Webinar – The Rise of Telecom Consolidations and the Impact on Business Systems

Webinar – The Rise of Telecom Consolidations and the Impact on Business Systems

Fighting for collaboration and the future of fibre – PSI joins VATM

In 1998, Germany's fixed-line telecommunications market opened up. Until then, the country’s telecom infrastructure had been run by a monopoly, but now the telecommunications market is is being liberalised, giving many more organisations a chance to be a part of this fast evolving sector.

To ensure, that the shift really creates a balanced market, a new organisation was founded: the VATM, or Association of Telecommunications and Value-Added Service Providers.

Though we’ve come far, creating a fair and balanced competitive market is just as much a relevant challenge today as it was in 1998. The terms of that challenge, however, are new – dominated by Germany’s transition from copper to full-fibre infrastructure.

PSI has just become a member of the VATM. We spoke to Dr. Frederic Ufer, Managing Director at VATM to hear why the transition to fibre is at the forefront of the industry’s attention, why the situation is unique in Germany, and how we can move forward together.

Collaboration will be essential for competition

“The VATM brings together a diverse range of industry players,” says Frederic . “These are companies rolling out fibre optics, investors, mobile network operators, TowerCos, service providers and suppliers.”

The association is keen to enable collaborative efforts between these companies. That’s ultimately what they need to do to ensure there’s a thriving, competitive, non-monopolistic telecommunications environment. One that ultimately benefits consumers and businesses alike.

Germany has the highest growth rate for FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) in Europe. However, they’re also starting from the smallest install base, and there are several reasons for this. One is a lack of open access – which enables several service providers to use the same access network infrastructure simultaneously, giving customers more choice.

“Open access is a crucial focus, so we’re advocating for agreements between providers and consumers,” says Frederic . “If we’re going to ensure a quick and efficient expansion of 5G and fibre optics infrastructure, collaboration will be essential.”

Three challenges Germany faces with fibre optics

Germany's telecommunications market has taken a distinctive trajectory, Frederic says. He names three hurdles that lie between the country’s telecom present and its future.

1) Transitioning from copper to glass

“Germany has a well-established copper-based telecommunications network that has served the country for decades,” says Frederic, “and this has delayed the country’s need to transition to newer technologies.”

For years, the copper network has been a strength of Germany. It’s been robust, it’s been more effective than other nations’ infrastructure, but this historic advantage has also meant that not every consumer has been clear on why they should switch to fibre.

“Telecom companies will need to delicately manage the gradual phasing out of traditional infrastructure,” says Frederic . “So VATM is actively engaging in discussions about the transition from copper to glass.”

2) A matter of geography

Compared to smaller European nations, Germany’s population is more broadly dispersed over an even wider landscape – one that includes mountain ranges and vast forests.

“This makes Germany a more challenging terrain for extensive infrastructure deployment,” says Frederic . “The geographical expanse and diverse topography combine to make the deployment of 5G and fibre optics networks a logistical puzzle.”

3) The speed of politics

Finally, Germany faces the challenge that often faces us all: ensuring security for investment. Companies across the country need to find a way to secure the necessary funds for widespread implementation.

“The capital-intensive nature of the deployment of 5G and fibre optics infrastructure demands significant financial resources,” says Frederic . “Federalisation, though, with its varying authorisation procedures, is creating bureaucratic hurdles.”

Technology will be a part of the solution

While a number of these challenges will need to be overcome by political and partnership-based solutions, finding the funding for new infrastructure will be made easier when take-up is strong. Technology will play a significant role here.

“Technology has become an integral part of sales management,” says Frederic . “It enables companies to adapt to market dynamics, improve sales efficiency, and deliver enhanced services to their customers.”

It’s not only a matter of efficiency though, Frederic says, it’s also one of reach. Some potential customers simply won’t hear of an offer unless a company starts using a multichannel approach.

“The widespread adoption of digital channels for sales, such as online platforms, mobile apps, and e-commerce portals, allows telecom companies to reach a broader audience,” says Frederic . “Considering that 75 % percent of the fiber contracts are achieved by door to door salesmen, customer management systems like PSI’s platform, that also supply an offline mode, can create a more convenient and seamless purchasing experience.”

This is one of the reasons why VATM is partnering with PSI

“Companies like PSI have demonstrated success in other telco markets across Europe and have designed their technology to fit the specific needs of telecom providers based on this experience,” says Frederic. “The partnership should help accelerate the FTTP rollout by making it easier for providers to access potential customers whether that be in urban or rural areas.”

