Data and reporting: how PSI unlocks clarity, performance and intelligence for telco sales teams

In the telco industry, data is crucial for field sales teams. Sales teams need to understand how they’re performing to ensure they aren’t overlooking opportunities, exhausting resources on overworked areas, or being let down by reps who aren’t pulling their weight.

Because of this, data and reporting has always been a core element of PSI’s field sales solutions. With PSI, telcos can effortlessly:

  • Capture real-time data from almost every point of interaction
  • Connect to reporting suits like Power BI for bespoke reporting
  • Manage rep performance and boost campaign efficiency

With that capability, the PSI system doesn’t just help you to sell more and manage your teams more effectively. It also helps your commercial leads to deliver more intelligent and reactive campaigns.

Data that gives you visibility of progress

When you’re digging into data and reporting, the critical factor is detail. You need to know far more than how many contracts were signed each month – you need to know which areas those contracts came from, whether they were upgrading customers or customers won from other providers, which field sales reps were involved in the sale and which ones aren’t performing as well.

PSI Territory Management is designed to give telcos that level of actionable insight into their campaigns. The PSI system records every action and interaction a rep makes while they’re out on their route – that means every door they knock on, every conversation they have with a lead and every outcome from those conversations.

With so many points of data capture available, PSI’s Territory Management platform provides a more granular degree of real-time data tracking than other sales platforms are capable of. It’s about more than just being able to connect to systems like Power BI – it’s about feeding those systems the kinds of metrics they need to build accurate in-system reporting dashboards, and give you a clear overview of what’s going on with your sales reps and customers.

For Kelco Communications, a Vodafone Ireland partner, PSI’s granular level of reporting was integral in helping them understand not only their day-to-day sales results, but also which areas were being overlooked and where to focus training. Aoife Carr, Order Processing Manager at Kelco, says: “We needed concrete visibility of progress – to track metrics on a daily basis, and on a monthly basis.

“PSI keeps track of individual reps and their progress, the amount of sales we’re able to put through, and we use this reporting in our commission structure for reps.”

Report on every element

For an industry so driven by technology, telco sales and back office teams often have to rely on manual data collection and reporting – sometimes even resorting to paper and pen.

The problems with that should be clear enough. For one, it’s incredibly inefficient to have teams manually transferring data from one system to another and building reports that should be automatic. And that’s assuming all of the data makes it across correctly, and isn’t copied incorrectly or lost altogether.

That kind of frustration is exactly what PSI exists to tackle. Everything the PSI system records has a reporting code, meaning any detail can be easily extracted and reported against in a matter of moments.

Then there’s the nuance that’s contained within that data. While other sales platforms might tell you that 20% of customers in an area said no, PSI can deliver the why behind those answers. For example, you can see if those customers aren’t interested because they’re locked into current contracts, and therefore plan for your reps to return when those contracts are ending.

With radio selection, you can drill down into exactly the data you need to see and interrogate specific details, rather than trying to make sense of unstructured free text. You have complete control over what you want to examine, allowing you to aggregate your data and run reports that will give you true clarity.

Michelle Brazzill, Channel Partner Manager at Vodafone Ireland, highlighted PSI’s depth of reporting as crucial to Vodafone Ireland’s field operations. “The reporting aspect of PSI means we can report on anything we want,” Michelle says.

“Now we can dig down into how many doors have been knocked vs opened vs opportunity”.

The building blocks of business intelligence

The snapshot reports and dashboards that the PSI platform creates are perfect for giving sales managers a clear overview of their team’s performance, but that’s not all the insight that PSI is capable of delivering.

For one, it’s not just sales teams that can benefit from the volume of raw data that PSI collects. Once that data has been pulled into a reporting suite like Power BI, it’s possible for marketing, finance and operations to all get reports on the aspects of sales activity relevant to them.

That makes it possible to add a new layer of business intelligence on top of the performance analytics. As well as knowing which reps are performing well and which would benefit from more training, you can see which products perform best across different territories and demographics, or understand the trends affecting each campaign area and where to focus your resources for warming up or selling to customers.

