Frequently asked questions
Walnut Technology Group is a Technology Solution Consulting Firm who focuses on the supplying technology, cloud, and voice/data telecom solutions to its clients. Our process starts with the discovery of the applications and goals of our clients to determine the best solution and recommendations based upon those needs. We have extensive experience in complex network solutions for technology, cloud, voice/data telecom, VoIP, audio and web conferencing, managed solutions, disaster recovery, and hosting solutions. Our direct relationships with our technology partners create a beneficial relationship for our clients.
We are compensated by our partners for the solutions that we offer to our clients. Our compensation is on a monthly basis for the duration of the contract term. It is sometimes said that compensation dictates behavior; our compensation is based upon supporting our clients’ needs over the long term, not by hitting any type of sales quota. Because of this, we are more capable to serve and support our clients over the long term and develop strong relationships with them.
Our clients directly have contracts with the technology partners who are providing services and solutions for them. We also supply technical support, customer support as well as escalation contacts for the telecom/technology company in the event you are not able to get in touch with us for any issues.
Clients are supported by our back office and support resources as well as direct support and escalation contacts with the telecom/technology companies. Clients are provided with account information, circuit ID’s, customer care and repair contact info to the telecom/technology company s directly. Once a trouble ticket is entered into their system, Walnut Technology Group is able to work directly with our internal contacts within our partners to assist in the resolution of the issue.
Walnut Technology Group is not an extra layer. All technology companies have two sales organizations; a direct sales team and an indirect sales team. Walnut Technology Group is part of the indirect sales channel for over 40 different technology vendors. We have the same visibility into the orders, repair systems, as the direct sales people do. We have stringent proprietary contracts in place with each partner that allows us this kind of system access. Walnut Technology Group also has access to the same support and repair organizations as the direct team. Those organizations support both channels. If there is a certain support person that is well liked, that individual can often times be part of the Walnut Technology Group team.
Due to Walnut Technology Group’s relationships, we have access to most of the executive level management for each technology company, often times getting things done quicker than a direct sales team
Will I get higher pricing and worse service through Walnut Technology Group, compared to a traditional direct sales team?
It is mandated by each telecom/technology company that pricing is the same for both the indirect sales channel and the direct sales channel. Both channels represent the telecom/technology company as a sales organization and the telecom/technology company will not risk undermining its credibility by giving preferential treatment to a particular channel. The indirect sales channel represents a large percentage of the overall sales revenue for each telecom/technology company and the relationship with the indirect sales channel would be negatively impacted if there was a bias in terms of pricing. It could be argued that the indirect sales channel is a less costly sales model than a direct sales team because there are no salaries, overhead and benefits paid to an indirect sales team like Walnut Technology Group. We receive compensation for the services our clients order from the telecom/technology company.
Walnut Technology Group dedicates more support personnel than a direct sales team. We have control over how much support a particular customer may need and this is one area that sets us apart. Direct sales team support people are decided at very high levels, which is out of the sales team’s control. We understand this is not always good for customers and is one of the main cogs of our business model and why we started the company. We shower our customers with support and it’s in our control to do so.
Do I have any downside by working with an organization such as Walnut Technology Group? What is my recourse if I don’t like the way they manage my account?
Because you are not contracting with Walnut Technology Group, we should be viewed like a direct sales team. Your contract is with the telecom/technology company that we represent, not Walnut Technology Group. You have no exposure here in anyway. We have a sales manager that we report to for each telecom/technology company, just like a direct sales team. Our customers know all of our sales managers (for the telecom/technology company they are using) and you will have access to them and their leadership team, at any time. Like a direct sales team, you can go to the Walnut Technology Group telecom/technology company sales manager with concerns and have us removed from your account if needed. We go to great lengths to make sure our customers have executive-level involvement with all of the telecom/technology company’s they are doing business with through Walnut Technology Group
Because Walnut Technology Group does not technically “work” for a telecom/technology company, it can represent multiple telecom/technology companies and therefore can maintain a “consultative” approach to the way we work with our customers. Walnut Technology Group does not really care what telecom/technology company a customer chooses to go with, our only real concern is that the solution is the right one for the needs of the customer. It is very difficult to get that kind of objectivity from a direct sales team.