At PSI we know that building trust in the industry will be essential. So enabling ethical sales is a priority for PSI, and our technology is designed to reinforce the code of conduct presented by VATM.

“By working with a solution like PSI’s, companies can be confident that they’re growing their sales channels with an industry expert,” says Frederic. “They’ll be seen as a trusted provider that does things 'the right way'.”

For more on PSI’s software see our article on how PSI’s sales software raises the game for customer experience or see our buyer’s guide to PSI.

1995, 2030 and the next step for fibre – PSI joins ISPA

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“Organisations such as PSI can be a vital tool to ensure that this much needed (fibre broadband) take-up happens in a positive timescale,” says Krystian. “Services that can drive customer acquisition and revenue growth, like PSI, can help the UK fibre networks, especially as many of them are now shifting their primary focus from FTTP deployment.”

Krystian Heald, Head of Partnerships, ISPA

It’s 1995. The internet has been commercially alive and kicking for a matter of months. Social media and e-commerce as we know it is a decade away – barely a twinkle in the eyes of entrepreneurs. Here ISPA, The Internet Service Providers Association, was founded, ready to steer a course to the new millennium.

The internet was a new market, and someone needed to bring together the UK industry to develop standards and self regulation. As a voice to the UK government, and a hub for the sector’s most pertinent conversations, ISPA was a vital part of creating the connected UK we know today – and it’ll be a vital part of its future.

PSI has just become a member of ISPA, and to mark the occasion we spoke with Krystian Heald, Head of Partnerships at ISPA. Here he gives us his thoughts on why ISPA matters and where connectivity in the UK is going next.

Fibre: a once in a lifetime transformation

In recent years, ISPA has been focused on uniting the UK’s efforts to create a fibre-based future.

“The UK internet sector is undergoing a once in a lifetime transformation through nationwide deployment of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP),” says Krystian. “Our members are investing more than £30bn of mostly private funding to upgrade the UK, with nearly two-thirds of the UK now able to access full fibre broadband and 85% gigabit capable speeds.”

Even though we face a difficult economic landscape where costs of capital are on the rise, the pace of change has been go, go, go.

“This investment has seen both established market brands and a burgeoning altnet community rapidly and successfully deploying these improved fibre services to over 60% of the UK,” says Krystian. “The final 40% is expected to be complete by 2030 – well within schedule.“

“As a result, it is fair to say that industry’s drive to deploy FTTP is the one of the UKs largest successful major infrastructure projects.”

The next phase for the UK’s infrastructure

The infrastructure deployment of FTTP has not been without challenges, however. The final 40% of the fibre-to-the-premises infrastructure requires extensive funding, and at the same time the sector needs to stimulate demand to ensure commercial sustainability – and this is reflected in the new priorities of investors.

“Increasingly, investor expectations have begun to look beyond the deployment of fibre networks towards take-up and ROI,” says Krystian. “This is key for both the commercial viability of the sector and UK society as we look to maintain our status as a leading digital nation.”

The solution to take-up will be multifaceted. “At ISPA, we want to ensure that the UK capitalises on fast and reliable connectivity,” says Krystian. “From ensuring users are equipped with the right digital skills to improve digital inclusion to helping consumers understand the value of gigabit broadband.”

In part this will depend on brands and sales reps educating buyers – and in order to be trusted, they will need the brand reputation to back it up.

How PSI are playing a role

So why has PSI joined ISPA’s efforts? Well, since 2010, our sales software has been enabling the take up of enhanced connectivity and fibre in both rural and urban areas.

“Organisations such as PSI can be a vital tool to ensure that this much needed take-up happens in a positive timescale,” says Krystian. “Services that can drive customer acquisition and revenue growth, like PSI, can help the UK fibre networks, especially as many of them are now shifting their primary focus from FTTP deployment.”

Multichannel sales can play a role here, but perhaps even more important is ethical door-to-door sales, which we’ve been working to make the new normal in the UK and Ireland. This is an essential foundation for healthy brand reputation and consumer trust – and these are vital to ensure the conversations reps have with customers about FTTP are not tinged with disbelief or scepticism.

“The industry adopts a wide array of strategies to successfully acquire customers, ranging from digital marketing through to door to door sales – all perfectly viable routes to market,” says Krystian. “However, as we have seen over the past 12 months, some of these tactics have received some negative commentary in the press. As a sector we need to ensure that these routes to market are undertaken in an ethical manner.”

