Delivering Microsoft’s quarterly earnings report to Wall Street, CEO Satya Nedella stated “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months”. I don’t think that many would disagree with that statement as businesses worldwide have been forced into rapid digital transformation as a matter of corporate survival. Board members who were historically reticent to invest in technology have had a timely wake-up call.
But what is next for mobile network operators, managed service providers and communications systems integrators as we start to take the first steps in recovery from this pandemic?
Impact on the Telecoms Sector
In both the recent EY Talk Telecoms and Analysis Mason telecom market and operator reviews, whilst COVID-19 has undeniably had a short term impact, moving forwards both analysts identify clear opportunities for those in the sector. Roaming has seen dramatic usage reductions alongside declining data usage outside of the home, counterbalanced by a massive uplift in home broadband usage. However, the underlying message is that ways of working have changed for the foreseeable future, and with that comes opportunity. The new ‘digital normal’ will call on telecoms companies to redefine products and services to enable mass working from home – from provision of network capacity, further network virtualisation and improved management to better customer engagement . By necessity, service providers will need to improve their digital experience to support wide scale adoption. For many, this will be seen as vindication and a driver to accelerate existing strategy but for some this will be a wake-up call.
The B2B sales landscape has changed
In their articles exploring how sales have changed during COVID-19 and how organisations can emerge stronger through reskilling, McKinsey & Company outlines how important it is for companies to re-skill their Sales and Account Management teams to function in this new digital first, distanced engagement. McKinsey point out that whilst companies are generally reducing spend a significant enough number are increasing it; for many B2B companies digital sales interactions are now 2-3 times as important as old ways of doing business; and remote selling is the new norm with 90%+ of sales interactions now occurring through digital channels such as videoconferencing, and self-service.
Three Imperatives for post COVID-19 Sales Growth
1 – Upskill your sales team
Service providers who are redefining their product and service offerings and are looking to take them to market will need to recognise this changed sales landscape and respond to it – but what should they be doing?
Along with McKinsey & Company, we believe that companies need to reskill and align their sales functions. Already, most have gone from a face-to-face selling experience to 100% online overnight. Now is the time to focus on ensuring that sales teams have the skills, online processes and importantly data and insight that they need to effectively operate remotely.
2 – Get in SHAPE for change
McKinsey & Company have suggested that rapid revenue gains for organisations may be possible if an organisation’s sales and marketing teams are agile enough. But what does that mean? In their article, Leading with purpose: How marketing and sales leaders can shape the next normal, they define a model under the moniker of SHAPE for leaders to manage unpredictable challenges, focusing on five capabilities:
- Adopting a Start-up mindset, anchored around resilience
- Being Human at the core
- Accelerate the adoption of digital
- Purpose driven customer engagement
- Establishing Ecosystems which drive resilience
It will still be key for the Executive Team to Identify and prioritise; act with urgency; and develop an agile operating model to survive and flourish.
3 – Insight-driven sales
If you are in Sales or Account Management, whether in a mobile network operator, managed service provider or communications systems integrator, your world has changed. By adopting a SHAPE approach, investing in an improved customer digital experience and re-skilling to sell an evolving set of products and services we think will be in a good position.
However, having the insight and data you need to acquire and grow customers with the most attractive deals is a critical capability you need
How Signum Can Help
At Signum we know what works to drive contracted communication revenues, sales teams and customer satisfaction. Our sales acquisition and in-contract analytics platform Telescope can deliver the insight you need to drive sales. With a wide set of capabilities from ingestion of billing data, data cleansing, tariff comparisons, usage insights, through to compliance, systems integration and proposal production, we can provide the customer insights you need – all backed up by a team of accessible, experienced and knowledgeable analysts. Contact us to discover more.
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