Consultant Liaison Programs (CLP): A Mainstay Program for Consultants Unique to Our Industry
A Consultant Liaison Program (CLP) is a dedicated vendor-sponsored marketing or channel support program targeted at independent, knowledgeable and objective consultants. All types of businesses hire these consultants to help them strategize, understand, assess, plan, integrate and manage their communications networks. End-users look to their consultants for advice and recommendations on the network technologies, systems and services that best meet their business communications needs.
More than 75% of consultants’ network solution recommendations to their clients are accepted and implemented. It is therefore imperative for consultants to stay current on the communications networks technologies, systems and solutions available to their clients. Vendor-sponsored CLPs are one of the better sources of information and support dedicated to consultants.
CLPs are not new to this industry and have been around since the traditional voice-drive telecommunications days. But as communications/network technologies continue to evolve with greater strategic and competitive importance, more and more network equipment vendors, cloud service providers and system/network integrators are recognizing the important role and influence consultants have in this industry.
CLPs help communications technology consultants get the right resources and support they need from a specific vendor, to support them throughout their client assessment, bidding, selection and implementation processes. An effective and well managed CLP will energize the business relationships between communications technology vendors and consultants, and help ensure a satisfied mutual customer. The CLP relationship helps consultants bring more value to their clients and provides vendors access to prospective new customers.
Seven Reasons for Consultants to Join Vendor CLPs
- A CLP quickly points consultants at the right resources such as solution and technology documents, market reports, RFP templates, configuration tools, reference accounts, partner recommendations and more.
- Consultants can learn about new technologies and solutions they can bring to their clients, thereby positioning themselves as being on top of current trends, up-and-coming vendors and new, better alternatives to the status quo.
- Being a member of a CLP expands the consultant’s skill set and offerings, and can be a channel for new incoming leads, which consultants may follow up with as they wish, even with competitor’s offerings.
- A CLP puts member consultants in touch with a vendor’s C-level team, technical experts and field/channel management, as needed, for feedback and client support, problem solving and escalation.
- A CLP is the consultant’s reliable and trusted central point-of- vendor contact to ensure that they get the information and support they need, when they need it, even at the 11th hour.
- Communications technology vendors want consultant feedback, and CLP members have a direct channel to senior management to solve problems and have input into future offerings.
- Success creates success; working with the CLP will encourage vendors to provide more consultant support.
CLPs are go-to resources for many industry consultants. Find out if vendors you work with or need to know more about have a CLP. If so, take the time to join the program. CLP registrations are quick, easy and FREE. If not, encourage them to offer a CLP to the consultant community.