Find out how much this industry is changing.
- To sell into the telecommunications industry, you need to understand its historical context and what drives its volatile nature. The structure of the industry is convoluted, and frankly, can make your head spin. But let's unpack it with a little history. In past decades, companies and telecommunications were often product-specific. There was a telephone company, a cable company, a satellite company, and so on, and they essentially had a monopoly on the service in their regions.
Competition and changing technology just wasn't a worry. For 20, 30, 40 years, these were businesses, some passed down as a family tradition, that never expected to change. Then came the 90s, and three big interrelated areas of change. Regulation, available technology, and primary telecommunication utility. First, let's talk about regulation, and by regulation I mean local, state, and federal laws and policies that govern telecommunications.
Now, in the 90s, telecom went through a period of deregulation. This had a huge impact on the product-specific telecom companies, the local monopolies, and other signature characteristics of the telecommunication industry to date. Deregulation allowed for unprecedented mergers and acquisitions, that not only redefined the industry, but altered how those of us in telecom view large scale change. Change is no longer the exception, it's now the rule.
The second major factor is available technology. As I said before, telcom companies used to be far more product-specific. As technology advances, pivots, disappears, whatever, telecoms adjust, but at different rates. The process of integrating new technology into their service packages wasn't always clear, and still isn't. So some companies adopted new technology, while others stayed pretty product-specific.
For example, you can find rural cooperatives that have branched out to fiber optics and the next generation of internet services. They have built relationships with their local cable companies and electrical co-ops, actually forging partnerships with former competitors. Again, this is an industry where technology not only changes what consumers buy, it changes who works with whom in a highly competitive marketplace. Knowing this, you can understand not just that telecoms are diverse, but why they're diverse.
Finally, we have to consider what the market deems the primary telecommunication utility of the time. That is, who is the leader in telecom? In 1975, when you moved to a new place, the first thing you would set up is your telephone, right? Your telephone that hooked into the wall and required a telephone company to visit your house and install it. That was the primary telecom utility. But when the internet moved from dial-up to broadband, cable companies took the lead, and now, with content being the primary reason customers use their devices, companies like Netflix and Amazon, they're in control.
With every shift in technology, consumer usage and preference, the leader in the industry changes. So imagine. You're a small telephone business in rural Georgia that's been operating the same way for decades. Then seemingly, all of a sudden, the entire marketplace pivots, and then keeps pivoting. Regulation used to protect you, but now it's gone, and it's hard to keep up in a rapidly changing industry. For larger companies, it's great.
For you, it's important context. You may run into a prospective buyer that grumbles about the changing industry. Don't dismiss this valuable opportunity to show you understand where they're coming from. Using this information we've discussed, allow your client to educate you on how they see the marketplace now. It will only help you build a better relationship and close the sale.
- How the telecommunications industry is changing
- Navigating the complex telecommunications sale
- Client expectations for sales reps
- Optimizing your industry knowledge
- Using a consultative sales approach to understand client needs
- Networking and the telecommunications sale
- Leveraging the latest news and trends
- Creating urgency and closing the deal
- Expanding the sales relationship after a deal is closed