Get ahead of your telco competitors with offline capabilities

The connected world has made life much easier but while networks are getting better and faster, there are still black spots. In our personal lives, the minutes lost to poor network connection might mean waiting for a video to load or for a call to reconnect.

But in a sales situation those vital moments of disconnection could translate into uncaptured data, frustrated potential customers, missed orders and lost revenue.

Pair this with the high expectations customers now have when it comes to synchronicity and seamlessness and it's easy to see why offline capabilities are an absolute must. Particularly for the telco industry, which should be at the cutting edge of connection. Field sales teams need to be able to close leads without limitations, otherwise there will be a limit on revenue.

Stu Holliday is the Chief Commercial Officer for ZYBRE, and he’s worked with field sales teams throughout his whole career. He says, “There’s definitely a knock-on effect of not being able to complete an offline order, on the customer, rep and business.”

But surprisingly, most sales software doesn’t include offline working as a key feature, and the bottom line of telco companies suffers as a result. If field sales teams find themselves in badly connected environments 15% of time, that’s a 15% increased likelihood of lost sales, reduced productivity and decreased team motivation.

 

Selling reliable connectivity anywhere

During new customer acquisition and customer onboarding, clients are looking for a reliable service. When companies try to sell connectivity but don’t have a dependable connection themselves, that reliability is challenged. This occurs in both urban and rural areas but for telco companies like Ogi, for whom remote regions hold much of their customer base, the impact will be even more significant.

Paul Main, the National Sales Manager of Be Fibre told us, “It is part of the government’s maUnlessnifesto to bring gigabit broadband to ‘every home and business across the UK’ by 2025. However, 4G connectivity only covers 85% of the UK so finding a mobile sales solution that operates ‘out of network coverage’ will play a critical role in ensuring we keep the promise.”

Some impacts are obvious. At the point of closing a sale or a key stage of data capture, stalled sales software forces customers to stand around in frustration and might lead to failed orders.

Elsewhere, let’s say a sales rep invests time in delivering a presentation to get a new business client on board. But after their winning conversation they can’t complete the sale – simply because they’re offline. Here it’s a double hit. The business loses revenue and the rep’s motivation also suffers.

Stu says, ‘’It’s not just about having good connection to be able to increase the speed and number of orders being processed, but it’s also about the effect on the mental state of the sales rep too.”

“Salespeople will get demotivated if they’re pressing confirm on an order and it’s not going through,” Stu says. “You’ll see their body language change, they may feel under more pressure to complete sales and therefore start pushing harder than they should for a new order.”

It’s all easily avoidable. Our sales software is designed specifically with telco field sales in mind, which means it’s designed to stay connected at all times. It does a lot more than simply allow a rep to fill out a form offline. Our software functions in its online capacity even when it’s offline.

How is that possible? Let's explain this key feature of ours.

 

How we designed our online platform for an offline frontier

When one of your reps is offline, our systems can detect this. And instead of simply waiting for an internet connection, our software responds intelligently, going via an offline route to update the server.  This allows the rep to continue to collect customer data as part of the offline sales process, with the device then syncing this data once a connection has been made again.

Stu says, “PSI’s ability to process and timestamp an order offline automatically, is a game changer.”

“If you’re asking reps to select offline, load the new CAF, submit the order then try to turn it online again, productivity can be hugely impacted. Whereas the PSI system means performance is consistent and reps can sell whether they’re in rural areas, the top of a high rise or even at an underground business.‘’

You could say we’ve worked around the imperfection of the 99% connected world. And we’ve done it with a creative software solution that works how a customer looking to buy a connectivity package would expect.

This key feature also means our offline capabilities are fully GDPR compliant. The system still functions as one device processing the data in one fixed moment.

Of course, just like all modern cloud-based systems, the customer doesn’t know anything different has happened. The whole process is smooth and contained. And with less chance of sales breaking, teams are free to grow leads and own more effective territory management.

 

Sales software built by industry-vertical experts

PSI’s sales software are alone in offering this vital key feature. You can line up all the sales or lead capture products on the market, and PSI is the only option with GDPR-compliant, offline capabilities built in.

Paul says that this technology “will continue to allow us to push into UK rural areas that we have been unable to reach previously, serving our communities better and delivering our promises.”

We pride ourselves in providing a unique customer service to the telco industry and always scan the market to see what problems are arising so we can provide solutions from automation to multichannel sales.

