Peter Radizeski is Founder and President of RAD-INFO INC. He is an accomplished blogalyst, speaker, author and consultant. He has helped many service providers with sales training, marketing, channel development and business strategy. He is a trusted source of knowledge about the telecom sector. His honest and direct approach make him a refreshing speaker.

Look for his innovative ideas and analysis of current technology on his blogs.

Meet him at one of the many conferences he attends and speaks at.

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A Special Kind of TSD

First off, why are they called Technology Solutions Distributors? They don’t distribute anything but commission checks. They don’t do logistics, handle inventory or anything like distributors. They are Brokers. Commission brokers.

And this has been pointed out plainly by the press release announcing “a new kind of TSD” by two former Telarus execs.

TSDs have only 3 incomes streams and two come from the vendors. They have commission splits and MDF/sponsorship monies. The third one is to take a partner’s base to cross-sell and upsell at a lower split to the partner.

The new broker is XCV. “The company is offering four levels of commission split, ranging from 85/15% to 95/5%.” How will you pay more than the 90/10 split that many brokers find themselves forced to pay? You cannot run a back office on 5-15%.

They aren’t building a platform, so no devops. No parties, dinners, tool development or Sales Engineers. They will rely on the vendor for SEs. That isn’t very customer centric, but okay.

You are doing Lead Gen, so how will you pay your marketing person, your management, your channel managers, your commission people and your ordering staff?  Or does all that fall on the agency and XCV really just holds the paper on 40 vendors?

They make it sound like the top producing and self-sufficient agencies they they want to corral are somehow at a disadvantage. These agencies most certainly get 90/10 split.

XCV will be sharing MDF – so how will you pay your staff? This is a business plan that this rife with problems. The top producing are already able to share in MDF.

James Anderson did a great job probing this.  XCV Partners exists under Caliber Solutions Holdings. Any partner who considers this scheme, please call Neil first!

“Top-producing partners of XCV will be rewarded with a path toward participation in future valuation of the company.”  Always the TNCI carrot of the possible payoff. This is like stock or equity in a startup with no financing and no revenue.

For all purposes, this is a way for these two guys to get paid while other people sell. They literally tell you that they are providing nothing but the contracts. If XCV can get a Lumen or RNG contract with no commitments or revenue, so can an actual selling agency!

Our industry is built on Arbitrage and this is a perfect example of it.

Cloud Comm Tidbits of the Week (9/6/2023)

A lot of action in the Cloud Comm Provider space recently.


Zoom did a Microsoft Teams thing with Zoom IQ.  Zoom AI Companion (formerly known as Zoom IQ), the company’s generative AI digital assistant, is now included at no additional cost for customers with the paid services in their Zoom user accounts.

Zoom has introduced a new notetaking tool called Zoom Notes to enhance collaboration before, during, and after meetings. AI. AI. AI. Puke.

Mitel is innovating in the handset with new DECT phones. Not for nothing but with some of this “news” on sites like NJ or UC2day, you can tell it is a PAID article and not news, but the site doesn’t want to acknowledge that. It taints the whole industry when literally everything is Pay-to-Play.

Since RingCentral got a new CEO things have been sliding. The new CEO started Aug. 28th yet hasn’t had a town hall meeting with the whole team as of yet. However, there was another round of Layoffs. They took out the second layer of channel personnel last week. Two people reporting to Zane Long, who is still there, are gone: the North American Channel leader and the EMEA head of Channel and Strategic leader. No one saw this coming. 

The RingCX AVP was laid off three weeks ago, yet they just started offering 15X SPIFF on RingCX. I guess he was fired because he couldn’t get sales.

RNG also let MO go. He was President and COO – and now RNG lacks both. That should bode well.

Over the years RNG has been a pendulum with handsets. They wish no one wanted them but at least half the sales ask for handsets. Now RNG is doing Hardware as a Service (or Device as a Service) with phones.  RingCentral offers a range of DaaS phones, with prices starting at $4 per month for the Yealink T33G desk phone and going up to $43 per month for the Poly Trio C60 conference phone.”

RNG also completed an integration with JenesisNow. “JenesisNow enhances insurance agency and client communication with RingCentral VOIP integration.” Integrations are going to be what drives sales.

8×8 Launches New SMS Fraud Prevention Communication API — 8×8 Omni Shield CPaaS Solution Enables Enterprises to Proactively Safeguard Customers Against Artificial Inflation of Traffic Attacks.

8×8 was looking for Target Market Clarity and Go-to-Market focus, so they decided to focus on small medium enterprise (SME) market (under 10,000 seats), where the company can differentiate with an integrated UCaaS +CCaaS solution. Also to target CCaaS up to 1,000 seats by leveraging its conversational AI capabilities.  That means everyone. That is literally 97% of all businesses on the planet. That isn’t focus — that is thinking you sell Spaghetti. You are selling Spaghetti; you are selling UC+CC and sometimes CPaaS or, right, just dial-tone for Teams; yeah, that is 300M businesses, but why would a majority of them buy from you? 8×8 has been around since 1987 – and has 60K customers — out of 33M businesses in the US.

The SMB sector represents 61.7 million employees, which is 46.4% of private sector employees. 8×8 has 3M users – less than 5% of that sector – but chose to chase other sectors because needed to say enterprise.

Microsoft Unbundles Teams From Office 365 in Europe! There will be some room for UCaaS providers now in EU.




Quota and the Sales Salary

Quota is usually arbitrary. I am unaware of any provider who looks at average sales size and sales cycle days to calculate Quota.

Most providers want the sales rep to pay their salary and then some.

So at $60K base, the provider is spending about $78K with taxes and benefits.

