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Two Female-Founded IT Vendors Merge To Be More Channel-Focused

CJ Fairfield

‘It’s been a dream to acquire it,’ says Sierra Chase, CEO of Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Next Level Services. ‘When COVID hit, I saw that lead generation wasn’t going to be the same and I created a remote call center and partnered with Manage Sales Pros. Acquiring it has been a long-term goal of mine. I had been planning for this since I walked on the call floor and started calling.’

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Sierra Chase

Next Level Services has acquired Mason, Michigan-based Managed Sales Pros to continue to introduce more vendors into the IT channel and gain awareness in the industry.

The acquisition is due to the recognition Managed Sales Pros has in the IT channel, said Sierra Chase, CEO of Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Next Level Services. NLS is an outbound B2B call center that uses remote home-based agents to schedule qualified sales appointments for their B2B clients.

Managed Sales Pros is a vendor that provides consulting services and was founded by Carrie Richardson.

“It’s been a dream to acquire it,” Chase told CRN. “When COVID hit, I saw that lead generation wasn’t going to be the same and I created a remote call center and partnered with Manage Sales Pros. Acquiring it has been a long-term goal of mine. I had been planning for this since I walked on the call floor and started calling.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

[Related: The Pandemic Led To MSPs Being The ‘First Call’ Customers Make]

Chase started her career working with Richardson in 2016 supporting Managed Sales Pros clients. She then left to launch Next Level Services in 2020, growing her company from two to 16 employees, and working closely with Managed Sales Pros.

“We want to continue providing quality service, we want to grow and keep helping vendors introduce themselves into the channel and help secure monthly recurring revenue for them,” Chase said of the acquisition.

Richardson said merging with NLS was the right move.

“Sierra worked with us from 2016 onwards,” she told CRN. “She started on the floor and then became a member of the executive team. So from a process perspective, Sierra and I were completely aligned because she’s following the processes that she helped us build when she worked for us. So when she moved on, instead of being pissy about it, she said, ‘Well how can we partner with this agency.’”

And because Chase has built many of Managed Sales Pros processes when she worked there, she understands all of the company’s operations and target audience, Richardson added.

Managed Sales Pros had no employees to bring over in the acquisition. Richardson will be stepping away from the business and focusing on other ventures, including her and her husband’s consulting business Richardson and Richardson Consulting.

“I don’t want to be in telemarketing for my entire career,” she said. “I’ve been doing this for 10 years. It’s time. I’d like to pivot and do some different things. Now I’d like to focus more on consulting. I also wanted to make sure that the clients that have developed trust in us over the last 10 years were in good hands, so it was a perfect match when it came time to sell.”

Going forward, Next Level Services will be an all-industry lead generation company for business-to-business industries. The Managed Sales Pros arm will be strictly IT channel business. NLS will also be lowering prices to make the transition easier for customers as well as earn their trust with a new face of the business.

“As a first-generation female business owner, I’m excited to set an example for my children, and hope this inspires other women in entry-level sales roles to keep pursuing their goals,” Chase said.

CJ Fairfield

CJ Fairfield is an associate editor at CRN covering solution providers, MSPs and distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked at daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. She can be reached at cfairfield@thechannelcompany.com.

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