Becoming a CenturyLink partner means so much more than ‘you selling our stuff’. When we refer to our ‘partners’ we mean exactly that; a two-way business partnership where we invest heavily in their success. Believe me, not everyone in this business sees things that way.

I think the level of our commitment is perhaps best illustrated by our on-boarding programme, which goes above and beyond in terms of helping partners become business ready, regardless of the solutions they choose to sell.  What’s even better is that we can take partners from a standing start to fully operational in under six weeks.  It’s a truly remarkable differentiator.

It’s a qualitative and value-driven approach developed by our in-house team; a business-enablement vision if you will, that lets partners innovate and offer their customers more value than just infrastructure-as-a-service.  We’re driven by enabling partners to become world-class in infrastructure efficiency and innovation; for them to become industry thought-leaders and, perhaps most importantly, to become empowered to provide their customers with a proven, scalable and competitive platform that allows them to evolve, compete and win more business.

Partnering with CenturyLink can bring to your customer solutions that range from cloud and virtualisation, infrastructure services, data-centre services, mobility-services or managed services – we support them all.

From a new business perspective, it sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? Especially as the charge for the base on boarding is free. We see it as our part of the investment.  See what I mean about ‘different’? It really is. And in a good way too.

The magic behind the curtain…

So let’s collectively roll our sleeves up, pull back the curtains and take a look at how it’s done.

While there are four phases to our on-boarding there is one simple goal in mind: to improve competency and confidence in our reseller platform. The first is, unsurprisingly, the planning phase where we check that the on-boarding is totally aligned to business goals, key stakeholders are identified and timelines and work-streams agreed.

The enablement phase covers important business stuff like operations (billing, account setup, etc.), support, sales and technical readiness and marketing.

The go-to-market phase covers demand generation, lead cultivation and development and, most importantly, deal closing.

The final phase is the customer-engagement phase with on-going training and education, support with customer demos and trials and so on.

Each of these phases is accomplished with an impressive mix of online meetings, online tools, and ready-to-use resources that can be easily branded.  So all the training partners need to successfully sell and support CenturyLink Cloud; product, and competitive comparisons to help them target prospects effectively; and easy-to-use tools to setup accounts, facilitate billing and accurately quote.

There are also customer-facing presentations ready for re-branding, tons of marketing collateral, web copy and digital sales and marketing assets; many free of charge and all readily available.

It’s all good…

The net result of this commitment is that partners can start from zero, get fully up to speed with our propositions, tailor the solutions they want to market, get trained in the best ways to do that, learn how to sell and market effectively to become business heroes in under six-weeks. And that’s just the start. The support goes on and on, week in, year out.

For me, it’s a great way to start a long-term partnership that’s totally focused on success from day one.  There’s no point in starting any partnership where the commitment to succeed isn’t there. We take our side of the bargain very seriously.

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