Last month we touched upon some of the current challenges facing sales and marketing teams in the telecom industry, and detailed how some legacy providers have begun to shift their focus from consumer to B2B markets, developing their revenue streams to retain a foothold in the market.
To recap, perhaps the most compelling argument for this shift has been the influx of new providers delivering innovative addressable IT and OTT services in recent years, which have flooded the telecom market and made it difficult for legacy leaders to compete. Meanwhile, the way in which buyers are making purchase decisions has changed, as they find their own margins have tightened. This has added to the pressures already felt by overburdened telecom teams.
In such a saturated marketplace, telecom providers are realizing the need to build upon their current go-to-market strategies, but with business requirements often outpacing training resources, it can be difficult to know where to start. In our latest whitepaper, Legacy to Leader: Propelling Sales and Marketing through Digital Transformation in the Telecom Industry, we highlight the three principles our customers are adopting to optimize the sales cycle and grow revenue.
1. The customer comes first
The path to purchase has changed dramatically over the past few decades, with 57% of today’s B2B customer journey taking place before the buyer even has a conversation with the sales team. As such, expectations have increased, and prospective customers are no longer looking for “just” a salesperson. Instead they require trusted advisors to guide them through the remainder of the sales cycle and towards that all-important deal. Therefore, it’s imperative that sales and marketing teams recognize that the customer life cycle starts the minute a prospect becomes engaged with their organization. Rather than considering each customer touchpoint in isolation, sellers need to conceptualize how the customer journey flows across all touchpoints. Only then can they improve multiple elements in synchronization.
2. Changing the company culture
Adopting a more holistic approach to customer engagement within the sales team is a great start, but it shouldn’t stop there. Teams across an organization also need to work with each other to optimize customer engagement and shorten the sales cycle wherever possible. For example, sales and marketing departments need to work collaboratively on the content that they share with prospects, agreeing on a company-wide communication strategy before it is implemented.
3. Digitize to revitalize
Digital transformation is here, it’s now, and it’s inevitable in every part of our lives. And that’s no different for the telecom market. In fact, McKinsey has recently revealed that the majority of executives consider digitization to be one of their top priorities. Furthermore, “it could enable telecom operators to improve profits by as much as 35%”. Digitizing processes and systems empowers telcos “to rebuild their market positions, reimagine their business systems, and create innovative offerings for customers”. At Seismic, our customers are already beginning to leverage customer engagement strategies through digitization, with sales enablement playing a key role in the automation process. But how does sales enablement in particular help build the buyer-seller relationship?
Sales enablement technology improves buyer engagement and customer relations by closing the gap between the sales experience and buyer’s expectations.
One of the core benefits of sales enablement for our customers, including Rogers, T-Mobile Netherland and Inmarsat, is that it helps them to shorten the sales cycle by driving the conversation forward, therefore expediting customer engagement.
Sales enablement also helps empower the sales team to follow up with prospects proactively, rather than having to wait in the hope that they respond in a timely manner, if at all. Marketing teams also benefit from sales enablement technology as they know the content they produce is fully accessible, relevant, on-brand and, ultimately, being utilized. With the ability to liaise directly with their sales counterparts across the office, for example to make improvements to content on the fly, the marketing team can be confident their efforts aren’t wasted.
Until now, telecom providers have relied on a number of platforms, such as Salesforce, to provide insight into buyer trends and engagement, or Marketo to build brand awareness. However, sales enablement technology and software such as Seismic, is now being implemented to leverage analytics across multiple platforms, thereby unifying once disparate teams.
By tracking customer touchpoints directly into a CRM – and thereby creating a reliable database for future teams to utilize – telecom providers can finally deliver the right recommendations to the right buyers at exactly the right stage in the sales cycle, resolving their pain points with ease and efficiency. For providers looking to offer more value and bolster buyer relations through digital transformation, sales enablement is key.