All PSI products come with this dedicated industry expertise and focus built-in to the design and configuration, so you know you’ll always have the best systems running. Get in touch to book a demo and see it in action


Futureproof your organisation with end-to-end sales software

Not all sales solutions were created equal. Some are effective in initial lead capture, but for the telco industry in particular, it’s vital to allow businesses to fully map customer journeys and control sales processes within an end-to-end solution.

 

Lead capture versus end-to-end

Lead capture represents the wide start of the sales process after which teams need to convert leads into customers. New customer acquisition is full of contact points at which the sale could break down and businesses face increased risk of potential customers changing their mind if their sales process has to pause for breath. It’s ultimately down to the point of sale, and all lead capture tools can do is kick start the sales journey.

In contrast, end-to-end sales software can record all a customer’s information in one place after just one conversation, including installation dates if the customer is happy to decide there and then. Your backend systems will have all they need, and the customer won’t have to give it another thought.

The ISP and managed IT services provider Ogi discovered this when we set them up with an end-to-end solution that replaced their previous software platform.

“PSI enables us to complete a quick sale in 10-15 mins from start to finish,” said Alexander, Breverton, Telesales Manager at Ogi. “This probably would have taken a couple of days in our previous out-of-the-box solution.”

Any further communication then becomes an opportunity to nurture the relationship rather than hassle the customer for more information. With all a customer’s information neatly contained in an end-to-end sales solution, companies can also sell more enhanced services, such as add-on connectivity packages, or they can ask for Trust Pilot ratings, which are more likely to be higher after such a seamless customer experience.

 

Future-proof your organisation’s sales

So what if you’re a new contender in the market and you only want lead capture right now?

Well, with PSI’s sales software, businesses can choose to pay for an initial lead capture tool and build on it later as their needs and budget evolves. Other sales solutions don’t offer this option, companies would have to onboard a whole new system at a later date – often with great upheaval and expense.

With PSI, you can scale your sales solution easily whenever you’re ready. This makes it a great tool for businesses and startups with growth ambitions.

So if your new company’s eventual aim is to have a multichannel sales process with an automated customer onboarding journey, we can facilitate that step by step. We can give you a sophisticated lead capture solution as you start out and then build it out into an end-to-end solution later once you have the scope to take full advantage of it.

By choosing a solution that's ready to scale with you, when you do need an end-to-end solution, you'll find it much easier getting the internal buy-in you need. You won’t need to convince field sales teams or C-suite execs to invest time and energy in onboarding and training for a second piece of software – everything will already be in place.

 

Scaling with a team of experts

PSI offers a consultative approach to sales solutions. Our software is able to handle nuance and it can be reflexive to fit around your businesses growth goals.

We know that the more flexibility and data companies have available, the more they’ll get out of not just a sales solution but also business growth. In territory management for example, additional customer data captured in end-to-end sales software can be assigned out to field sales teams working in both on-net and off-net services.

Likewise, when growing an alt-net network, data can be entered into the PSI systems as the network is being built so that sales reps know which addresses already have build-out processes in the pipeline and which don’t.

With our software, your teams can also use the data to know when leads are coming out of another contract, so that they can target them with a sales campaign once their contract end-date draws closer.

 

Beyond standard SaaS. This is a partnership

We work with scalability and partnership at the forefront of all we do. If a business is currently using a field sales agency as its core team but wants to move longterm to an in-house telesales team, our sales solutions make that transitional period as easy as possible.

Sales agencies often use software platforms that work for their broad needs, not for a specific business model, target audience or growth area. When companies decide to part ways with that agency, all the initial customer data that’s been captured is owned by the agency. That makes any sort of transition a difficult prospect, and inevitably leads to lost sales.

In contrast, PSI’s sales software offers longevity. If you want to put a sales agency on our software, you can. And if you want to switch agencies, you can do so without losing any data – and the same goes if you want to take sales in-house. In short, with our software, your teams won’t need to start from scratch when you decide to grow.

We know the telco industry and our end-to-end software means you can feel secure in the knowledge you've not only got the right software behind you, but the right team of experts too. Get in touch and future-proof your business with a solution that’s ready to scale with you.


Build, Buy, or Customise - How should you get the right software for your organisation's needs?

Build, Buy, or Customise - How should you get the right software for your organisation's needs?

Whether you’re looking to create better lead generation, multichannel sales, onboarding or customer success, the question is not if you should adopt new technology, but how?

