Sponsored By

J.R. Cook, New Edge Networks

Channel Partners

March 25, 2010

2 Min Read
J.R. Cook, New Edge Networks

Title: Vice President, Agent Channel
Years in current position: 7 months
Years with current company: 7 months
Years in the indirect channel: 12

Past jobs in the indirect channel: Vice president agent channel, Mpower Communications; director of agent channel, TelePacific Communications.

Main channel goal: “To ensure our agents view us more than a carrier option, but rather a partner committed to ensuring a positive experience for them and their customers. Agents should be viewed as a carrier’s largest customer, and therefore be treated with that level of respect and support. I believe that when you bring that level of commitment and value to your agents, it motivates them to view you as a true partner and return the commitment and value.”

Biggest challenge: “I would say the biggest challenge is that the relationship between the carrier and the agent makes financial sense. I feel that carriers have an obligation to make sure they are compensating their agents at a level that justifies their efforts and access to their sales teams and customers. At the same time, we need to make sure that the carriers are making margins that allow them to sustain a profitable business model. With the current trend of prices going down, both parties need to focus on the value proposition we are both bringing to the customer. We are all in this for the long haul, and need to ensure both parties are in a position to succeed.”

To what extent do you engage in activities to promote or advance the channel? “I don’t believe in ‘White Tower’ management. Any opportunity I can have to get in the trenches with my channel managers and agents to participate in the sales process, I jump in. I am committed to carrying the agent channel flag. I take every opportunity to educate my peers on the value of the channel, and helping them to understand that the more you put into, the more you get in return.”

Favorite dessert: Another glass of wine

What others are saying about J.R.:

“J.R. is an industry veteran that is admired for his dedication, support, responsiveness and willingness to help agent partners successfully grow their business. Wherever he has worked in the past, you knew the company he represented would be channel-friendly and he would work to strengthen the relationship between agent and carrier. He always helps agents close deals by getting them the products, tools, support, pricing and commissions necessary to be successful.”
— Alan Sandler, Managing Partner, Sandler Partners, master agent

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