Breaking Barriers in Telecom: Ty Smith on Diversity, Inclusion, and Channel Sales

November 27, 2023
Content Marketing | Marketing Strategy | Rep Matters

Episode Summary

In this first episode of Rep Matters, produced by Marketers in Demand, hosts Zoya Segelbacher and Caroline Jones sit down with Ty Smith, a seasoned Channel Manager at Cox Business. Ty shares his extensive 18-year journey in the telecom industry, highlighting his evolution from sales roles to a leadership position in channel management. He emphasizes the importance of understanding and navigating the complex telecom landscape, including the nuances of various services and jargon.

Ty dives into the intricacies of channel sales, explaining how it offers a unique entrepreneurial pathway for building IT companies. He discusses the challenges and opportunities within the industry, particularly focusing on diversity and inclusion. Ty’s story is a testament to the power of self-education and adaptability, as he transitioned from traditional sales roles to a more strategic position in channel management.

The conversation also touches on the challenges of staying informed and educated in a rapidly evolving industry. Ty’s approach to learning and adapting to new technologies and terminologies is a key takeaway for anyone looking to thrive in the dynamic world of telecommunications and IT.

Featured Guest

Name: Ty Smith
What he does: Agent Channel Manager, Large & Enterprise, Indirect Channel Sales
Company:  Cox
Noteworthy: 18 years in telecom, expert in channel sales and IT entrepreneurship

Key Insights

Navigating the Complex World of Telecom and Channel Sales

Ty Smith, with his 18-year tenure in the telecom industry, offers a deep dive into the complexities of telecommunications and channel sales. He discusses the evolution of his career, starting from basic sales roles to becoming a Channel Manager. Ty emphasizes the importance of understanding diverse services and jargon in telecom, a sector known for its rapid technological advancements and varied terminologies. His journey illustrates the necessity of continuous learning and adaptation in this dynamic field, highlighting how he mastered the art of selling everything from internet services to cloud-based solutions.

The Entrepreneurial Pathway in Channel Sales

Ty Smith sheds light on the entrepreneurial opportunities within channel sales, particularly for underrepresented communities. He explains how channel sales can be a free entrepreneurial pathway, enabling individuals to build multi-million dollar IT businesses. This insight is crucial for aspiring entrepreneurs, as Ty discusses the potential of channel sales to empower individuals from diverse backgrounds to create successful enterprises. His experience in teaching and guiding new entrepreneurs in this field underscores the untapped potential and inclusivity of the telecom industry.

Overcoming Challenges in Telecom Diversity and Inclusion

The episode highlights the challenges of diversity and inclusion in the telecom industry, as discussed by Ty Smith. He points out the lack of awareness and accessibility in channel sales, especially for people from underrepresented neighborhoods. Ty’s commitment to increasing diversity involves educating and bringing more people into the fold of this lucrative industry. He emphasizes the need for inclusive practices and broader awareness to ensure that the telecom sector does not remain an exclusive domain. This insight is particularly relevant in today’s world, where diversity and inclusion are key to innovation and growth in any industry.

Episode Highlights

Ty Smith’s Journey from Sales to Channel Management

Ty Smith shares his career trajectory, starting from basic sales roles to becoming a Channel Manager. He reflects on his early days at Radio Shack, where he sold various telecom services and equipment, learning the nuances of customer needs and technical solutions. This experience laid the foundation for his growth in the telecom industry.

“So I started off in just a regular sales role… I did that for quite a bit. It was seven long years that I was there, and it wasn’t just just selling services. It was also selling the backend equipment and getting in the weeds with a lot of customers on solving their solutions.”

The Ease of Entering Channel Sales

Ty discusses the accessibility of entering channel sales, emphasizing the lack of initial costs and the ease of starting to sell immediately. This part of the conversation highlights how channel sales offer a low barrier to entry, making it an attractive option for aspiring entrepreneurs.

“And then, once they sign up with the distributor, there’s no cost. They’re not paying anything to sign up. They’re not paying anything to have the rights to resell. They completely just sign a form, and then they could basically just start selling literally the next day.”

Building and Selling a Channel Sales Business

Ty explains the potential for building and eventually selling a channel sales business. He details how entrepreneurs can grow their businesses and achieve significant valuations, offering a roadmap for success in the channel sales arena.

“Once you put your plan into action and you grow it… that company is now worth something if you’re consistently getting residual income… You can now sell that company out and just exit the business and walk away with potentially five million, four million, three, depending on what it was worth.”

Ty Smith’s Outreach and Community Engagement

The conversation shifts to Ty’s efforts in outreach and community engagement. He discusses his involvement with organizations like the Black Tech Retreat and his passion for educating people about the telecom industry. This part of the discussion underscores Ty’s commitment to spreading knowledge and opportunities in the field.

“Something that I just want to do is just really just help people learn more about this whole industry.”

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