The business world (and the rest of the world, really) is entirely reliant on an internet connection to ensure operations are conducted efficiently. These days, with so many different internet and connectivity solutions, businesses don’t just need any old connection—they need one that will guarantee they have the fastest speed with the lowest amount of downtime.
When a telecom company’s sales team searches for connectivity solutions, the search isn’t always as simple as finding a company that has infrastructure and connecting to that piece of technology.
These days, with advancements in technology, businesses in the telecom industry have several opportunities to abandon the Excel spreadsheet in order to have quicker, more automated proposal processes.
Not long ago, telecom customers were either required to seek connectivity solutions at locations that held infrastructure or face the costly obstacle of installation.
Over the last decade, telecom businesses have encountered fundamental changes to their operations. In order to provide for subscribers who are increasingly dependent on mobile data connection and high, reliable bandwidth that allows them to interact on multiple platforms, telecom companies are responsible for leveraging new technologies with ready solutions to keep up with the demands of customers.
Configure, price, quote (CPQ) technologies are some of the most useful for telecom sales professionals. CPQ connects sellers and buyers through quickly generated complex sales quotes that create the best sale for both parties by providing accurate prices and reliable connectivities.
Wholesale telecom providers are entities that own or operate a telecom network and sell network capacity to other telecom service providers.
Buying from a wholesale telecom provider can create connectivity for businesses or individuals at locations they may not otherwise have access to. This is because—at a high level—wholesale telecom providers make those services accessible without connecting directly to a major piece of infrastructure.
So, what else is there to know about wholesale telecom providers? What are the benefits? And which tech assets are used to help find wholesale connections?
The answers to these questions and more can be found below.
CPQ has become a superpower for telecom agents and providers by automating and streamlining the configure, price, and quoting process. In turn, companies have witnessed decreases to human-made errors and consistently received relevant information within minutes, not hours or days.
Still, telecom companies are always looking for ways to innovate faster tools and platforms to further optimize their products. In this blog post, we’ll detail the benefits of the CPQ telecom and how our product works toward perfecting it.
Master agents are consistently looking for ways to optimize their sales processes—in part by handling lead-to-cash workflow processes in as few systems as possible. The majority of master agents organize their processes around a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) software that is complemented by an integration with their billing system. Among the many complex services that businesses integrate is quoting.
With a finite number of businesses in the world, telecom and internet service providers are constantly vying for their own services in a large and competitive pool. When connecting customers to service options at their address, businesses need to be guaranteed that they are provided with the best possible service network available.
As competition in the telecom industry continues to expand, the type of internet service providers and the services they offer are becoming more and more complex. These days, the connectivity options are nearly endless, so it makes sense that telecom professionals are wondering how they can go about finding the best connectivity solutions for their needs.
In the past, researching bandwidth solutions was incredibly labor-intensive. From tracking down location data to manually inputting data points, telecom businesses wasted a lot of time on a research process that didn’t always deliver the best results. Whether your current option is a free service that offers lower quality results, or you have to outsource your requests, there’s a better way.
With the robust tools available to telecom professionals today, manual research—and the costs and potential errors that come with it—are no longer necessary. Instead, automated tools enable your company to scale services to a larger customer base, create more nuanced approaches to growth in demands, and simplify data acquisition and input variables.
To learn more about the research tools that help telecom businesses keep up in the modern world and transform your bandwidth research process, read on.
These days, to stay competitive in the telecom sphere, sellers and buyers need to make fast, accurate decisions around the type of available connectivity, managed services, cloud services, and voice services.
But it isn’t just about how fast you respond—you also need to deliver consistent and superior customer service through all channels to gain loyal customers. To do this, your process can’t be one that is long, complicated, and disconnected. Instead, your process needs to be fully automated on a single platform.
A configure, price, quote (CPQ) solution allows sellers and buyers to quickly and accurately generate complex sales quotes to ensure they are receiving the best connectivity for their situation. To learn how a quoting CPQ can drive sales, increase revenue, and reduce friction, read on.