Our free Build vs. Buy guide unpacks the merits and pitfalls of what it’s like to build, buy and customise software for customer acquisition and onboarding.

Interested? Download your free copy today →



Knock down the data silos: How multichannel sales software can help your company work smarter

Customers are hopping sales channels more than ever before, but their expectations are also rising when it comes to getting a consistent experience across all those channels — whether that’s a brick-and-mortar shop, website, app, social media interaction or call to a contact centre.

Despite the fact that customers expect a seamless experience, most companies are a long way off delivering it. According to a NICE/BCG study, 97% of customers use multiple channels to interact with brands, but in doing so 76% are met with a poor and disjointed, experience. Naturally, this has major implications for brand reputation, customer loyalty and missed sales opportunities.

Companies need to focus on creating an entire customer journey that has no cracks and utilises automation where possible. And a simple place to start is with a platform that bridges the gaps between sales channels, sales reps and onboarding teams.

 

The trouble with legacy systems

To break down silos and implement an effective multichannel sales strategy, it’s not enough to launch an L&D programme or gather employees for a town hall style event. If you’re going to see behavioural change across your organisation, you need systems that support it, incentivise it, and make it effortless. That’s where multichannel sales software comes in.

Companies might find themselves in the position of having different software for each sales channel. One legacy system might have been great in the past for telesales, but completely unusable for field sales teams, so different sales software might have been a necessary outlay at that time.

But disjointed software, or worse, no software at all, results in an inconsistent and silo-based experience for customers, as well as for employees. If telesales and field sales teams have no consistent platform, it can lead to customers being targeted in an uncoordinated way from both sides, increasing the chance of a broken sale

 

Collaboration between teams

Sales teams are traditionally harder to unify than most. Part of this is due to a well-intentioned but perhaps outdated approach, where organisations would encourage sales team members to compete with one another, rather than collaborate.
Even for the wide range of organisations striving to do something different, the old competitive approach is reinforced by a legacy reward scheme – in which sales reps receive commissions on an individual basis, based purely on the sales they close.
It’s a reward system that’s impossible to change properly without new technology. But when field sales and telesales teams use the same multichannel sales software, they can be incentivised to collaborate easily.

If a field sales rep knocks on the door of someone who’s interested, but not quite ready, a call back can be requested at a time that suits the customer. Using multichannel sales software, the telesales agent who makes the call gets that warm lead, and if a sale is closed, both agents can share the commission on the sale.
The software captures who has spoken to the potential customer and when, so the joint effort of the sale can be rewarded. And that reward is certainly justified, since their collaboration provides customers with a more a seamless experience that inspires more trust in the brand and a greater chance of retention.

 

Real time data reporting

The right multichannel sales platform will support better data collection and reporting – which is the lifeblood of non-siloed teams.
Using multichannel sales software, webforms update the system immediately. Automation means there is no waiting for data to be collected from emails or paperwork and uploaded manually to a system.

Extracting sales data from a single platform rather than waiting for it to be collated from multiple sources helps teams to be more agile, reacting fast to areas that are underperforming. It can provide a single view of all sales leads, including history of contact with a customer, and it can be used to view any outstanding actions, e.g., if a customer has requested a call back, and if so, when they’d like it and through what channel.

This can remove duplication between sales teams and allows them to focus on potential customers that are more likely to convert on a given day. If someone has recently completed a web form for instance, your teams could spot that they registered interest in an upcoming product such as 5G or full fibre, and they can knock on their door already knowing who they are and what they care about.

That means no customer has to tell you who they are twice, no customer has to explain their situation twice, and no customer has to turn reps away twice. If there’s a second conversation, it’s more likely to be a welcome one, and it’s far more likely to become a conversion to decrease customer churn.

 

A seamless customer experience

By unifying sales teams onto a single multichannel sales software platform, siloed working can be consigned to history. Teams are incentivised to work together, customers receive a more seamless experience, and the rewards are seen at a bottom line level.

UNICEF Ireland uses PSI’s software to bring unity to all their interactions with potential and current donors. Justin Killeen, Pledge Manager, had this to say about their donors’ experience:

“When there’s a sign up, it's immediately in the PSI system… whereas other systems can take up to a week for the data to be accessible.

“With charities, brand is really important and you have to be so careful. With the PSI tools, you can see where your teams are going, who they’re talking to, their routes and the info they’re capturing.

