Cerida Teleservices Tapped for IBM Partner Program

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Teleservices firm Cerida Corp., Andover, MA, has been selected to market and run a lead-generation program for IBM's small and midsize business partners.

Cerida, which operates two call centers with a capacity of 300 workstations, this week began marketing the program to members of IBM Partnerworld, a group of 90,000 companies worldwide that use IBM technology and have partnered to become resellers of IBM hardware and software. Cerida will market solely to Partnerworld members in North America.

Along with marketing the program to Partnerworld members, Cerida offers to run the program and generate at least 10 leads per month for them for $6,000 per month. Lists for lead generation are provided by IBM, the partners themselves and Cerida's internal database.

The program, ProspectBuilder Premier, is a five-step methodology developed by Object Associates, Methuen, MA. Partnerworld wanted to persuade its members to use a single teleservices organization, said Bob Baker, vice president of alliance at Cerida. Object Associates then picked Cerida to help increase usage of ProspectBuilder Premier among Partnerworld members.

Cerida expects to dedicate one or two call center agents to each partner that signs up, Baker said. Call volumes will be low, but the agents are highly qualified and will not use traditional scripted pitches.

"It's not about volume," Baker said. "It's about quality. We don't have traditional smile-and-dial agents. We have people who are technically astute."

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