With the number of tools and technologies available today, it’s easier than ever for telecom professionals to identify and gain access to bandwidth options. However, with the influx of bandwidth location tools over the past decade, it is clear that some options are superior to others.
Ever heard someone brag about how they purchased something on wholesale? By avoiding the retail price, they have benefited from purchasing a large amount of something that, when priced out by the individual item, comes out cheaper.
As the telecom space becomes increasingly more competitive, the tools used in the industry have become increasingly specialized and customized. A one-size-fits-all approach to finding the right connectivity is no longer feasible.
For businesses in the telecom industry, manual research to find serviceability was once the only solution. However, with the advancement of technology, this is no longer necessary. Instead, telecom businesses can now use data-driven processes and automated research tools.
Research tools have also paved the way to finding serviceability beyond the use of fiber maps, which at one point were the only way to find service. However, this solution was only semi-automated and still required telecom professionals to rely on manual research by tracing routes on a fiber map.
Luckily, new advanced tools provide robust, immediate information on fiber assets. Here’s how technology allows for a more immediate, automated approach.
Business internet connection is crucial for optimal operations. From sending emails to communicating with colleagues and accessing your cloud suite, businesses are essentially helpless without reliable connectivity.
Carrier location access is the process of finding the location of a carrier’s infrastructure. It’s important to know this information for two key figures:
In two previous blog posts, we gave an overview of the services a software solution should provide, including a rules-driven process; automating serviceability; costing and pricing across your on-net, off-net and near-net assets; dynamic visibility for who should see what; and an expandable architectural runway to meet your future needs.
In a previous blog article, we gave an overview of the services a software solution should provide in order to automate your serviceability and costing needs. This article will focus on building upon the costing automation to apply automatic markups for any sales channel.
Many of our customers report having been told by external software vendors or other internal stakeholders that they can provide an “automated” markup solution, but those customers learned the hard way that the term “automated” has different meanings for different people.
As the world becomes more and more reliant on the nearly endless capabilities of the internet, there are also more ways to use it more effectively.
These days, businesses are turning to cloud computing so that teams can run applications, host and store data, and perform a number of other functions that allow them to operate optimally. This makes reliable connectivity not just a preference but a necessity for remaining competitive in the marketplace.
This reliance on reliable connectivity has created a massive opportunity for connectivity service providers to provide the fastest option with the best bandwidth capabilities. While the most accessible service is a direct connection to the source of the infrastructure, which is referred to as on-net, it is not feasible or cost-effective for connectivity providers to build infrastructure in every single building.
So although there are many benefits to on-net telecom connectivity, professionals in the telecom industry might be forced to consider other alternatives. In this blog post, we go over these options, the many benefits provided by on-net connectivity, and the importance of getting a solution quickly instead of spending valuable time researching.
At some point in our professional lives, we’ve all run into a situation where one organization in a partnership isn’t able to hold up their end of the bargain.
A fiber finder is a tool or service that allows users to distribute or find information on the location of fiber-optic infrastructure.
Fiber finders are often used by professionals—including providers, agents, and professionals—in the telecom industry to find where a lit building, which is referred to as “on-net,” is located or where the closest near-net infrastructure exists. Beyond the specific location of the fiber, these tools also generate data to offer insight into which carriers have a presence in a specific region, the competitive landscape of the region, and the fiber and bandwidth demands of the local consumers.
This blog includes helpful information for those interested in learning more about the features of a fiber finder and the benefits that can be derived from using one.
With increased accessibility to the internet over the past two decades, the internet has become vital to nearly every aspect of our lives, including how we communicate, how businesses operate, how money is exchanged, and more.
A fiber locator tool is used to discover and distribute information concerning the existence of fiber optic infrastructure. Fiber locator tools are used most often by network operators, telecom providers, and telecom agents to determine the existence of fiber optics in a building. They also determine where the closest fiber infrastructure exists, if it isn’t already in the building they are researching.