“If a potential donor calls to check something, we can very quickly click on the system and see the info captured and confirm questions to customers straight away.”

To learn more about the tools you need to knock down silos, check out our thoughts on whether you should build or buy multichannel sales software.


Boosting your customer and employee experience using effective territory management

Customer experience and the bottom line are inseparable. According to McKinsey, companies that prioritise positive customer experiences see a 20% improvement in customer satisfaction, a 15% improvement in sales conversion, a 30% lower cost-to-serve and a 30% improvement in employee engagement.

Speaking of which, employee experience is almost equally important to a company’s bottom line. Happy employees are less likely to become quiet quitters or churn with the latest wave in the great resignation. They’re more likely to feel they belong and bring their all, resulting in more positive customer experiences.

There are no instant miracle-grows for employee and customer experience. To address them properly, it often requires major transformation, from product to organisational redesign.

For telcos and utilities that use multichannel strategies, though, there is low hanging fruit to be picked at the first point of contact – and this all comes down to effective territory management.

 

Territory management underpins customer experience

Whether they are approached by a rep or browsing online, customers can need time to make a decision, particularly if it’s one that ties them into a commitment of 12 months. In telcos and utilities in particular, it’s also extremely likely that the potential customer already has what you’re selling, and won't want to be hounded by a sales team to make the switch.

Knowing that a rep is going to call is more likely to result in a better customer experience than a call out of the blue, or worse, a call when the potential customer has made it clear that they won’t be interested in switching for several more months.

Customers have never had more choice than they do now and a negative experience with a brand is something that will stay with them, and may even translate into PR damage through word of mouth and social media.

Conversely, a positive experience created by a rep calling at an agreed upon time, i.e., doing what they said they were going to do, builds customer loyalty and trust in a brand. On one level, it’s a small thing, but these small things are what differentiates one brand from another in a crowded market. And these small moments can only happen if the right tools are in place to ensure communication with potential customers is coordinated carefully.

 

How multichannel sales tech helps

By using a territory management tool from the very start of your scaling journey, you make achieving market penetration far more likely. For Ogi, a new contender in the ISP and managed IT services space, it enabled them to use product and campaign data to deliver great customer experiences at scale.

Alexander Breverton, Ogi’s Telesales Manager, said that without the right solution for the task, “we wouldn’t have had the success we have had, it’s safe to say.”

Great customer experiences are fed by great data. If a rep can find out if a potential customer is happy with their current supplier or products, and record that data, and learn when they may be free to make the decision of staying or moving to a new contract – all this can later make the difference between a smooth sales process and a missed opportunity.

By recording all this with smart multichannel sales software, sales reps will be prompted when to re-establish contact. A second team won’t try to contact the same person too early or through an unpreferred channel, and they won’t start by asking the same questions as before. It’s a simple thing, but valuable to customer relationships.

Effective territory management tools can also be used to plot routes for reps based upon previously recorded customer data, anticipating what customers in certain areas might want or need. This could help create more of a bespoke and targeted approach, saving time for sales teams and potential customers by pitching products more likely to be more relevant to their needs.

 

The quality of territory management affects employees directly

For employees, effective territory management makes their entire experience less frustrating. They get better sales results by wasting less of their time contacting people who don’t want to be contacted.

Also, using the data recorded through initial contact, reps can be provided with warm leads to reach out to, once the potential customers are out of contract. This is more likely to increase conversion rates than knocking on doors of people who may not be interested.

All this equals better sales results. And this in turn leads to better pay and happier reps who are more likely to stay in their role.

Effective territory management can also be used to allocate field sales teams workloads more evenly, based upon their hours, their location and transport situation. Instead of being given an unknown number of doors to knock on in a housing development, they can know their exact routes and how many households they need to visit, which can help to make sales targets more motivating and less daunting.

 

Everyone wins

By using the right territory management tools, you can collate data that goes way beyond customer surveys. Reps can be sent to the right places, at the right times, to pitch the right products. Customers can be contacted at the time they want to be contacted and be provided with information that’s relevant to their needs.

Customer and employee experiences are built upon effective territory management, and when the experience is positive from the first interaction, that’s what your brand will be known for from the very beginning – and this is particularly important if your brand is new to the market.

To learn more, see how our multichannel software helped the new telco brand Ogi to grow or get in touch to schedule a demo.


