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TBI: Becoming a Master Agent

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TBI: Becoming a Master Agent

May 21, 2009

  By Jessica Kostek, TMCnet Channel Editor

Since the first article explaining how master agents could help proved to be informative, the folks at Telecom Brokerage (News - Alert), Inc. (TBI) decided to continue with a second addition. For those who are interested in reading the first article may do so my clicking here.

It was determined that working with a master agent with an established base of business, capable of paying a sub-agent larger commissions with lower revenue commitments is a better avenue then the agent went with a direct agreement with the carrier. A larger master agent can also represent a number of carriers, each with dedicated sales support teams therefore providing maximum flexibility.
At TBI there is no sales quota in the TBI Agent Agreement. “Many master agents impose sales quotas as part of their contracts and talk about how the quotas aren't enforced. Later, after the agent has generated revenue producing sales, the relationship is terminated because of missed quota. TBI feels this is wrong – the biggest decision an agent makes is where to put his or her book of business. With no sales quota, there is no risk of cancellation due to one bad sales month,” company officials said.
The company claims that they are the first Master Agent to include an Evergreen Clause to ensure the sub-agent gets paid throughout the life of the carrier service agreement.
Interested about the money? TBI officials say that when choosing a master agent, the most important issues to consider are commissions and support and in its 10-year history, TBI has never failed to pay an agent a commission.
The key to consistent commissions is to partner with a master agent who offers an "agent-friendly contract" that requires the master agent to meet performance commitments.
Here are a few terms that a master agent contract should include:
•No revenue commitments – Some master agents use revenue minimums as an opportunity to cancel Agents. TBI has no revenue commitments
•An Evergreen Clause – As long as the master agent is receiving commissions from the carrier for the agent's accounts, the agent should be paid. TBI is the first national master agent to include this clause.
•No non-compete clause – The customer should belong to the agent, not to the master agent. With TBI, the agent owns the customer relationship.
•Majority of the commissions paid to the agent – A master agent should pay out 60 to 70 percent to the agent.
According to TBI master agent officials, the second most important factor in selecting a master agent is support. A good master agent will enable the sub-agent to concentrate on selling, rather than following up on billing tickets. TBI has staff experts called 'vendor specialists' who will help agents prior to the sale by shortening the learning curve when dealing with a new carrier, suggest products and promotions and assist with sales calls and proposals.
Once the sale is closed, the account is passed to the TBI provisioning team to implement the order and insure proper service installation.
TBI was given an award for "Best Master Agent" for 2006 and 2007 from the Telecom Association.
Training is also offered by TBI and has vendor specialists, who know the people, products, pricing, paperwork, and provisioning, to assist in the pre and post sales process. TBI agents also have access to this knowledge base and can schedule one-on-one training with carrier personnel via Web based distance learning.
To get started contact TBI at agents [at] TBIcom [dot] com and request and agent agreement. After reviewing it, sign two copies and return it for counter signature. One original will be returned to you in a Welcome Packet, which will also include your TBI agent ID.
Learn more about master agent TBI by visiting their Website or check out their Master Agent channel here on TMCnet.

Jessica Kostek is a channel editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Jessica’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jessica Kostek
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