In our current information age, it seems as if a day doesn’t go by when we don’t hear about countless networks in operation. These networks sprawl out like giant webs of wires, riding across telephone poles, through bodies of water, and underground to your building, home, or any other physical structure that utilizes telecommunications.
Up until the early 1980s, the Bell System owned all of the network capabilities. Thanks to deregulation, the monopoly they had established was broken up into several smaller companies, nicknamed “Baby Bells,” that provide local telephone services.
Advancements in technology have allowed local, national, and global communications to increase exponentially. Looking towards the future, communication needs are being met with $1.8 trillion in private sector investments in U.S. broadband infrastructure. With this influx comes more telecom provider options, so how should businesses go about choosing the right provider?
In the past, finding the right bandwidth solutions required a significant amount of time investment on the part of sales professionals. With today’s intelligence platforms, access to data information allows for a much easier research process that requires little more than an address from the researcher. Plus, it allows bandwidth providers to be found much more easily as well.
The internet has become infused into daily living and business operations. With 87 percent of people in the U.S. using the internet, a count that is expected to increase alongside increases in mobile devices and electronics markets, some argue that it should be considered a utility because it is essential for modern living.
For a long time, businesses seeking bandwidth services have delegated too many hours to researching bandwidth providers. These days, with the right tool, those hours that would have been dedicated to research can now be directed towards the business’s core competencies.
BandwidthFinder exists to make the bandwidth provider research process easier and faster for professionals in the telecom industry. All you need is an address to see which providers are available, and our algorithm quickly does all the work. Here’s how it works:
Worldwide, consumers and businesses have embraced the rapid growth of technology with more than 59 zettabytes of data captured in 2020 and an expected $3.7 trillion spent on information technology products by businesses in 2021. With these massive technology spending budgets, businesses are figuring out, first, what to do with the constant flow of information and, second, how to access it easily.
When performing bandwidth provider research online, a telecom salesperson is looking first and foremost for quick, relevant data. And for good reason: as part of the reported 2021 information technology product budget, businesses are expected to spend upwards of $704 billion on telecommunications systems.
As providers extend their network through underlying supplier relationships, the lines become blurred between who is a carrier and who is a solution provider. The truth is, almost every provider out there is buying last-mile connectivity through aggregation techniques to fill in the gaps of their network and provide a more holistic solution for customers on one bill.
From wired to wireless to fiber connectivity, diverse telecom channels and service options have greatly expanded the network presence capacity for both carriers and solution providers at any given address.
This is especially true when solution providers aggregate telecom service from carriers to combine disparate networks into a single service that leverages multiple points of connectivity. As providers expand their network through these techniques, it becomes more important to look at a provider's network presence instead of just their owned network facilities.
It’s both necessary and a major pain point for agents to connect customers to the best telecom services options at their address. Knowing whether a building is on-net or off-net helps determine the applicability of different service packages, but it isn’t always an easy task.
Comparing connectivity among a set of on-net and off-net service options can be a challenge with manual research processes that have limited data analytics capabilities. Even with the most robust database at your fingertips, the amount of legwork involved in researching can take a significant amount of time that might be better used elsewhere.
With so much variance in the data points available to represent these various service options, algorithmic research is the only way to reliably synthesize the data and accurately assess your options. This is especially true when conducting research across multiple addresses, which makes the task of on-net and off-net research even more complex and difficult to achieve without a qualitative research process powered by algorithmic software.
In this article, we expand on the many benefits of an algorithmic software to make your sales process more accurate, time-efficient, and immediate.
In the worst of times, telecom customers have been forced to find connectivity options at addresses where no telecom service has been connected in the past—meaning there’s always a small risk that their preferred service option will face an obstacle to installation.
In the best of times, customers have an abundance of choices that include telecom connectivity through existing infrastructure, as well as the ability to connect to service options by installing new infrastructure or connecting to wireless service.
These two scenarios illustrate one of the basic differences between on-net and off-net connectivity. On-net service, which refers to a carrier that owns network facilities at a specific location, is already connected at that location. By contrast, off-net connectivity refers to a solution provider that has connected to the location by purchasing use of the local network facility through a supplier relationship. As a result, off-net connectivity can involve more unknown and hard-to-identify variables that may affect not only connectivity, but also service quality at an address.