No more missed opportunities: how lead capture takes your sales results beyond what you're used to

Missing a sales opportunity doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Sometimes a customer needs a bit of breathing room, some time to reflect, or simply to reach the end of a contract before they can make that jump. Nobody wants to be pestered to buy into a new product or service, but perhaps a gentler approach, one that the potential customer can anticipate, is the way forward. 

The question is: how do you achieve that? 

 

How can a lead capture solution help improve your customer experience?  

Certainly, the customer experience is of vital importance, even while they’re only potential customers. According to a study by PwC, 32% of customers will walk away from a brand after a single negative experience, and after several bad experiences, that figure rises to over 50%. Being harassed by sales representatives after having declined an offer is not going to endear the potential customer to change their mind. 

Customer retention is easily as important as customer acquisition, as the initial cost of acquisition is larger than that of retention, and customer churn costs companies vast amounts of revenue. Loyal customers become advocates though, and according to Temkin Group, 77% of customers would recommend a brand to a friend after a single positive experience.  

But is it a big deal? Why focus on missed opportunities? If a potential customer wasn’t ready to commit yet, why not just move on to the next? How would you even capture the missed sales opportunity? 

 

Is multichannel sales the answer? 

It is widely known that missed sales opportunities are a problem, but if sales targets are met, then solving that problem is not high on the list of priorities. When a business is emerging, or moving into a new territory, customer acquisition is essential, but finding customers who aren’t already under contract is a challenge. Making first contact with potential customers when their contracts are nearly up is highly unlikely, so what do you do? 

A multichannel sales solution that captures and stores leads may well be the answer.  

A call to a potential customer could reveal that they may not be 100% happy with their current supplier, but that they still have several months remaining on their contract. The ability to agree a time and date that they would prefer a call back ensures they feel in control and creates a warm lead for the sales team to follow up on. 

Likewise, if the potential customer can choose to be sent a reminder via a channel of their choice, they’re more likely to welcome the communication. A multichannel sales solution joins the dots here – enabling a field sales rep to easily schedule in a phone call or an email instead of another door-to-door call.  

According to PwC, 43% of consumers would pay more for greater convenience and 42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience – and by capturing leads with a multichannel sales solution, you can offer both. 

These warm leads could be useful for forecasting future sales and gaining insights to the desirability of your products in the market. Effective territory management from multichannel sales software can also remove these potential customers from lists of sales representatives’ calls, preventing sales representatives from cold calling them prior to the agreed contact date.  

 

One solution across multiple teams 

Without using a joined-up multichannel sales solution, there is little incentive to pass on a warm lead to another team to follow up on. If a sale is made from a follow-up, the representative who made the initial contact often wouldn’t benefit from it at all. But if both teams are working from the same system, you can see when contact was made the first time and allocate the lead accordingly. 

If a warm lead is successfully converted, then the reward and recognition from the sale can be shared between the teams. This creates an incentive to share leads and a greater chance of capturing a sale that may have been lost otherwise.  

We have a compliant solution for just this need. To find out more about our multichannel sales solutions, check out the story behind our tech or learn how it fits together to give you a competitive advantage.  

You can also get in touch to schedule a demo here. 

 


How to build a business case for new multichannel sales software

If you’re a sales manager or director, and you see the strain your current system is placing on keeping your teams and customers happy, how do you convince those with a tight hold on the purse strings to loosen their grip slightly – and invest in realising the true potential of your sales success? 

Here we lay out the business case for new multichannel sales software and three key points to include in your pitch: consumer centricity, ease of control, and automated compliance. All of which combine to improve sales beyond business-as-usual. 

 

Keep customers on side at every touchpoint 

Firstly, multichannel sales tech stops customers falling through the cracks. Some will never talk to a salesperson on the door or phone, others will never make a purchase decision online, and many won’t stick to a single channel.  

According to McKinsey, over 50% of customers seek three to five off and online sales channels on their way to making a purchase. If you want the loyalty of that 50%, you need to break down the silos and create a seamless customer experience across all sales channels – and to do that you need the right tech.  

Keeping tabs on all channels is vital if they’re going to work effectively in harmony. This can be a difficult task, though, particularly if to generate the data you need you’re relying on your sales teams’ manual reporting – which equates to less time spent closing sales.  

The right sales software will be intelligent and efficient. It’ll keep your sales teams focused on their primary task and, at the same time, make them better informed with data captured across all sales channels. This helps them to close sales that would otherwise slip away – and this creates a significant ROI over time.  