It takes someone from the data science world, not the sales team, to analyse that level of information and translate it into a clear vision for the business. Involving a data architect ensures there’s someone able to keep the large amounts of gathered data organised into what’s relevant to each team, meaning everyone can get the full benefit of PSI’s data capture capabilities.

If you’re ready to take your sales campaigns to the next level, speak to us to find out more about how PSI can help, or read our guide to PSI’s sales solutions.

How to soften the blow of brain drain

When people talk about churn in the telco and energy industries, the focus is often on customers drifting away. But there’s another kind of churn that’s just as big a problem and often gets overlooked: brain drain. 

Every time talent leaves a company, it’s not just the individual who goes. It’s their years of valuable insight in the industry. Their unique understanding of their role and the territories they work in. If they’re moving to a rival, you could even lose your competitive edge. 

Although you should try to reduce brain drain where you can – especially if it’s rooted in a culture or employee engagement problem – there’s no way to stop it altogether. People will always retire, move on or seek new challenges. 

But just because churn is a fact of life, it doesn’t mean the impact has to be. If you can’t always keep talent from leaving, you can at least make it less of a hard reset for the company when they do. 

Keep control of your market insights 

Although brain drain occurs when someone leaves, it can still happen even if the talent stays within the company. For example, if a field rep team leader gets promoted or a manager steps down, and their expertise at that level isn’t replaced. 

It might also happen because you need to change your relationship with a sales agency partner. A common problem for telcos and energy companies is becoming too dependent on their sales agency, because there is a risk that all of their market knowledge and insight is held by that team. If you want to change partners, or work with a different agency in a new space, that knowledge is lost. 

One way to avoid this is to buy your own sales solution and onboard a sales agency onto it. That way you become more self-reliant and own your own sales data. The insights stay within the building, and you still know what’s going on in your market even if people leave or your agency relationship changes. 

Use your data to see where the real problem lies 

Part of keeping insights within the company is knowing what data to collect and how best to use it. 

You might have an excellent field sales team you know you can trust. They’re productive in the field, they reliably knock on every door on their route, and they respect your potential customers by not overselling or ignoring compliance. Getting to that stage wasn’t an easy task, but the result is a highly efficient and skilled team to represent your brand on people’s doorsteps. 

But if those reps move on for any reason, it’s a problem. The people that made the team so well-oiled are gone, and you can’t yet trust their replacements in the same way. If sales performance is dipping, how can you tell if it’s because the area has been saturated or your new reps aren’t knocking on the doors they say they are? 

When you’re not capturing information accurately, it creates too much grey area. Reps are able to say they tried an area to no avail, and it's impossible to diagnose why the results aren’t coming. 

But with the right data capture process in place, you can know where the problem lies and zero in on ways to make your sales team more productive. Then you’re not overly reliant on your star reps, and it’s less of a setback when those talents leave. 

Protecting your knowledge will protect your brand 

When valuable knowledge leaves, that can be just the tip of the iceberg. If a company isn’t prepared for the loss of talent, the impact of brain drain can reach much further than their specific role. 

To begin with, the cost of training replacements is a setback. But if a team’s progress and operations are regularly disrupted each time a manager leaves, that can make the rest of the team less motivated and more likely to move on as well. 

Where the impact of brain drain can be especially serious is where compliance is concerned. If only one person is keeping track of issues like rep behaviour and compliance processes, they leave behind a major hole when they go – one which regulators might look into. 

Without that compliance lead’s oversight, anyone new to your sector or sales processes might not know what to watch for and how. As a result, leads that should be removed from campaigns are left in. Reps aren’t armed correctly and risk overselling or pressuring potential customers. And when customer trust is breached, so is your brand integrity. 

But when compliance is an automated part of your sales process, you’re not reliant on individuals to uphold it. If there’s turnover in your sales team, a new team leader can slot in and the system ensures your customers don’t feel any fallout. 