Although the worst-case scenario with off-net connection options may be scary to some customers, the good news is that strong telecom research automation can help you better understand these connectivity options before customers commit to a service option. As a result, telecom businesses can thoroughly evaluate connectivity and score service package options to avoid worst-case scenarios and give customers the type of telecom service they’re seeking at their locations.
Here are some key differences to emphasize as your customers weigh their options between on-net and off-net telecom connections.
Manual serviceability research, which used to be a necessary cost of doing business for bandwidth providers, is tedious, time-consuming, and prone to error.
Fortunately, modern automation technology has transformed the way bandwidth providers do business, allowing them to take serviceability on the go with the right tools. In fact, thanks to automated serviceability research, the days of combing through data and staring at fiber maps may be entirely a thing of the past.
Fiber is often one of the most coveted forms of connectivity among telecom customers. But as a relatively new form of telecom infrastructure, fiber-optic access can be limited, depending on the customer’s location.
In cases where customers are seeking telecom services for a set of addresses, fiber-optic access may be fragmented, with only a percentage of those addresses able to connect with fiber service. In addition, presence is only one aspect of determining great fiber connectivity for a customer.
To fully evaluate fiber and determine which options offer the best fiber-optic access, telecom providers need to invest in research tools that can process complex fiber data and account for different variables that affect fiber performance. Here are some practical ways telecom businesses can connect their customers to the best fiber service possible.
Given the significant cost of building telecom infrastructure to serve a single market, telecom providers have to pick and choose where they build their own technology, and where they’re content to lease the use of infrastructure built and maintained by other providers—including their competitors.
In telecom, leasing of infrastructure to enable local network access is known as carrier aggregation, and it’s an important component of the business models for both carriers and solution providers.
Solution providers, for example, can use carrier aggregation to build a regional or nationwide network of telecom infrastructure. From there, the provider can use suppliers to lease access on a scale ranging from local markets and regions to individual buildings. Carriers, meanwhile, rely on aggregators as a demand driver to justify expanding their coverage area, increasing their market share in targeted regions.
Although carrier aggregation offers a lot of potential value to solution providers, the cost and resource investment of this process can be a significant obstacle for providers to clear without software solutions to simplify this process.
When performing telecom research online, the quality of your research is determined, first and foremost, by your ability to access relevant, quality data.
For bandwidth service providers, this important data comes in the form of public and private data sets that can be combined together to build a complete picture of bandwidth at any given address. As telecom sales professionals seek out the best bandwidth serviceability for their clients, they need the ability to access this full spectrum of data—and to sort and filter data to generate valuable insights relevant to any client’s needs
The right software tools can help your sales team and partners access public and private telecom data, bring disparate data together, and enable customized views to support efficient, accurate service—giving your business the insights it needs to optimize service configuration and quoting to meet your clients’ needs.
Here’s how an automated, data-connected tool like BandwidthFinder can support your research process.
When connecting customers to the best service options at their address, the difference between on-net and off-net buildings can be a big one. Service packages and the overall configure price quote (CPQ) process need to know whether any telecom services are on-net at a given location, whether it’s a carrier you represent or a competitor in the local market.
For our purposes in this article, “on-net” refers to a carrier that owns network facilities at a particular location. “Off-net” refers to a solution provider that connects the location to their own network by purchasing the network facility through a supplier relationship.
Many consumers and businesses may not think about on-net versus off-net properties when choosing a location, but the availability of these services can have a big impact on both the services and service package pricing that makes sense for these customers. Here are six things you should know about the differences between on-net and off-net buildings.
Data stacks provide an essential service in organizing data sets to store information and support easy management and processing of this data. But the infrastructure of these data stacks can vary widely, depending on the supporting software behind them.
Outdated or limited data stacks can create limitations for what you’re able to achieve through these structures, especially when it comes to evaluating bandwidth solutions and performing other essential services as a telecom business.
