As a telecom service provider, there’s not enough slack in the system to tolerate broken sales cycles. Especially when considering the volatility of the telecommunications industry, it’s imperative to get broken processes under control immediately.
Sales cycles can be broken in two different ways: either they aren’t generating the right amount of revenue or there’s a broken facet in the cycle itself. Broken telecom sales cycles demonstrate any of the following characteristics:
- Not having enough customers
- The sales cycle takes too long
- Pricing or products have grown stagnant
- Offerings lack a competitive advantage
- Back-end operational or communication breakdowns
Fortunately, there are four fixes to broken sales cycles when it comes to B2B telecom. Here they are:
Fix #1: Set Proper Expectations With Customers
With most telecom providers, the sales team simply takes down the orders of potential customers after convincing them to switch to their services. Yet, this approach doesn’t set the proper expectations for new customers about the setup and installation process.
Instead of merely taking orders, your sales team needs to start by asking prospects the right questions to ensure a proper installation. After all, not every network is created equal and porting phone numbers in business telecom can be a minefield if your team doesn’t set the right expectations.
Without the right expectations upfront, potential customers won’t close when it’s time to sign on the dotted line. However, when your team communicates every step of the process from the initial agreement to the moment the installation van arrives, your sales cycle realizes greater revenue.
Fix #2: Use A Unified CRM Or Tracking System
One major reason telecom sales cycles break down is that the communication between marketing, sales and customer service isn’t tracked in a unified place. The only way to fix this aspect of a broken cycle is to establish and fully commit to a consistent customer relationship management (CRM) system that tracks customers from the prospect stage all the way through installation and repeat purchases.
When telecom service providers don’t have a unified CRM, transferring data between your sales and fulfillment departments literally becomes a game of Telephone where information is sure to be corrupted or lost. These communication breakdowns not only cost you time and effort, but they likely will cost you customers.
So, next time one of your departments wants to use a new app or widget for tracking their own customer data, pass over their request. Your overall sales cycle – and your customers – will thank you.
Fix #3: Harness Exclusive, Time-Bound Offers
If you’re trying to fix a broken telecom sales cycle and you have a stagnant product, pricing model or sales channel, you need to utilize exclusive marketing offers and one-day-only deals to boost sales. Whether your offer is a free tablet, gift card or discounted installation deal, these time-bound calls-to-action increase your returns on underperforming offerings.
Your offers should have short runways or even be extended for only one day so that they have a bigger impact with potential customers. By setting a tone of urgency with your prospects, you’re more likely to close deals or spur prospects to a desired action.
Fix #4: Get Creative With Your Sales Channel Mix
If your telecom sales cycle is broken, it’s usually time to reevaluate your mix of sales channels. Telecom service providers have a number of channels they should already be using from the traditional to the tech-savvy, including:
- In-person field sales
- Email marketing
- TV/radio marketing
- Telemarketing & telesales
- Direct mail marketing
- Web chat functionality
- Landing pages and web forms
As you evaluate each channel, examine its performance and any potential areas for future growth or optimization. Also, analyze whether your sales channels overlap or compete with one another in any way. Competition ensures optimal revenue, and overlapping channels mean you’re reaching all of your potential prospects – instead of just a slice of them.
Telecom service providers are in a competitive, fast-changing market, so it’s critical that your sales cycle is optimized for maximum revenue. Use these four fixes to turn your sales cycle from under performing to record-breaking.
Looking for a smoother sales process as a telecom service provider? Click below to download this industry guide from Invenio Solutions® to start turning cold calls into prospects that are ready to buy.