 

Automated multichannel compliance 

Compliance with sales and data regulations is a major selling point when it comes to building a business case for investing in a multichannel sales solution. While the initial outlay for buying into a new system may seem like a large investment, it would pale in comparison to the cost of a fine for mis-selling a product or service, or mis-handling personal data. 

Automation is key to a successful multichannel sales solution; removing some of the manual admin processes in closing a sale can save time between sales, yes, but more than that, it means your compliance is on autopilot, ensuring that nothing is being mis-sold. The right multichannel sales solution can also do the heavy lifting for you as regulations change around selling in your industry and being able to react quickly means your teams can keep selling. 

The extra level of control is important for compliance, but also for customer retention; customers who are mis-sold products and don't come away with a positive experience are likely to look elsewhere. 

 

Ease of control 

The right multichannel sales system will give you control of sales and onboarding processes, territory management, and lead capture.  

Sales managers can get a real time overview of sales data across all channels via a dashboard. This means they can identify inefficiencies easily, allowing them to make adjustments and see the impact of those adjustments in real time. This is an invaluable asset when trying to hit targets and KPIs, rather than having to wait for a reporting team to collate data and react based upon historical information. 

For effective territory management, routes can be sent automatically to different representatives, ensuring no crossover or miscommunication. This also cuts down on the resources needed for assigning territories to sales representatives. Data collected and centralised within one system,  means campaigns can be driven by business intel to improve overall conversions and results.  

A watertight multichannel sales system will enable you to focus efforts in a strategic way. Without it, your sales teams can be knocking on all doors and calling all numbers, only to discover people who don’t want to buy or aren’t in a position to buy yet. Likewise you can miss potential customers who are ready to purchase. 

The right multichannel solution will enable your teams to capture missed sales opportunities. They can then schedule a follow up at the right time from the right channel, whether that’s email, a phone call or showing up at their front door – ensuring no opportunities are ever missed.  

Ultimately, that’s what multichannel sales software is unless you invest in it: a missed opportunity. It’s an investment, of course, but the return on that investment can be felt from all angles as you close more deals, waste less time, capture missed sales, ensure 100% compliance, and gain the ability to track that ROI in real time. 

To learn more about how PSI’s multichannel sales software might help your business grow, take a look at the case studies of how we helped SSE Airtricity and Ogi. Alternatively, get in touch and see how our team can help you to build a business case for investing in multichannel sales tech. 

 


Should you build or buy multichannel sales software?

This is the era of the frictionless customer onboarding experience, and companies can no longer opt out. All organisations are going after more personalised, more consistent and bottleneck-free experiences across multichannel sales and onboarding. Those who don’t get ahead will inevitably fall behind and get their customers stuck in the sales pipeline.

When your goal is to keep shuffling people through your sales funnel, the question is not if you should adopt better technology for customer acquisition and onboarding, but how? If the software already exists as an off-the-shelf solution, you can buy it - but should you? If you have the resources in house to build it, you can do so - but what are the implications?  

We’re specialists in sales software for customer acquisition and customer onboarding, and we have first-hand insight into what it’s like to build, buy and customise software for this purpose. So here’s a brief overview of what we’ve learned. 

 

Build: control your buyer experience 

Building your own sales software has several distinct advantages: 

  • You don’t need to pay up front for new software 
  • Your organisation is in complete control of what you build 
  • You can build the software around very specific requirements 

The build approach leaves your organisation with all its cards in hand. Your in-house developers can build the software to an exact design based on your sales goals, and your organisation only needs to pay for the upkeep.  

So, if your organisation can spare the time and resources, can avoid the costs of purchase and get a platform that meets the needs of your entire team and customer base perfectly, why wouldn't you? 

Well, the catch is that this perfect scenario can be difficult to attain.  

First, it is a rare thing for an IT project to stay in scope, on time and on budget without a few unexpected hidden costs. In a Harvard Business Review study of 1,481 IT change initiatives, the average cost overrun was 27% and one in six projects had a cost overrun of 200% and a schedule overrun of nearly 70%.  

You can’t blame it all on project management though. It’s often just a hazard of the field. Software focused on customer experience is constantly evolving – and the goalposts are too. 

At PSI we’ve come across many companies that spent two and sometimes up to four years building the same type of software. By the time it is deployed, there's a whole new market of modern buyers and the company has moved on, along with competitive standards, often making the technology no longer fit for purpose.  