If you’re working with an existing data stack that requires a lot of manual lifting and restricts your data processing capabilities, you might be able to improve your telecom customer experience by upgrading the data stacks used in your bandwidth solutions.
Here are some of the benefits that can come with swapping out your data stacks.
The growing pains brought on by digital transformation aren't endured just for the sake of putting businesses through unprecedented challenges. While the transition to these new solutions is often a gradual and sometimes difficult process, the end result of digital transformation provides benefits made possible only through modern solutions to long-standing configure, price, quote (CPQ) telecom problems.
This transformation is alleviating multiple pain points and limitations that have plagued telecom providers for years—and which have only gotten worse as telecom infrastructure has grown more complex. To keep pace with both the expectations of customers and the task of managing complexity around CPQ telecom services, new technologies are taking an algorithmic and rules-based approach that is necessary to build a sustainable telecom business model.
Here are four CPQ telecom technologies solving these pressing industry challenges.
In business and in our day-to-day lives, we all live in a connected world. When it comes to choosing a bandwidth provider to support your business through telecom infrastructure, this connectivity takes on a different meaning altogether.
Although connectivity is important to any company that conducts at least some of its business online, the proliferation of digital tools and cloud-based business solutions has turned connectivity into a mission-critical service that must be accounted for when choosing a bandwidth provider.
Here’s a look at the way connectivity affects your business operations, your customer experience, and your ability to keep pace with the changes brought on by digital transformation.
No matter where or how it’s used, sales automation is always hailed for one big reason: When it’s working on your behalf, you can count on it making your life easier.
Make no mistake—when software tools offer automated sales solutions to power your business operations, even the most reluctant adopters of this technology will eventually concede that access to automation tools helps them do their job better, and often with less stress involved. But that’s far from the extent of automation’s benefits, and those benefits play a direct role in maximizing ROI for your business.
For telecom sales channels and departments, automation offers some important material gains that improve on-the-job performance and raise the ceiling for revenue generation from these activities. Here are some of the biggest impacts automation can make on your business model.
The old way of researching bandwidth solutions is labor-intensive. Between tracking down location data and inputting data points, telecom businesses lose a lot of time to a research process that—despite its tedious process—doesn’t always deliver the most reliable results.
Manual research isn't just costly and threatened by manual input errors. They also restrict your company’s ability to scale its service to a larger customer base. And, as the demand grows more complex, involving larger sets of location data that both complicates data acquisition and input variables, the research demands of location and bandwidth solutions only continue to grow.
New research tools are desperately needed to help telecom businesses keep pace with the modern world. Fortunately, automated tools and customized dashboards are making it easier than ever to bring this digital transformation to your own bandwidth research process.
For telecom businesses, the hours and days lost to evaluating telecom serviceability through manual research has been a necessary cost of doing business. However, digital transformation has paved the way to alleviate this burden through data-driven processes and automated research tools.
Thanks to algorithmic evaluation and improved data connectivity, today’s telecom serviceability research isn’t relegated to manual research involving tracing routes of fiber maps. Here’s a look at how modern telecom software is achieving greater speed of service while also providing more accurate results.
Through improved infrastructure and expanded serviceability, the telecom industry is itself an engine of digital transformation, supporting innovation across all industries. But the benefits of this digital transformation can also be applied to the software used in the telecom industry.
Modern software solutions open new doors and unlock new potential for telecom businesses still stuck in the traditional ways of doing business. As adoption of these innovative solutions gains steam throughout the telecom industry, it will create a wider gap between the haves and have-nots among carriers, service providers and resellers of telecom services.
Here’s a look at how digital transformation is creating new opportunities through telecom software.
In telecom, as in other areas of digital disruption, the speed and scale of transformation is often set by the quality of data driving that change. Serviceability quality can be quantified in multiple ways, including not just the volume of data, but the relative age of that data.
Serviceability in dedicated and broadband technology services is a tug-of-war between the haves and the have-nots. Although serviceability data is crucial to connecting with the right telecom service at a given location, access to this data can be both costly and inefficient—and you and your team are often forced to choose between the two.
