Taking the Telco Advantage to Win Sales
by Abby Lambert
To compete in today’s competitive environment, telecommunications companies are increasing their focus on sales. There are many sales-related articles and blogs available. However, most of them apply to other products and industries that are far removed from the telco world. A blog post from Steve W. Martin called “Top Reasons Salespeople Lose Business” caught my eye; it turns out that several of his key points apply to telcos:
Key Point: Incumbent Advantage.
“The incumbent vendor has a huge sales cycle advantage and the tendency is for them to win business by default. Based upon my research, the odds of unseating an incumbent vendor is typically about one in five.”
Most telcos are ILECs, in which “I” stands for “Incumbent.” When working with customer service reps (CSRs), technical support reps, and outside I&R/service staff, Pivot trainers help identify strategies for dealing with the competition. Typically, staff can list many strong reasons why their company is a better option for local customers. If customer-facing staff can remember to use these competitive advantages on a daily basis, they can use the incumbent advantage in sales.
Key Point: Inability to Remove Risk.
“Customers are never 100 percent sure they are purchasing the right product. Regardless of their confident demeanor, on the inside they are experiencing fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The ability to remove perceived risk plays a key role in determining who wins the deal.”
The simplest ways for CSRs and other staff to reduce customer fear is to know the company’s products and services. The Pivot call monitoring team reviews hundreds of calls each month. One consistent theme in low call scores is the CSR’s inability to articulate the features and benefits of the company’s products and services. How can a customer make a confident purchasing decision if the company’s salesperson isn’t confident about the product? Smaller telcos that don’t have national presence and staff should have the flexibility to provide consistent training on products. New product roll-outs can be planned and executed with planning and clear communication.
In conclusion: how can you use the telco advantage? To increase sales make sure your staff understands—and can articulate—your company’s competitive advantage and products.