If you sold $1K per month, the revenue generated is 11 months of revenue for anything sold in January if it can be installed and billed in February. That would result in $66K in top line revenue in a calendar year.

  • Jan – $11,000
  • Feb – $10,000
  • March – $9,000
  • April – $8,000
  • May – $7,000
  • June – $6,000
  • July – $5,000
  • Aug – $4,000
  • Sept – $3,000
  • Oct – $2,000
  • Nov – $1,000
  • Dec – 0 (because it won’t bill or install in Dec.)

Since most providers have a 30% margin,  that $66K ends up being $19,800 above costs. 

The way a provider looks at it, that won’t cut it for sales unless you look at it as the cost of sales is a business overhead charge and you gained $66K of top-line revenue.

If the average UCaaS sales size is 13 seats at $20 per seat, then the average sale is $260. A sales rep would need to sell 4 deals a month (one per week) to make $1K in quota.

For quota of $4000 and the average sales size being $400, that is 10 deals per month — or one every 2 days of the 20 business days per month. Is that doable?

Not if a sales rep has to perform the duties of SDR, farming, retention, and hunting.

There is a two-fold reason 60+% of reps can’t hit quota: (1) unrealistic quota; (2) not many people are farmers + hunters. How much lead generation does a company do?

Quota is just one measure of sales activity.

Quota needs to be realistic.

I understand that a $60K sales rep bring in $66K per year in MRC seems unreasonable, but how much would you bring in without a sales rep?

And how much training and/or coaching do the sales rep receive?

Need help thinking this through? Call RAD-INFO INC at (813) 963-5884

Content is Still King

With everything changed since the pandemic, people forgot that Content is King.

When the streaming services are suffering losses, is it the price or the lack of compelling content?

When your conference sessions and webinars are flat-lining due to nearly empty rooms, it is the content.

It is also that your brand has suffered.

People have huge expectations of a Vegas expo, but little expectation of a fall conference.

Andy Abramson mentions that things changed from blogger to influencer. If you were a quality blogger before, you had influence. Again it was the content – what you were saying and how you were saying it.

Conferences are in flux because attendees need actionable intel. When the hype around AI and cybersec are high, people look for education. Webinars are plentiful, on every platform – LinkedIn Live, twitter, on and on. Everyone is an expert, except they aren’t. An expert can explain the complex simply. A good teacher can give concrete analogies that make concepts understandable. We aren’t seeing that.

Use cases and sales forensics aren’t for Marketing; they are for the Prospective Buyers and the Sellers to get a better grasp of the benefits and impacts of the service offerings.

Lumen and AppDirect did a good job on a luncheon two weeks ago about cyber-security. They really showcased Black Lotus Labs. [No idea why they spent 10 minutes on a slide about POTS replacement at a security luncheon.] Lumen has a large portfolio. Too large. No org that size can deliver everything to everyone customized.

The best way to do a luncheon is to do sales forensics. Who, Why, What, and  How – on a closed deal. Who was the Buyer? Why were they shopping? What were they trying to achieve? How can we help them achieve that?

Throwing up a slide with every service you offer is useless. No one will remember any of it.  It ends up looking like a diner menu. And there are many items on a diner menu you do NOT want to order.

Focus is key.

Being Specific is vital. This service benefits these types of businesses and how exactly?

When you sell pharmaceuticals you don’t push every drug in the portfolio each visit. Each visit – because getting the doctor’s attention is so rare – is about One Drug, its indications, its contra-indications, clinic trial data and handing out samples. Why can’t that be the way partners get training? Ten minutes about one drug. Instead we get 45 minutes to an hour of every drug and every disease out there.

The content is king – in every meeting, in every webinar, in every session, at every conference. Take-aways.

At CVX Expo in Scottsdale on Nov. 14-16, the content is king. Last year, all our sessions were about How To Sell with specific examples. We are doing it again this year. See if you Qualify for a Free Pass to CVX Expo HERE.


Tidbits from Fiber Connect 2023

Fiber Connect 2023 is a happy show right now that is leveraging the forty-plus billion of government dollars going toward fiber deployment and the tens of billions of private equity money chasing that!

This show focused on putting fiber in the ground. There were a number of vehicles to help with that. (see below). There were different types of fiber – mesh and painted on?! A good amount of software for digital twinning and mapping out the fiber deployment. For example, “‘Render Insights,’ a data intelligence platform set to revolutionize network deployment with interactive visualizations, ensuring faster, high-quality results for network operators and contractors.”

vehicle to paint fiber on pavement

Non-trenching fiber deployment would change things. See here.

Did you know their was a federal permitting council?  Details here and here about how the council is going to ease the permitting for BEAD winners. Some permitting advice from FBA-NTCA here.

A little bit about how AT&T looks at federal funding HERE. The two things that were mentioned often during the show: “local policy mandates for open access or pricing policies” are things that worry PE as well as operators. They all want the money free and clear (and the ACP funds as well) but without any regulation?!

How does an ISP figure out which funding source is the right fit, and what do they need to know about applying for and actually spending that money? A panel discussed it at the show.

“When Calix researched over a million subscribers across the providers it works with, fewer than 20% opted for speed tiers at 1-gig or higher.” So how do you sell fiber and increase the take rate? Know your Buyers!

Now that the funding spigot has opened, the next two worries are supply chain and labor. Vendors like ADTRAN say that they are forecasting to be a month ahead of supply. The “Built in America” NTIA caveat will burden the supply chain, but vendors are being positive. (What else can they do?)

On the labor side, FBA last year put a plan in place to train fiber techs. There were at least 3 organizations at the show that were schooling workers for the FTTx deployment.