 

Buy: Get sales software up and running fast 

Purchasing software has its own advantages: 

  • Get it in the hands of your sales teams quickly 
  • Reserve your in-house resources for your core work 
  • Make the most of time-sensitive opportunities 

When you choose to buy off-the-shelf sales software, you inevitably sacrifice some control and customisation. The software might not be ideally suited for your industry, and it may not perfectly suit your ideal customer journey for every channel. 

What you lose in perfect fit, you gain in speed. When the need is time-sensitive, it’s often best to choose a quick off-the-shelf buying process so you don’t miss your window of opportunity.  

You’re also purchasing peace of mind when it comes to compliance and watertight security. When you need to navigate GDPR or CCPA, or other data privacy regulations, it’s often worth buying software simply to avoid the risk of non-compliance with its associated fines and PR damage.  

If existing software out there meets 60% or more of your requirements, it’s likely worth buying, even if it’s not a perfect fit. You may not have complete influence over the product roadmap but many vendors will collaborate extensively with potential customers to build or improve their products. If the software is designed to be customisable, you’re also far more likely to find a good fit for your organisation. 

Typically building software from the ground up is best reserved for when the technology is at the core of your offering. For us at PSI, the beating heart of what we do is multichannel sales software, so it makes sense for us to devote as many in-house resources as possible to the task. But it also makes sense for us to purchase software that lies outside our core business.  

While it can seem like a cost-saving to have your in-house developers reimagine how you approach customer acquisition and customer onboarding - you sacrifice much in opportunity. Every moment your developers spend on looking for potential solutions to your sales software is a moment they are not working on developing your core business, whether that means creating digital products for 5G or key infrastructure for analysing your company data.  

 

Configure: Tailor existing software to your multichannel sales strategy 

A third option, which isn’t always considered, is to buy highly customisable software. This is effectively a middle ground between building and buying: 

  • Get a sophisticated system fit for multichannel sales in your industry 
  • Configure the software to your unique requirements, and apply branding  
  • Do more projects in less time, with the same resources 

Developers are used to finding a wide range of ways to stop reinventing the wheel. They’ll use open-source tools to build complex architecture or they’ll use “headless solutions” that provide backend functionality, so they can focus their expertise where it matters most. In other words, they source generic software from specialist vendors, and then use APIs to connect it with the unique elements of what they’re building in real-time.  

Similarly, with customer acquisition and onboarding you can find highly customisable software that can be configured to your organisation’s unique vision and set up. This means you don’t need to compromise on off-the-shelf software that’s not designed with your industry or organisation in mind. And you can also get set up in weeks not years - which is how long you’d need to wait if you tried to build the same software in-house - so you can fast track the entire customer journey to accelerate business growth. 

This customisation and speed is exactly what our Touchstone and Fusion products offer. “We’ve built features to enable us to build and change customer journeys without reinventing the wheel each time,” says David Costello, CEO of PSI Mobile. “This is the low code/no code scenario, and these products provide our customers with powerful tools to be able to do more complex projects in less time, with the same resources.” 

If you're a business owner and want to learn more about how you can configure sales software to meet your sales goals, see our article on multichannel sales tech and how it fits together to give you a competitive advantage. 

 


Restart, rebuild, reimagine –  the story behind our multichannel sales tech

According to research by EPFL university, 73% of start-ups need to pivot to a different market over time. The sector first targeted by a tech company rarely stays the focus forever, and so it was with PSI. 

Before we stepped into sales software we worked with pharmaceuticals, trading excess stock to prevent pharmaceutical waste. It wasn’t long before we saw the need for improved sales applications in that industry, and the first one we designed transformed a pharma company’s manual, slow processes and made their customer acquisition much more efficient. This would be an ongoing theme for many years to come. 

 

Honing in on telco, utility and sales software 

We were soon doing the same for mobile technology projects, and after experimenting with a number of different directions, we found our stride in 2010 when we overhauled sales processes with Miller Brown and Eir, Ireland’s largest telco operator. 

“The PSI platform was an instant improvement,” says Mark Higgins, Eir’s Head of Field & Affiliate Sales. “Not only are our reps better equipped, but I now have instant insight into sales. I can see which bundles are selling well, which regions are hitting their targets and the progress of orders. All in real time.” 

