In order to create a more nationalized partner program, Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable Business Class (TWCBC) announced that it has increased its master agent support regarding the use of tools and human resources.
According to a report in Phone Plus Magazine, the news was announced just six months after the cable company tapped the former XO Communications (News - Alert) channel chief Jim Delis to head its indirect sales program. Delis will serve as vice president of national sales.
For Delis, the biggest challenge in joining the company was to develop a consistent way of doing business. When Greg Iuzzolino joined as director of sales – alternative channels, the company had a national compensation plan and contract, but lacked a national back-office process and standardization.
The program for master agents enjoyed significant success. In fact, in the first six months of 2009 to the first six months of 2010, the company enjoyed growth of 200 percent. The associated volumes also highlight the need for standardization, which pushed the initiative to the forefront.
TWCBC also added a new order management and tracking platform, which was integrated into salesforce.com, the company’s CRM application. Throughout the company, a significant addition was the inclusion of service availability. The beta testing for the app took place in July, with a roll out date to master agents by the end of September.
The channel is also being supported by more manpower as the company has added three channel managers and three more are expected to be added in 2011. As TWCBC plans to triple the size of back-office staff handling the pre-sales process, 7 to 8 people will be added to ordering and provisioning by Oct.
To best serve the master agent community, TWCBC had to learn how best to support its agents. In addition, the company had to ensure its agents better understood cable’s services. To meet this need, the cableco enhanced its sales training initiatives.
Delis noted that there was a tremendous learning curve in selling cable services and without a cable background for the master agent, selling could be a challenge. The new training was launched in the spring and includes Webinars and field training on products and solutions.
While these enhancements are essential, TWCBC also celebrated the addition of four new master agency partners, including MicroCorp., Outreach Telecom & Energy, Simplified Networks and BCM Telecom. TWCBC already has 14 existing master agent partners and negotiations are underway with another seven.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Erin Monda