In 1995, ISPA was founded. In 2030, fibre connectivity will exist across the UK. Which organisations succeed the most commercially, however, is still yet to be decided over the next five years. Our approach to sales, along with our sales software, will play a key part in this.

“PSI’s intent to support the UK ISP sector is signified by them becoming an ISPA Partner in 2024,” says Krystian. “We look forward to working with them over the next 12 months.”

For more insights on the take up of fibre-to-the-premises, see our articles on the five industry trends affecting telcos and their sales outcomes or how to launch effective sales campaigns in the field.

From the street to the store: Why more telcos are choosing PSI for their retail channel

The highstreet store has become a less prominent feature of businesses everywhere, including for telco brands. Many alt-nets choose to only sell online and door-to-door, while a number of telco giants are shifting their focus to digital.

However, although stores aren’t necessarily the primary sales outlet they once were, they can still be a flagship presence in a city or a small but meaningful presence in a community – and with the right technology to manage leads, the store can remain a powerful sales channel.

Why Vodafone Ireland chose PSI for stores

Vodafone Ireland, for instance, first came to PSI so they could get their own field sales team on the streets – and they’d seen great outcomes. It was a hit with reps and back office teams. Productivity was up. Morale was up. And a new bar had been set for customer experience, lead management, and sales performance.

After seeing these results, the Vodafone team realised that there was no reason their stores couldn’t function to the same gold standard. Because PSI can run on a rep’s tablet as effectively in a store as in the field, there was nothing stopping them from multiplying their success in retail.

How the store can become a smarter lead generator

In their stores, Vodafone Ireland didn’t have the same level of lead capture that they had grown accustomed to in the field. But by introducing PSI into their stores, they could have the same system across all channels, and the back office could receive the same standard and type of data from field sales, tele sales and in-store sales.

“Now all customer details are taken on a tablet in-store, and that information goes to the same back office team that process field sales – and they contact the customer.” says Michelle Brazzill, Channel Partner Manager at Vodafone Ireland. “So we’re leaving sales people to do the sales and office people to do the processing.”

With all the validations and logic built in, the PSI software quickly became popular among both sales reps and processing managers. The Vodafone sales reps found the PSI customer acquisition form so simple to use, so fast to take a customer through, and meanwhile those in the back office could quickly find all the information they needed with very few manual inputs.


The store as part of a multichannel approach

By using PSI across multiple sales channels, it gives you far more flexibility, and visibility, when it comes to following through with sales. An initial conversation in a store can quickly become a phone call the next day, and if the person isn’t ready to make a commitment at that time, a field sales agent can follow up weeks or even months down the line – and when they do, they can be fully up to speed on the prospect’s situation.

This sort of insight-informed multichannel approach can bring a massive uplift to both lead generation and the completion of sales. And with one source of data for all your sales, it makes reporting on this upward trend far easier.

Some brands may prefer to reserve their stores for lead capture only. That’s exactly what Three is doing with PSI’s technology. Three’s teams don’t complete sales in-store, but use PSI anyway to provide an effortless experience for both rep and customer – reps working on other channels can then follow up later.


Protections against fraud and misuse

PSI for stores runs using the same kind of technology that’s behind our Touchstone Embedded web sales product. That means compliance is baked into the customer journey, and you won’t need to worry about too-competitive sales reps, or falling afoul of customers using dodgy account details.

It’s so secure that there’s little stopping you from putting PSI straight into the hands of your customers, even if no reps are on hand. A fixed tablet, like a self-checkout, can be a great option for crowded stores that don’t want to miss a single opportunity. In this scenario, your reps could be there to answer questions and build rapport instead of giving their attention to data input. If you’re looking to reinvent how your stores approach the customer experience, it’s worth exploring this option.

To learn more about how telcos are using PSI, see how Vodafone Ireland created a highly successful field sales team or see why telcos are choosing PSI’s pre-configured sales software.

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.

Our sales software continues to evolve: PSI’s 2023 product wrap up

PSI's 2023 Product Wrap Up

The needs of sales teams are never static, and the sales software they use has to keep up. Throughout 2023 we’ve been investing heavily in developing the PSI system to deliver more of what regulated industries like telco and energy need.

