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Must-Have Characteristics of a Master Agent Relationship

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Must-Have Characteristics of a Master Agent Relationship

October 16, 2014

  By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

In complex industries, it can be difficult to make the right decisions when it comes to supporting your business initiatives. This is especially true when evaluating your network and supporting technologies, such as communications solutions. There are a number of providers out there offering what they promise is the best solution – but how do you separate the good from the bad? A master agent is often brought in to help, but what does that really mean?

A recent Channel Partners piece attempted to answer this question, highlighting the reality that agent channels offer the ability to develop and maintain beneficial relationships. The subagents within these channels often rely on the master agent to provide the technical training and expertise, as well as access to privileged and competitive pricing. They also work to help establish credibility.

In return for these benefits, master agents rely on their subagents to be the feet on the street in their target market. This is a key focus in those corners that are either hard to reach or have been underserved in the past. For these relationships to work effectively, members have to develop strong partnerships so as to avoid problems and ensure the maximum value is delivered for all involved.

To that end, there are a few things that the master agent and the subagent need to agree to, including values. Core values have to be a non-negotiable foundation of the business model and should set the basis for all conversations. Expectations should be set with these core values in mind. Participants should agree on expectations and how and when they will be met. This discussion should include the money conversation. Commission structures can vary and the details need to be defined ahead of time.

Proactive support needs to be a primary focus in this relationship as well. No matter who is involved in the process, every business needs to move forward. A partner who does not support that effort is not truly a partner. Conversations about proactive support will benefit both parties and keep business initiatives as a priority. As such, all participants need to be in constant communication to ensure all activities are not only healthy, but also contribute to a lucrative channel partnership.

When the master agent relationship reflects these elements, the outcome is bound to be nothing but positive for all involved. If you’re the customer seeking to make the right purchase, this direction is good for your bottom line. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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