Fiber, coax, and the emerging 5G technology often get treated as the holy grails of modern telecom service. But the reality is that no single technology is the be-all-end-all when it comes to offering the best telecom service.
When it comes to maximizing telecom service availability to a single address or a group of addresses, telecom providers have typically viewed this effort as a war to win the “last mile” of connectivity for their customers.
For telecom agents, the task of adopting digital transformation in their sales process can also bump up against the complications of making wholesale changes to their sales infrastructure.
Telecom availability is one of the most important aspects of connecting customers to telecom service at their specific address. Sales professionals need to quickly and efficiently gather this data to inform their configure, price, quote (CPQ) process.
Despite serving as one of the first adopters of application programming interface (API) technology as a tool for building collaborative, communicative business solutions, the telecom industry has failed to leverage the opportunities and efficiencies that come with this innovative software tool.
5G isn’t the only factor driving the buildout of telecom infrastructure. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the rapid increase in demand for high-speed telecom spectrum, has accelerated the construction of this infrastructure by an entire decade, bringing swift and transformative change to the telecom industry.
From service infrastructure to the way brokers quote prices to their customers, digital transformation is touching every part of the telecom industry. As the calendar year changes, the disruption taking place on multiple fronts is going to affect both day-to-day telecom business operations, and the services and performance your customers expect.
As 2021 unfolds, here’s a look at the most significant changes taking place in telecom—and how it might affect carriers, solutions providers, and telecom brokers.
Telecom customers and prospects have high expectations when they solicit the services of a telecom broker. They want the best price possible, and they want a fast quote that can help them make their decision.
Because telecom brokers provide CPQ services across a range of carriers, they need CPQ software that can provide this speed and accuracy for all of their customers—especially as they scale, and especially as other telecom brokers embrace similar tech upgrades.
Adopting new CPQ software gives your brokerage the ability to deliver better services that improve your close rates and your sales revenue. Here are the specific benefits you can expect from this software.
Geographic market areas are always in flux. Customers are moving in and out, and the needs of those customers continue to evolve based on their telecom usage and needs.
Location-based intelligence offers one of the most accurate, up-to-date sources of information related to the telecom behaviors of your target audience. As you plan an entry into a new market, this information should be a key component of your efforts to build a go-to-market strategy and market your brand to these prospects.
Here are some of the biggest contributions location-based intelligence can make to your go-to-market strategy.
As telecom quoting processes embrace more software-driven solutions, telecom businesses face greater pressure to transform their operations and keep pace with the industry’s evolution.
Automation and algorithm-based CPQ (configure, price, quote) processes are key to creating the efficiencies needed to accelerate these services. If you aren’t automating the aggregation of your suppliers, then you’re creating a manual process—which increases your quote intervals and causes you to miss out on more opportunities.
When businesses delay digital transformation, they end up creating more challenges in the future. Don’t let this happen to your telecom business—invest in solutions that keep pace with your competition.
Most telecom businesses view an effective partner portal as a tool to streamline the configure-price-quote (CPQ) process. But the connectivity of this portal also plays a significant role in determining how efficiently your sales teams can generate leads, deliver fast quotes, and close deals to grow your business.
Here’s a look at the benefits that come with adopting a connected telecom partner portal for your business.
When prospects are looking for a new telecom provider, availability matters. Poor availability will lead to service disruptions and dysfunction that increase downtime for the customer, grind workflows to a halt, and quickly turn your customers against your business.
Resellers must keep availability in mind when choosing the best services to provide their customers, but telecom network availability can be complex, and it may vary even in different floors of the same building. Effective CPQ (configure, price, quote) processes leverage analytics and a solutions-based approach to connect customers to the right telecom provider.
Here are some of the factors that need to be considered in this process.
Most telecom businesses understand the value of implementing a quoting tool that streamlines or eliminates time-consuming manual processes, while also offering features that improve both the speed and quality of configured quotes being delivered to current and prospective customers.