From launching new products and ensuring field rep safety, to enhancing the PSI system’s connectivity, customer journeys and UX, here’s a wrap up of our biggest product updates from the past twelve months.


Frank Egan


“In 2023 we were thrilled to unveil our latest User Interface/User Experience for our Fusion Core and Fusion Pulse applications. This cutting-edge design introduces a sleek and intuitive interface, ensuring a seamless experience for multichannel customer journeys across the platform. We complimented this with improved analytics and dashboards, numerous new features in our Campaigns and Routes module, and much more.

We also introduced the Outcomes API. With it our customers can leverage actionable sales outcome data by integrating PSI into their systems for business intelligence and sales processing. With a user-friendly interface and robust functionality, the Outcomes API transforms the way our customers utilise information, empowering teams to make informed decisions.

In 2024 we’ll be adding to our Campaigns and Routes module and working on a range of dynamic business APIs to complement the existing Outcomes API, opening up the possibilities for data integration, business intelligence, and sales processing.

But that’s not all! Our commitment to seamless user experiences extends to more out-of-the-box integrations that effortlessly connect your workflows. Analytics takes centre stage with enhanced features, providing you with deeper insights into your operations. And we’ll be introducing a brand-new feature: Appointments! No more scheduling headaches as we streamline the appointment and callback processes, ensuring a hassle-free and organised workflow.
This is just the beginning – stay tuned for much more innovation, enhancements, and surprises throughout the year!”

Our sales software continues to evolve...

Pre-designed customer journeys for telcos

One of our most important updates this year has been the launch of PSI’s pre-designed customer journeys – giving our clients a quicker way to get our software ready to launch and into the hands of their sales teams.

We’ve essentially taken all of our learnings from the ISP integrations and customer journeys we have delivered over the last 10 years and identified what comes up time and again in the industry. We then built a market-ready sales solution with those lessons as a backbone.

It means that telcos can now get up and running with PSI quicker than ever, and deploy a telco-specific sales system without investing time and resources in a fully custom build. After implementation, we can continue to evolve the platform with custom integrations, but having a pre-designed solution allows you to get a head start on selling rather than configuring everything from scratch.

A stronger toolkit for rep safety

For telcos and energy companies putting sales reps out into the field, safety has to be one of their highest priorities. This year we launched our new Fusion Guardian product to give sales teams more tools to observe their field reps on their routes and manage their safety.

From real-time GPS alerts for every rep in the field to features like a discreet panic button and tailored response frameworks, Fusion Guardian puts more power in the hands of your field sales reps should they find themselves in trouble, and it also helps your sales teams stay in control from a distance.

Easier and more intuitive UX

At PSI we’re typically focused on the backend of our system, since that’s where its unique capabilities lie. This year though, as well as the backend, we spent time refining PSI’s frontend to ensure your sales reps and back office teams can continue accessing those key features as effortlessly as possible.

All of that means that the PSI system now has a refreshed and modern UX. Our focus has been on making the system easier to use and the user journeys more intuitive – as a result, our clients are spending less time speaking with our training and support teams and more time using those features to sell.

APIs for seamless integrations

Whether you need to hook up your CRM or Power BI, we know how important it is for your sales software to speak with the rest of your tech stack. Because of that, we developed a new outcomes API this year to make integrating with PSI quicker and more seamless than ever before.

With our new outcomes API, telcos and energy companies can extract data from the PSI system and feed it directly into their reporting suites and CRM software. Whatever tools you use, you can access our API and its documentation, so that you can build the unique network of integrations you need.

In the past that kind of connectivity would have needed custom integrations for every implementation. But our API now puts the power back into your hands to integrate data at speed. We can still work with you on a custom integration if that’s what you need, but it’s no longer the default option.

More tools for working outbound sales leads

When so much of telco and utility sales is about nurturing trust and customer relationships, your sales team needs to be able to do more than just capture leads. They also need to be able to effortlessly work those leads as they arrive – which is why we developed a new outbound sales feature this year.

The idea behind this is to give you a shortcut to multichannel sales, and more power to nurture leads. Leads from any channel can get funnelled through new workflows – and from there they can be fed into a Kanban board for someone in your outbound telesales team to arrange a call-back appointment or convert them to a sale or a no-sale.

In a nutshell, it allows you to maximise your chance of success, capture and manage leads, and win more business. All of this with a multichannel customer journey that’s pre-designed for your industry and quick to roll out to your sales teams.

