Because of this, you might consider working with an agent.
The appeal is understandable: Agents often have connections with reputable brands, they create large, complex contracts and they appear eager to work with you. However, before you leap, it’s prudent to take a more critical look at what an agent and their master agent (we’ll explain what that is) will do for you in the long-term.
Are Master Agent’s Priorities About You?
If you haven’t worked with an agent before, you may find their network of resources large and confusing, and you’d be correct. In the most basic terms, the structure breaks down like this:
You, the client, have a relationship with an agent.
This agent, alongside many others, works for a master agent.
The master agent has relationships with various vendors, one of which your agent will connect you with as your new cloud communications provider.
Because of their purported vendor relationships, your agent might convince you that they understand your needs and know what they’re doing. There are certainly reputable agents out there who know the business landscape and look out for their clients.
However, a deeper look at the master agent’s goals illuminates a bigger picture. Master agents have two main priorities:
Close the Deal: Master agents want to close as many deals as possible to make a profit.
Partner with More Vendors: Master agents are focused on growing their vendor network.
Since sales and profit are the ultimate metrics for master agents, they tend to set goals for their massive sales teams to reach, and that means selling whatever is most profitable in a quarter, whether or not it’s in their client’s best interest. When these priorities are the most crucial focus, it can come at the expense of client needs and satisfaction.
Lacking Relevant Experience
It may surprise you to discover that no experience is required to become an agent. Many agents can begin selling cloud communication solutions with no background in the field. It seems counter-intuitive to allow inexperienced agents to handle such vital decisions, especially since their business revolves around supposed expertise in big contracts and technology.
Why wouldn’t thorough training and experience be a part of the job requirement to handle something so important?
Because the agent’s job is primarily based in selling and making a profit, the training focuses on selling what’s most profitable. Their lack of experience and knowledge of the industry (especially in providing consulting and support) means that it’s less likely that they’ll understand you as a client.
The possibility of your needs going unmet is quite high.
The Long-Term Relationship
When you invest in something costly and essential for your business, security in the future is a necessary consideration. Once the honeymoon phase is over, what does the long-term relationship look like with the agent who guided you to a particular vendor?
Unfortunately, the long-term outlook of your relationship isn’t the brightest.
When you work with an agent, you assume the understanding that your support after the sale will be nonexistent with that agent. Once they make a profit, the agent no longer has an obligation to serve you.
Trusted Partner vs. Master Agent
If you’re searching for a possible alternative to an agent or are currently working with one that doesn’t instill confidence, we recommend that you consider working with a trusted partner like Converged Technology Professionals. We will have your back in a way that the typical agent and their master agents will not.
|Master Agent ||Trusted Partner |
|Little to no formal training or experience is required. ||Has years of expertise and in-depth training to help find your perfect solution. |
|Sales and profit come before everything else. ||Your needs align with your partner’s needs. |
|Little leverage or relationship power with vendors. ||Empowered in vendor relationships with a direct line of communication. |
|No post-sales support or service. ||Lifelong support and positive relationship with a partner. |
|Your needs are not always prioritized or understood. ||Your requirements are always taken seriously and met. It’s a long-term win-win. |
A Partnership That Works For You
Converged Technology Professionals have the expertise to understand your business and the relationships to connect you to the right vendor without a messy network between you. Our interests align with yours; your success is our success. Our partner relationships are our top priority for the long term.
Contact us today to start the conversation.
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