Voice4Net's Rick McFarland is spearheading a new initiative: make learning fun for channel partners.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

October 5, 2012

2 Min Read
Feeling 'Bludgeoned to Death' With Dry Information? Voice4Net Aims to Solve That Channel Conundrum

"People are being bludgeoned to death with ‘sleepy stuff’ and I’m sick of it."

With that in mind, Voice4Net’s CEO, Rick McFarland, is spearheading a new initiative: make learning fun for channel partners. But to accomplish that, he has to have monetary support. So, at the end of this month, Voice4Net, a contact center and customer management software supplier, officially will launch its members-only dealer portal featuring lively educational sales content, and more.

It’s one way McFarland hopes to entice more VARs, interconnects and, soon, master agents to join his company’s channel program.

"We are looking to provide our partners with attractive benefits that will compel them to evangelize our products, as opposed to casual dealers relying on a one-off sales philosophy," he explained.

Membership will get you in to a community with a range of resources and valuable selling content, McFarland told Channel Partners at this week’s ITEXPO in Austin, Texas. Look for videos featuring well-known motivational sales speakers, and clips with McFarland himself leading learning in an engaging way. There also will be access to SPIFFs, product discounts, demo systems, certain Voice4Net personnel, marketing funds and more.

Voice4Net is offering different membership levels, which means basic partner program benefits will be available for free, while the lowest level of membership will cost about $50 per month. All-in membership will run between $200 and $300 per month. The key there is that partners can offset the higher costs with big sales, even paying for a year’s dues with one deal, McFarland said.

The exclusivity move comes as Voice4Net expands its two-tier distribution model. The company already sells through VARs; now, it is in non-disclosure talks with two master agents to start reaching the telecom-services channel. Partners earn margins on premises-based sales and recurring revenue on hosted deals. They also can sell hybrid models, pitching the cloud as disaster recovery, thereby making margins and recurring revenue.

Voice4Net’s contact center platform puts email, live web chat, social media, SMS and live phone conversation on one screen. The Texas-based company also does custom work, integrating Salesforce.com, for example, into its systems for end users. Voice4Net’s technology works with legacy systems and is manufacturer-independent, for "obsolescence investment protection," McFarland said.

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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