If you’re thinking about customer experience and how to make your operations as smooth as possible, limiting the effects of brain drain should fall into place. To learn more, check out our thoughts on boosting your customer experience with territory management and the competitive advantage of compliance. 

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.

Effective territory management is more than basic geography

Historically sales territories have existed as a way to simplify the division of accounts between your sales team. Geographic boundaries and sales team availability is used to establish which accounts belong to which account manager. It is then down to the territory manager to service the accounts and leads in their patch.

The problem with traditional territory management is that it treats all customers (and leads) equally. Your field sales reps will typically plan their weekly/monthly/annual visits, cycling through customers site visits in the same way indefinitely. Every contact is afforded roughly the same level of facetime.

In an ideal world, this equality would be fine. But the truth is that some clients spend more than others, making them worth more to your business. It is these clients that should be receiving greater attention from your sales reps.


Redefining your territories

Taking your sales strategy forward, it may help to stop thinking of territories in terms of physical geography. Instead, you can create territories around various different factors including:

  • Product range or tariff
  • Account type
  • Local competition
  • Personas – the type of people being targeted in your field sales campaigns

Even this basic change of definition opens new sales opportunities. You are now able to reallocate leads and accounts to sales reps in new, more effective ways:

  • Product experts can manage specific accounts based on the utility service they use.
    • You can split the sales team between corporate and consumer accounts, allowing reps to specialise in one or the other.
  • You can reallocate additional field sales reps to target regions where your competition is particularly strong or weak.
  • Your sales team can tailor their strategy and pitches according to an allocated persona.


Targeting customers

From a business account perspective, you may already have divided your territory based on account value – after all, those clients who spend more warrant more of your resources and time. But the truth is that some accounts will have a secondary value which is sometimes quite significant.

In the age of social business, you may find that some of your low-value accounts are actually very good at referring their own contacts. So the value of their contract may be low, but the referral business they bring in more than compensates.

This realisation is another important motivator for changing territories and account allocation. These clients will need similar nurturing and encouragement as you would provide your highest-value accounts. Losing these high secondary value clients could have a serious effect on your sales.

This is still relevant in a domestic/retail setting where the size of accounts can still be a factor, especially considering the age of smart where increasing devices further embed your products through your customer’s homes. In the majority of accounts though you are playing for the longevity of the relationship, who is more likely to stay with you and why. Do you understand why they are signing up with you? Is it price alone or price and service, and how do you continue to add value in the long term to keep them a customer? Capturing and acting on relevant data can help give you an edge over your competitors.


Get flexible

Changing the way you define and manage territories is not a one-off task, however. Your customers’ needs and preferences will change frequently, as will market conditions. And where territories are defined by any factor other than geography, they too will need to be updated to reflect the changes.

In the data-driven sales environment, this is more complicated than changing a few lines on a map. The factors used to segment advanced territories are not so immediately obvious.

The sales operations manager needs a sales platform that allows them to manage every aspect of their sales strategy and supporting data quickly and efficiently. This flexibility allows you to change strategy whenever required to maximise conversions and sales.


The value in your database

No matter the channel, feeding the sales engine is a constant battle for sales leaders, do you have enough quality leads, how can you improve your conversion rate, are there more opportunities for improvement? With the complexity of multiple channels, customer and product types sitting alongside multiple systems and processes there is the potential to leave opportunities on the table.

It’s therefore key to have a strategy and a digital sales solution that will enable you to capture and centralise pertinent sales data including; leads from any channel, intelligence about product performance per channel and area, alongside other data that is relevant you your business e.g. do people in the southwest sign up more often when the weather is rainy.

When you have insight that can be actioned, you can utilise more value from your database, leads can be nurtured until ready and delivered to the relevant channel at the appropriate time, improvements can be made your sales processes if you understand where people get stuck, you can resource your territory appropriately based on performance, and monitor the results in real-time through your sales dashboards. Each door knock will in turn deliver more value if managed correctly.