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.

Door-to-door sales: why Ireland’s utility companies have the edge in the field

If you look at door-to-door selling in the utilities market, you’ll see a wide variation in success around the world. In the UK, for example, utilities companies are hesitant to put too much into field sales for fear of damaging their brand reputation. In Denmark, doorstep selling is seen as a privacy intrusion and prohibited by law.

But in Ireland, door-to-door is a thriving sales channel for telco and utilities companies. Major players like Vodafone and SSE Airtricity invest considerably in their field sales, and see such a clear return on that investment that door-to-door campaigns are a core pillar of their operations.

The reason why things are different in Ireland isn’t the Irish people are simply more receptive to door-to-door sales reps. It’s that the utilities companies here have seen the issues that have made doorstep selling so contentious in other countries and committed to doing it right – including using sales software designed for regulated industries to ensure their customers and their brand are always protected.


Ireland has protection against mistakes and mis-selling

When you’re embarking on a door-to-door campaign, it’s essential to have controls in place for effective territory management. Without those controls, it’s too easy for bad actors in the field to mislead customers or report sales that never happened – not only will your brand reputation take a hit if that happens, but you could also risk fines in the millions, and legislators might even step in to ban door-to-door selling altogether.

While sales rep behaviour plays a huge role in that – and we’ll talk about rep management shortly – there are features your sales software should have to ensure door-to-door selling doesn’t get your brand into trouble.

For example, Ireland’s energy companies are using PSI’s journeys to prevent the wrong products being sold to customers. The products in the journeys are drawn from a set product list and filtered by answers to previous questions, meaning fewer broken sales as customers can’t agree to a product they later find out they’re not eligible for. It’s a guard against both intentional and accidental mis-selling.

We always work with our clients’ assurance teams to make sure the scripting in their journeys is exactly what reps need to be saying to customers, which reduces the risk of reps misrepresenting a product because they don’t have the answers they need. The logic and journey of the system is designed to always take reps on the correct path with a customer, so that they never see questions that shouldn’t come up.


Ireland’s energy companies use sales software to manage rep behaviour

As we’ve said, sales rep behaviour is critical to making door-to-door field sales work. When you send reps out to knock on doors, you’re faced with the challenge of managing them while having no direct control over what they’re doing on their routes.

In Ireland that used to be a real problem in the days of commission-only sales reps, when reps were notorious for either misleading customers or filling out forms themselves in order to record sales. When those sales reps are only armed with a clipboard and paper, effective territory management is almost impossible – but with the right sales software, it’s a different story.

At PSI, we learned to make sure everything a rep does while they’re out on their route is geocoded and time-stamped. That means you can immediately see if a rep is logging a new sale at 10:30pm or far from a customer’s address, and the data keeps them honest.

That GPS location data also gives Ireland’s energy companies more assurance in case they do find themselves facing a customer complaint. The PSI system gives companies a clear trail of evidence so that they can know exactly what happened with any given sale, and the information can be retrieved in minutes rather than weeks should a brand need to protect itself.

At PSI, we also made it easier to ensure that reps have received the right field sales training. Ireland’s energy companies can upload training materials directly to a rep’s device so that they always have access to what they need, while the ability to capture and report on rep performance data gives a clear indication of where each member of the team needs to focus their training.


Ireland’s energy companies know that perfect onboarding builds customer trust

While ensuring customers are protected from mis-selling is a key part of making your door-to-door sales a success, it’s not the only aspect. Protecting your brand in the field is also a case of building trust with consumers, which includes delivering an efficient, reliable customer experience as much as it does managing rep behaviour.

When the process relies on paper, for example, it’s easy for mistakes to harm your brand reputation even if your sales rep did everything right on the doorstep. Ireland learned early how paper forms could get lost or damaged in the time between completing a sale and returning it to the back office team. And when it did reach the back office, it might have been sitting there for a week waiting for manual processing.

If customers are left waiting too long to hear back about the status of their order – or worse, if their details are lost altogether – it’s easy for them to form the perception that your company isn’t looking out for them.

Ireland’s energy companies eliminated that risk by doing away with the core problem. Once a sale is captured in PSI, it immediately comes off a rep’s device and is sent to be processed. Everything is automated, removing the delay that always comes with manually handling data. It’s also simple for sales teams to upload additional documentation like landlord’s consent, reducing the chance of broken sales.