If you’re in the market for a quoting tool that can modernize your quoting process, your business might be considering in-house development of a proprietary solution. While this may offer some attractive advantages on the service, it can also create limitations that you aren’t as likely to face with an outsourced quoting tool.
Here are some of the ways an outsourced telecom quoting tool can out-perform any potential in-house alternative.
Digital transformation in the telecom industry has set a pace that many providers struggle to match. The rise of fiber, broadband, 4G, and now 5G LTE, along with fixed wireless and copper networks, has caused enterprise data consumption to explode in recent years. The same is true for managed and cloud-based business applications.
The blurred lines between phone, cable TV, and internet consumption have further increased the demands placed on telecom services. As streaming has increased, so have the number of cloud-based services used by consumers on a daily basis.
Managing this increased data volume requires new data intelligence tools and strategies for telecom services. Here’s a look at some of the innovative solutions that will help you improve data management, and deliver improved quality of service, to your customers.
Whether you’re a telecom carrier, broker, or reseller, the challenge of converting customers is the same: Stocking and converting your sales pipeline is often a time-consuming and inefficient process.
Telecom sales automation gives you the tools you need to build and maintain momentum for your company’s growth, optimizing your engagement strategy to achieve a higher prospect-to-customer rate for those sales efforts.
Here are the 8 proven methods by which telecom sales automation helps enhance customer acquisition rates.
Distributing telecom products and services through the agent channel comes with a wide array of challenges. As options have become more complex, some Channel Chiefs have chosen to deploy a Concierge (white glove) approach to supporting and enabling their channel partners. This approach typically involves a Channel Manager or other resource to personally process quotes and provide support for the agent. The strategy has been successfully deployed in many diverse use cases with varying degrees of success. Let’s take a look at the model.
If you were in telecom a decade ago, you'll remember when it seemed like every telecom Provider that played in the Channel was talking about their need to have a portal to provide quotes and information to agents. Channel Managers insisted that Marketing needed to provide a portal if they were going to have any chance at attracting and retaining agents. Sales leaders championed portals as the holy grail of lead generation. Agents, well Agents, they just wanted the information they needed without having to call a bunch of people or wait on anyone.
For the majority of businesses, the desire to handle lead to cash workflow processes in as few systems as possible has a strong attraction. Most organize their processes around a strong CRM and compliment that with an integration to their order/provisioning/billing system. There are several complex services that pull businesses into more systems, but one such service is quoting.
Being the Texan that I am and knowing how I love to grill, BBQ, and smoke meat, this thought popped into my head: When you’re shopping around and searching for solutions to optimize your business, increase sales, and drive profitability do you want the pork belly or the whole hog?
The term quoteception is meant to be a play on words related to the 2010 science fiction thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio called Inception. In the film, Dom Cobb (Leonardo’s character) spends his time in a dream world using dream technology in corporate espionage activities. As the story progresses, they move into deeper layers of dream states with each layer becoming more complicated and potentially impactful. As things get more complicated, Dom uses a spinning top to know if he is still in a dream or back in reality. If the top spins without falling, he knows he is still in a dream and if it falls, he knows it is reality.
As software developers, we spend a fair amount of time listening to folks struggling with the question of whether to build “it” themselves or buy a SaaS solution that does “it.” This question seems never to escape their purview as they work through their discovery process. The challenge I’ve seen time and again, beginning with this cost comparison approach, is that in almost every instance the effort and priority given to come to the answer to this question derails companies from the most critical questions they should consider for their business. Unfortunately, as a result, the most important questions a business should be asking are the ones that are never asked.
We all know the tension that can be maintained between sales and operations. Even the best teams struggle with the quality of new orders and the ability to deliver on customer expectations. A slightly misaligned product configuration from a salesperson can produce quota attainment, but that same sale can translate into a missed installation interval for the project manager assigned. Round and round we go … doing our best to hit the sales number and also hit the installation-revenue numbers. All the while dealing with challenging customers who don’t understand or appreciate the complexity behind the scenes.