Digital Sales Solution

PSI has been delivering tailored solutions to energy and telecommunications providers since 2004. Our robust Fusion platform can manage the full matrix of your sales engine, from how you sell, e.g.; field sales, telesales, web sales, channel partners, 3rd party sales, to what you sell and to who. We make it easy for your customers to switch, for your team to deliver, and for your business to gain intelligence and maximise sales.

If you want to see the solution in action, schedule a 30 min Demo with our specialists.

How Gaining Insights from Your Data Can Help You Win More Deals

We’ve all heard the saying “data is the new oil”, but what may not be as well known is the concept behind it. Like crude oil, raw data isn’t valuable in itself. To unlock the actionable insights it contains, the data must first be accurately gathered, combined with other relevant data, and analysed. When properly done, it can bridge the gap between how you think your business is running and how it’s really running.

Doing this requires embedding the actionable insights acquired from your data into your business strategies for more proactive and intentional decision making. Energy and telco companies that recognise the importance of the data they capture and act upon it will be in an enviable position to improve the way business is conducted, and ultimately win more deals.


When Intelligent Data Isn’t Part of the Sales Journey

Data can provide a bounty of intelligence when it comes to understanding where you’re excelling and where improvements need to be made to increase sales closure rates. Let’s explore two sales scenarios – door-to-door field sales and online sales – looking at each through the lens of when data isn’t integrated into your processes.


Door-to-door field sales: Given closing the deal is the primary goal of your field reps, do you know if money is being left on the table? For example, we’ll assume that during the course of a day, a field rep knocked on 10 doors and made 1 sale. Although the good news is that a sale was made, what do you know about the 9 prospects that declined to switch providers? Do you have the insights to know

  • Why the 9 prospects didn’t make a purchase?
  • If any of the 9 prospects are short- or long-term actionable leads?
  • If any business intelligence was captured from the 9 prospects?
  • If one or more of the 9 prospects were previous customers and switched to a competitor? And if so…
  • Do you know which competitor they switched to?
  • Do you know why they switched such as to take advantage of a product you don’t offer, the competition offered lower rates, or provided better service?


Online sales: Are you killing the competition when it comes to online sales? If not, do you know why? Let’s face it, when customers make purchases online, they’re pretty much left to their own devices throughout the sales journey. If virtually every customer that visited your website completed a sign-up form, your sales figures would be on the rise. Since that’s not a realistic expectation, the question you need to ask yourself is – why are prospects dropping out of the sign-up process?

While both of these scenarios highlight the need to integrate intelligent data into your sales processes, data can also give you the insights to better understand your field sales reps performance and where improvements are needed.


Using Data to Shed Light on Sales Performance

The 80/20 Rule, also referred to as the Pareto Principle, states that 80% of sales are made by 20% of your sales reps. And that’s not all, a recent McKinsey & Company article discusses the performance gap between sales reps, saying that regardless of the metric used, the top 30% of your sales reps will outperform the bottom 30% by as much as a factor of 4. In an industry with high turnover, closing the skills gap sounds insurmountable, doesn’t it? Not necessarily.

The first step is to gain an understanding of what makes your best reps so good. This is where the data you collect can help. By introducing field sales rep and customer surveys, as well as technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), you’ll be able to acquire the behavioural data of your best sales reps to determine patterns in successful deals closures. These insights can then be used to refine your sales strategies by embedding digital training, coaching and field rep assessments into your workflows.

Your goal should be to introduce small incremental improvements, rather than a single sweeping change that could have the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve. Use the insights you gathered and a phased approach across all customer-facing parts of your company. When combined, the marginal improvements implemented will – over time – have a big impact on your organisation.


Put Your Data to Work for You

Are you arming your field sales reps with the data they need to win business? PSI Touchstone enables you to gather data and seamlessly integrate it into your sales stack. Drawing from multiple sources we help you capture and validate the data you need to close sales performance gaps and win more deals.

Our energy and telco clients gain the analytics and insights to see where prospects fall out of the sales cycle, retarget prospects that didn’t complete the sale cycle, and analyse sales performance metrics. Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Don’t let another day go by without having the data intelligence you need. Contact us to schedule a 20-minute call with one of our data specialists.