We’re also continually evolving the PSI platform to give Ireland’s energy companies more tools for building trust with customers. During Covid we integrated remote signatures, allowing reps to send contracts and documentation to a customer’s own device, where they can review and sign at a safe distance. This functionality also gives customers another way to enter their bank details if they don’t want to hand them over at the door.

And in an age where the security of customer data is paramount, PSI makes it easy to comply with regulations like GDPR. Customer bank details are purged as soon as a sale is approved and the system automatically clears all sensitive customer data after three years as standard, and can be configured to purge more regularly if needed. PSI is also designed to take field sales agency partnerships into account, by making sure that agencies can’t see any company and customer data beyond what they need to fulfil their role.

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 PSI’s sales software raises the game for customer experience

When it comes to improving your customer experience, it’s all too easy for software platforms to promise the world. If marketing were gospel, almost every field sales solution on the market would be a silver bullet, with its one unique feature ready to transform your customer journeys overnight.

But the reality is that customer experience doesn’t work like that. There’s no single box you can tick that will flip your CX to first class. In truth, what makes the biggest difference is multiple marginal gains – which you can only achieve by drilling down to every facet of your customer journey and making improvements across all areas of your organisation.

In the years we’ve been supporting telco and energy provider sales teams, seamless customer experience has regularly been highlighted as part of what sets PSI’s sales solution apart. And how we do that isn’t by promising one golden feature, but by giving sales teams the tools to sharpen up every aspect of their customer journey.

Removing friction from customer sign-ups

When you want to understand what your customer experience really looks like, there are few people better placed to ask than your sales reps. After all, they’re the ones speaking to your current and potential customers every single day, seeing both their frustrations and their delights as they move through the stages of signing a contract.

That’s why it’s always important to us when our clients’ sales reps return positive feedback on both their own experience of using the PSI system, and on the ease it delivers for their customers. The PSI system is designed to remove as much friction as possible from the customer journey, and that in turn creates a slicker sales process from the rep’s perspective as well.

With PSI, customers can get their contract documents and summary emailed directly to them by a field sales rep on their doorstep, and can review and sign their contract on their own device. That gives customers more control and ownership over their contract, but it also means that they aren’t left waiting for someone in the back office team to log their details and chase them up at a later date.

Providing a more efficient sign up process also means there’s less risk of customers falling through the cracks while their details are passed from one team to another.

Rep management that builds brand trust

Customer experience isn’t all about how quick and simple it is to sign a contract. In the telco and energy sectors, trust is a huge component behind customers choosing one provider over another, and the more they trust a company and its sales reps, the better their experience.

And while products, service and pricing all play into building consumer trust, your field sales team also has a significant role to play – and one that PSI’s Territory Management solution can go a long way towards helping them fulfil.

It’s no secret that poor territory management can lead directly to poor brand reputation. Picture this scenario. You send out your field reps on a Monday, and one of them knocks on every door along their route. But when it comes time to record the results of those visits, they don’t bother because the form is too long-winded to fill out.

The following week, another rep knocks on those same doors again because they aren’t aware that the previous visit took place. If those leads said they weren’t interested before, they’re now going to be frustrated at being ignored, and they’re less likely to trust your brand as a result of that customer experience.

Recording customer dispositions is straightforward with PSI, meaning you can get all the information you need about each customer interaction while ensuring potential leads don’t get overworked because of incomplete records. And with rep management tools like GPS location tracking, in-system training and real-time performance metrics, you can be certain that your field reps are giving customers the best first impression of your brand.

A system that keeps selling – even when offline

Sometimes a customer’s experience when speaking with your reps can feel outside of your control. That’s often the case in rural areas or connectivity blind spots. You can put the best rep team possible out in the field, but if nothing will load when they’re trying to showcase deals or complete a sale, their professionalism and ability to deliver a pitch are going to be completely overshadowed.

Offline functionality is a core feature of PSI’s sales software, and contributes to customer experience in a number of ways. For one, it ensures that reps always have all the address and route data they need to execute a campaign.

But when the rep is at the customer’s door, it also means they’re able to show the full range of products and packages available as easily as if they were online. Reps can focus on delivering their pitch without dreading a spinning wheel or a blank loading screen, and customers can see the same deals as others in better connected areas.

And if the customer does choose to sign up, they’re still able to do so even if the rep’s device is offline, meaning they won’t need to wait for a slow mobile connection to catch up – or have to wait to complete the sale at a later date with another rep. The sale will process quickly, and the system will update and complete validations as soon as the rep achieves connectivity again.

