Is anyone else banging their head into the desk?

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Why has RingCentral made things so complicated for small deployments? I mean having a 'Subject Matter Expert' available as need it great. But now it's like they have to do EVERYthing and partners are just lead referrers. What's the point?

It used to be so easy - bid a job, create a nice RC branded quote for the customer, create their account, get payment info, and deploy. Now it's 48 hours for an SME assignment. SMEs create the quotes. SMEs do this. Meanwhile your client is wondering why you aren't involved.

The portal is so broken you can't convert a lead to an opportunity and then my Channel Manager tells me 'you can't do that only an SME can. You can only create the lead' What???

We don't do a ton of RC deployments (mainly due to number porting issues locally) but when we have it was SO easy. Now it's become a nightmare. Are they just trying to get rid of partners because it sure feels that way. 

I totally get how SMEs and Channel Managers are valuable resource trying to sell million dollar deals. But for the rest of us doing small SMB deployments, it's a royal pain. My clients are annoyed it takes so long and there's so much red tape when you sold them on this great system that you pre configure so the phones just get plugged in and work! Which yeah - at it's core RC is still that easy but it should not feel like crawling over broken glass to get an actual admin account for a client to get started.

Even the last SME I talked to was asking for feedback because his manager wanted to know if partners felt this new process was slowing them down. IT IS!
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Posted 2 years ago

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Mike, Official Rep

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Thanks for this feedback. I'm sharing this with our Partner Team.  

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Ronda Tappan, Champion

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I have never had that experience. I get the account setup, payments going. My channels partner wraps up contracts via DocuSign. I setup accounts and welcome the additional training ipon my completion. I am onsite to roll out the devices and customize everything. Not sure why you are having this issue. Who is your channel partner? After that the user calls RC directly for additional support especially if I do not have the answer.
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RC-Installer, Champion

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I have not had the same experience either.  I have had to call to get leads converted from time to time and that is a pain but usually I send and E-mail and it is taken care of.

Not sure about the SME assignment.  I have not leveraged them or ever had to.  I do the installs for my customers and Like Ronda stated above.   they could call RC for support if needed but most of my customers just call me, and I take care of it.  If I need to call partner support I do on their behalf.

I usually sell 3rd party phones so I provision them my self for the customer.  This way I could get their system setup in my lab based on our call flow discussions early on.  I have leveraged RC to activate many users at a time if I need to and that is helpful. (Would be nice If we had access to that feature as well as the bulk upload and creation of extensions.  I get not letting the end user do that as mistakes could happen but re sellers should have access.

I have been a partner since the beginning just to give you a sense of time I have been doing this

Chuck Fuscone
Partner ID 331  
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I agree with this comment completely.   We appreciate your comments articulating my concerns so well.   By the time we are ready to place an order, we don't need the lead process, opportunity, quote or anything but going straight to entering the order (which we could do a few years ago)  The rest is all a waste of time when I am already saturated and only have so many hours in the day.  For small deployments, there isn't that much money in it anyway, we do it to help our customers who purchase our other products.  For what we do, RC is the best product out there, but getting an order placed has gotten quite complicated and difficult.  We don't all fit into the "cookie cutter" mold that RC management envisions.   Thank you.
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Brandon, Champion

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I can understand the frustration when you are lucky enough to be just ready to place order and then configure and deploy it yourself at the same time.  This is pretty rare for me as a reseller though.  Typically I have a sales cycle that takes some time and I also like to engage RingCentral and let them do most of the heavy lifting (that they are being paid for) like- sending contract for signature, collecting payment, shipping devices and doing 3 or 4 implementation meetings including walking the end customer through the porting submission.  I will normally participate in the meetings, but unless a customer wants to pay me extra on top of paying RingCentral it seems appropriate to let RC do this work and set up the relationship between the customer and RingCentral.

Besides the lead to opportunity conversion which normally happens the same day or within a couple hours for me, I am pretty certain you can place an order yourself as long as it does not require a contract. 

