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The CSP sales channel strategies for SME customers

  • December 2013
  • -
  • Analysys Mason
  • -
  • 15 pages

CSPs and their small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers must both find appropriate channels through which to sell or buy telecoms services. This Viewpoint provides a forecast of SME ICT services revenue by sales channel and service for developed markets in 2013–2018, and analyses key considerations for CSPs and SMEs relating to sales channels.

Executive summary

- Communications service providers (CSPs) and their small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers must both find appropriate channels through which to sell or buy telecoms services. Key considerations for operators are the cost of sales and meeting customer expectations, while key considerations for SMEs are speed and convenience balanced against receiving the appropriate level of advice and engagement.
- Service categories vary in terms of channels to market.
- Mobile voice and data contracts are purchased through a wide range of channels, including stores, and increasingly through agents.
- Fixed voice and broadband services revenue is still concentrated on telesales. This sales channel matches the complexity of the product, where there are often a number of options or bundles that the CSP needs to explain, and its telesales team has the required level of expertise to do this. For some broadband products, such as Ethernet or leased lines, face-to-face sales are still employed, because these are high-value services with an additional level of complexity.
- Cloud services are most commonly adopted directly from the vendor, because their websites often serve as a combined education, marketing and sales channel, and SMEs need to be convinced of the benefits of going to their CSP for cloud services. As CSPs make this case, CSP revenue from cloud services will increase as they upsell existing customers.
- The complexity of the service in question and the scale of enterprise are key to determining the appropriate channel from an SME perspective.
- Micro enterprises typically have smaller and less-complex requirements than small and medium-sized enterprises, and are likely to prioritise a quick and convenient channel, such as online, or a store.
- Medium-sized enterprises typically have more-complex deployments and require a higher level of engagement before, during and after the sales process. The cost of maintaining a direct face-to-face sales team is high, so indirect channel partners are increasingly being used to ensure that the customer receives the level of service they require, and the CSP achieves a local presence across its markets.

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The CSP sales channel strategies for SME customers

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