy that will keep you educated and surrounded by the best contractors available.

The Solutions Alliance allows agents to uncover the gold mine of opportunities within existing relationships and accounts and future-proofs your business. I highly encourage you to contact MicroCorp today to learn more about this resource!

Highlights From Channel Partners Conference & Expo – Las Vegas, 2017

MicroCorp Recognized for Largest Single Sale in 2016!

MicroCorp was recognized at the Level 3 Communications Awards Dinner at the Channel Partners Conference and Expo for achieving the largest single sale for 2016. This award was given along with recognition for 2016 MVP status. MicroCorp was also named an Elite MVP in 2015 and serves on the Level 3 Advisory Board.

ACC Million Dollar Club & Platinum Cup Partner

MicroCorp President, Phil Keenan, receiving the Platinum Cup award from ACC for the 11th consecutive year. MicroCorp was also recognized as a Million Dollar partner.

MicroCorp Partners Celebrate & Cocktail Party!

MicroCorp and provider sponsors hosted an evening cocktail party for MicroCorp partners at Aureole, Mandalay Bay!

Congratulations Frank Ferdowsian!

Winner of MicroCorp’s “So You Think You Know Cloud” campaign!

Teaming- An Agent Survival Strategy

team-keenan2MicroCorp President, Phil Keenan, on the benefits of Agent Teaming

If you don’t know the term ‘autocatalytic’, it might be time to look it up.  Simply put for our industry, it means that the more technology is deployed, the faster technology solutions change.  Knowing what the term means is more than just a dinner party talking point to impress your fellow guests. You really need to know what impact it is going to have on your business.

The role of the channel (or in our world, Agents, VARs and MSPs) is changing.  As technology goes autocatalytic, customers are struggling to keep up technically and they then turn to the channel to help as their trusted advisor – and you in turn are struggling to keep up. This means it is harder and harder to be a trusted advisor.  This complex dynamic is further exacerbated by the fact that customers are looking for complete solutions that require specific domain expertise in multiple areas.  The time when you could do everything on your own is going away and it is going away fast.  So what do you do to protect your customer relationships and sustain your business over the coming years?

Well, option one is to hire your way to trusted advisor status. An admirable ambition but fraught with working capital, cash flow and borrowing requirement land mines.   Not to mention how hard it is to hire ‘good’ people.

Option Two is to embrace the plethora of training courses available from manufacturers, service providers or industry bodies and cross train your existing folks.  Well, training simply cannot build up years of expertise overnight and it is a bit like painting the Golden Gate Bridge.  As soon as you finish, you have to start again because technology has moved on at such a pace you are already dated.  In fact the rate of our autocatalytic industry is already so fast that you would have to start painting before you have even finished.  In the words of Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen sketch,  “when I was a lad I used get up for work four hours before I went to bed…”

So You Think You are so Smart

SySmartIn my mind neither of the above are viable options unless you are a multi-million dollar company with significant financial resources.  There has to be a better way.  And there is.   The answer is to participate in an ecosystem where you team to provide complete solutions.

“You think you are so smart” I hear the masses shout,  “This has been tried before and it doesn’t work!” In my mind the reason this hasn’t happened industry wide is because the ecosystem has lacked what it takes to build momentum and scale.  Unless an ecosystem has enormous compelling advantage then it doesn’t take off.  Apple Store and Play Store are great examples of where an ecosystem has enormous and obvious advantage and so the forces of laissez faire prevail, but if you don’t have this you have to support an ecosystem with real structure to solve the problems of getting it off the ground.

It’s all about the money

In our world what do channel partners worry about that get in the way of joining an ecosystem?  Well at the end of the day it is all about the money, because it is always all about the money.  But there is more to it than just that.  After 30 years (jeez!) of running worldwide channel organizations I have distilled the reasons down to the following:allaboutmoney

  • Money, Money, Money
    • How much do I get paid
    • Do I get paid enough to be worth my time
  • Protection
    • How do I ensure that I continued to get paid in the event of a business relationship dissolving
    • How do I protect my customer relationships if I bring in another party
    • How to I protect my employees and confidential information when teaming
  • Support
    • How are my customer’s solutions supported

Address these issues and the ecosystem has a real chance of growing simply because it is needed.  It is the only way this conundrum can be solved.

Enter Team Alliance Program

The Team Alliance program addresses these issues head on.  Prescribed commission splits, contracted rules of engagement coupled with non-solicitation and confidentiality provisions allow partners to team in confidence.

Underpinned with TotalCare365 support and a directory of experts to pull from, the program provides everything you need to provide complete solutions in confidence, protect your customer relationships and create new revenue streams into the future.