Other than that, what master agent are you going through?  Maybe they can/will do more for you?
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I think part of the frustration with the process comes from bugs in the portal (I can NOT convert a lead into an Opportunity without errors - then it's stuck. NO matter what browser/PC we use). And I agree with Brandon that having SMEs available is a GOOD thing when needed, but the way my manager is articulating it, it feels like they do everything except generate the lead and that's all we're allowed to do. Which for some that may work - but most of my clients are smaller businesses and I *need* to be the implementer because I'm the one they call when something doesn't go right. We want the RingCentral quote to include in our overall quote. Most of my clients are existing IT clients and we're adding RC as part of their overall infrastructure.

If I was pitching RC to an existing larger business with IT staff, etc sure - having the SME heavy lift would be sweet. But for SMBs - my experience is they want us to 'just handle it'. We're directly involved.

Though thankfully my last SME was awesome he got the DocuSign out, client signed, and I got a Place Order button to get things rolling. Just took too long to get there. 

So this may be frustration with the new setup and bugs in the portal. It seemed like I should be able to generate a lead, get client ready to go, convert to opportunity to get a quote for them to review. SME if needed can provide additional insights and then get them the agreement to sign, then we click Place Order and go. So far the early part doesn't seem to be working out.

Plus this freaked me out when my manager tried to explain what we were doing wrong:

·         Customer has shown interest in UCaaS solution
·         Partner has spoken to the customer and has discussed RingCentral
·         Partner has informed the customer that they will be registered with RingCentral and a Subject matter expert will contact them for discovery call.

RULE: If none of the above has been completed or communicated to the customer, do not register the lead.

2)The standard Subject matter expert assignment is 48 hours.
3) SME will contact the customer directly for discovery call , quotes , agreement, sign up.

which made it seem like we threw leads at RC and that was it.

We've struggled to sell RingCentral because we could not port local numbers in our city. So RC was only realistic for clients we served in other nearby towns/cities - but the few we did it was SO easy. Lead -> Quote -> Opportunity -> Sign -> Place Order -> Deploy. So when we started getting more deal opportunities we'd tell clients "Oh sure once you decide to go especially if you already have VoIP phones we can deploy right away" because, well, we could :)

Despite many false starts, it finally looks like we can port, so we're seeing more deals and clearly running into hiccups in the 'new' process. Hoping it'll get smoothed out because NONE of this reflects on the service itself which we have ALWAYS liked and find so easy to administer and provide service to our clients.
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RC CT reseller

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Yes, for us the requirement of a 'Subject matter expert' has been a hold up and quite a frustration point too...  a number of times now.  For us a SME is a great option, just not helpful as a requirement.  We have sold RingCentral systems for a while now and are (comfortable with) quoting and closing RingCentral deals. We would like to contact a SME at our discretion.  At times customers have only been able to give us the go ahead close to a dead-line and we've had to wait on an SME that has not gotten back to us on time.  For us, the SME is usually just taking the credit card and creating the account.   

We would really appreciate if RingCentral could allow an exception to the SME requirement for companies that request it.
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I agree completely.  In the summer, every day is critical for us, and having another individual call the customer only confuses them and adds to the time it takes to get a system ordered, checked in our office, and then shipped to the field.  At least for smaller sales, perhaps less than 10-20 users, there should be an exception to the SME requirement.
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Chris Duquette, Champion

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I tend to feel like as a partner I am the SME the only difference is that I cant offer any discounts or benefits to signing with RC. I've sat through enough demos and webinars that I have a good grasp on the platform. I like being in front of my customer so I sit through the demos and just try and buffer between tech talk from RC and customer needs.
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Chris Duquette, Champion

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I've been told a few times that the portal is being fixed and partners not being able to make quotes is only temporary and yet I still cant make my own quotes. I enter new lead info into the portal and then click convert and it doesn't save all the work I just did typing everything in so I try again, same result. Then I have to email every RC contact I have to make sure the lead info gets input and make sure they get me a quote back as well. More often then not now I just make an email and send all info to RC reps and don't even bother with the portal unless I'm looking for new certifications or taped webinars.