We had found our sweet spot so we honed in on it. Over the next 12 years we designed and provided sales software solutions for telco and utility. Our 1.0 platform evolved to service these industries with increasing focus.  

 

Tearing down and building up to multichannel sales 

“Over a long period of time, technology that is built up like this becomes quite unmanageable,” says David Costello, CEO of PSI. “So we took a clean slate and rebuilt the platform to deliver everything we’d learned how to deliver, but in an efficient and scalable way – switching to web technology enabled us to support multichannel sales more effectively.” 

At this stage our solution was matured, omnichannel, and could be configured with our domain expertise. These are some of the aspects that made us appeal to Ogi, an ISP and managed IT services company that is transforming Wales’ digital landscape. 

“It’s very unusual to go out to market, as a start-up business, with a sophisticated automated sales process,” says Sally-Anne Skinner, Chief Revenue Officer at Ogi. “This is what we have with PSI.”  

 

How we stayed agile 

Part of the reason we were able to get this far has been our ability to pivot and keep on the frontfoot of evolving sales software and the needs of our customers. 

“We’re privately owned and we’re not VC backed,” says David, “so we don’t have funding that’s driving us down a particular path. This has enabled us to focus on a niche market and be agile in responding to what our customers want.”

This agility was key for SSE Airtricity, a leading green energy company, who had to respond fast during the pandemic to enable their business to deliver more with the same resources. They also needed to stay agile for future product updates. 

“Time is a major factor in this,” says Ernest Asensio, Retail Efficiency & Systems Manager of SSE Airtricity. “We needed to respond to changing requirements both initially from dialling up web functionality for business units, but also recurring as these business units would have a lot of frequent product changes… PSI Touchstone enables us to respond quicker and easier to save resources across multiple departments.” 

 

A long term solution for fast omnichannel sales 

 “We don’t just build and walk away,” says David. “We become an integral part of customer experience processes for our clients, and we constantly evolve these processes to do more with them.” 

This is the case with Eir, who switched to PSI to manage their customer acquisition and onboarding in 2010. Usually, if a company stayed with a legacy system for long, they would have to take on the difficulties of moving the tech forward, along with the costs of the almost inevitable rebuild. Instead, Eir simply kept telling us what they needed and we kept evolving the system for them. And when we saw the opportunity to rebuild, we absorbed that cost. 

“The simplicity of the system should not be ignored either,” says the Sales Director of Eir. “The PSI interface is simple, data is easily accessible, and the customer sign-up wizard is straightforward. This means that our reps can give more of their attention to clients, further smoothing the sales process and raising the quality of service we give them.” 

PSI’s initial pivot to sales software and telco and utility onboarding was a result of listening to the market – and we’re still listening now. We’re paying attention to the market and to our clients, following the good ideas to deliver something of value.  

To see what the latest version of our multichannel sales software can achieve for ambitious organisations, our work with Ogi is a prime example. Alexander Breverton, Ogi’s Telesales Manager adds, “PSI enables us to complete a quick sale in 10-15 mins from start to finish. This probably would have taken a couple of days in our previous out-of-the-box solution.” 

 To learn more about how we created this tailored solution in just a few months, see our case study on Ogi’s multichannel sales software. 


Connected Britain 2022 Event

We're going to

Where the UK’s connectivity leaders from across the public and private sector come to meet. 

Come see us at stand 'GB 141'

Connected Britain Event

Featuring over 250 innovators and disruptors in the telecoms sector, Connected Britain brings together the entire UK connectivity ecosystem together for two days of essential learning and networking.  

We’re excited to meet with people face to face again and to make the most of this occasion, we’re going to host a networking social at our stand GB141 between 330-5pm on the 20th September.

We welcome anyone that is keen to connect with others from the industry and celebrate the return of events like this, so come say hello!

See who's goingSee how we helped emerging telco, Ogi to scale and penetrate their market.

RSVP

If you’d like to find out how PSI are helping telcos to accelerate their multichannel sales capabilities, get in touch below and we’d love to set up a meeting at the event.  

Or if you want to keep things casual and pop by for the social, register your interest below.

    Meet the team

    Keep an eye out for the members of the team attending, they’d love to say hello.

    Julia McQuaid

    Customer Success and Commercial Manager

    Frank Egan

    CTO

    David Costello

    CEO

    Amy Keith

    Commercial Manager

    Sarah Roberts

    Commercial Manager

    Share this event