Walnut Technology Group’s compensation model is in alignment with what the customer is trying to do, which is to cut costs and create efficiencies. Direct sales teams get paid on a one-time basis for each sale and based upon quota attainment. They are not compensated on an ongoing basis for the management of the account unless there continues to be a new sale made. Once the sell is made, there is a snapshot of the total revenue associated with that sale. The sales person can only be compensated if that revenue continues to grow. If the revenue is written down because the pricing needs to be adjusted, the sales team takes a big hit to their compensation. Sales people are not driven to lower pricing which puts them in direct conflict with what customers are so often trying to do. The old adage… sales people’s behavior is driven by their compensation plan is so true. This is why you see a lot of energy around a new sales team trying to win “new business” but not the same energy level around incumbent sales teams trying to “maintain” business. We also do not have any sales “quota’s” with the technology partners we represent. If they provide a good solution and support to our clients, we will recommend them to other clients
Walnut Technology Group is paid on a residual compensation plan. This means that we get paid a monthly commission for the total revenue, for the term of the contract and when the contract is renewed. We are highly motivated to take care of our customers throughout the term of the agreement because our compensation is co-terminus with our customer’s agreements. More importantly, we are even more motivated to take care of our customers so that they are compelled to sign a renewal agreement when the time comes. If that agreement is not signed, our compensation goes away… Again, compensation plans do drive behavior. This is one of the more significant drivers for our business model when we started Walnut Technology Group. It was absolutely imperative that the compensation model was in total alignment with our customer’s needs.
Walnut Technology Group account teams do not come and go. Our sales teams have worked with all of our customers for years. We have had zero turn-over in our company since we were founded and specifically with our account teams. You can count on having an account team that knows your business and is essentially an extension of you.
How does a direct sales organization differ from the indirect sales organization that Walnut Technology Group is part of?
Most of this question has been addressed already. There are several distinctions that should be mentioned. The direct and indirect sales teams have parallel reporting organizations that meet at the same Executive Vice President who is responsible for both organizations. One major difference is the relationship Walnut Technology Group has with our suppliers. Over the years, Walnut Technology Group has grown that we have the ear of the executives for most of the telecom/technology companies we support. It is no secret… the more we sell for them, the more of an audience we get. This is truly unique and sets us apart from most direct and indirect sales teams. Walnut Technology Group has direct relationships with the technology partners we represent
To reiterate, the technology/telecom company provides compensation for orders that are placed by our clients. We represent the telecom/technology company, so our customers sign contracts from the telecom/technology company, not Walnut Technology Group. We put the order into the telecom/technology company ordering system, it has our ID on the order and the telecom/technology company pays us the agreed upon commission for the service that was ordered by a Walnut Technology Group support person.
- Walnut Technology Group(Technology Solution Provider) represents itself as the telecom/technology company from a sales, service, and solution standpoint
- Technology Partners are authorized by the telecom/technology company to sell its complete line of products and services
- Customers are not required to sign a special agreement to work with a consultant, just like they are not required to sign agreements with a direct sales team.
- Technology Partners have access to all of the same ordering and billing systems as a direct telecom/technology company team.
- Whether you are direct or indirect sales team, you don’t have the ability to actually fix circuit problems. Both channels are reliant on the repair organizations for that telecom/technology company to resolve repair issues. Account teams can escalate and “birddog” repair issues on behalf of the customer. Walnut Technology Group has 150 years of collective experience in managing repair problems and escalating on our customer’s behalf.
- All contracts will be directly with the telecom/technology company, not resold Walnut Technology Group contracts
- All billing will come directly from the telecom/technology company – not through Walnut Technology Group
- All existing contracts stay in place; there is no “conversion” to Walnut Technology Group because Walnut Technology Group is a sales arm of the telecom/technology company
- Walnut Technology Group is not an aggregator or reseller of telecommunications services;
- Walnut Technology Group is an additional sales channel for these different telecom/technology companies.
- There is no extra charge to work with Walnut Technology Group; Walnut Technology Group is compensated directly by the telecom/technology company as their sales channel
- The customer pays identical rates whether working with the direct team, with Walnut Technology Group, or both
- Technology Solution Partners have the same reporting structure as a direct sales team- Sales manager, Director, Sales VP and Executive Sales VP. Both the direct and indirect sales channels meet at the Executive Vice President level.
- Due to Walnut Technology Group Group’s size, we have access to the executive levels with all of our telecom/technology partners.