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 our pre-configured sales solutions give customers a head start

When people hear the term “pre-configured”, they might think that’s code for constraints and limitations. They picture an off-the-shelf solution that might meet a need right now but offers little room for customisation – the software equivalent of a microwave ready meal.

Now to be fair, there’s some software out there that fits this bill. It’s stretched thin to serve a too-broad audience, and in an attempt to meet the needs of a thousand dissimilar businesses, it fails to satisfy most of them.

But to think of pre-configured software in these terms does it a huge disservice. At PSI, our goal with a pre-configured solution isn’t to sell to as many companies as possible. Instead we’re only looking to serve the select sectors we work in – telco and energy. And we’re essentially packaging up the systems that are best practice in those industries.

It’s not a limitation, it’s a head start. We can continue to build upon the solution, evolving and further customising the platform to your needs after you’re up and running – and crucially, making sales.


So what exactly do you get with a pre-configured sales solution?

The first thing is speed. We’re using a tried-and-tested recipe that’s based on our learning from all the custom implementations we’ve built up until this point – and by using this recipe, we save you a lot of headaches, and you win back a lot of valuable selling time.

While every telco is unique and will have their own requirements that others don’t, there are some things that every telco sales solution needs to have – a set of products, address data, a sales form, customer communications, and so on. It doesn’t make sense to use valuable time and resources building each of those elements from scratch for every project when they already exist.

Rather than starting from a blank slate, a pre-configured solution means you’re able to begin with all the essential elements you need to complete a sale or speed up a delivery. And because it’s already fully wrapped up, it’s a solution that you can go live within a matter of weeks, compared to the many months you’d need to wait for a fully bespoke solution.

And even though it’s pre-configured, that doesn’t mean you get what you’re given. There is still room to add your own branded communications and logos, to tailor things to your product list, and to incorporate any additional questions or adaptations to the customer journey once the core foundation has been laid.

But as well as speed, you’re also getting expertise. PSI’s pre-configured sales solution is built off the back of every one of our previous integrations, strengthened by every learning we’ve gained when things have gone right, and when we’ve had the chance to learn or refine our platform.

It’s also designed specifically for the telco and energy sectors, meaning it’s sophisticated enough to incorporate ever-changing industry-specific regulations and security factors into the sales process, and update quickly to meet new requirements.


Don’t let sales platform perfectionism hold you back

With any software product launch, there’s an important balance to strike between achieving a comprehensive solution and a solution that doesn’t take an age to build. There’s no use rushing out a platform that’s lacking the features your sales team needs to do their job – but at the same time, too much perfectionism can stop a product from ever going live.

The advantage of a pre-configured platform is that “complete” and “quick” don’t have to be mutually exclusive – and just because a solution comes configured a certain way on day one, that doesn’t mean it’s the only shape it’s ever going to have.

With PSI’s pre-configured platform, you launch with everything that’s already designed and built, then add on additional features as and when you need them after launch. When you have a day one solution that’s already deployed and working, it’s not a huge project to scale it up and add in multiple channels later.

Even if you had the luxury of resources and time to launch with everything on your features list, sometimes that’s still not the best way forward. You often have to try things out in the field before you know for sure what needs to be added or what isn’t working. Otherwise, you can delay the launch for the sake of custom features that are based on untested assumptions.

For instance, we previously worked on an extensive custom build for a client that wanted to focus on sales rep engagement right from the jump. So they asked for features like a step counter and an integration with Spotify to make routes more interesting, as well as leaderboards and gamification to incentivise sales performance.

But when they launched the platform, those features went largely unused – it turned out the reps cared more about completing sales and getting paid than having fun on their routes.


A faster launch is a safer launch

When you’re building a fully bespoke solution from a blank slate, delays have the potential to derail the entire project. The longer it goes on, the greater the risk that you’ll just never go live – the business will move on in the background and targets will change, and the goalposts for your solution keep getting moved as the specification tries to keep up.

Then there’s the human element. If your sales team aren’t fully invested in the project, they’ll start losing confidence in it as delivery drags on. Even if they are invested at the beginning, there’s the possibility that they will also disengage if the solution takes too long, or even move on from their role before seeing it through to completion. Whatever the case, that kind of engagement is difficult to win back once it’s been lost.

One of the easily overlooked benefits of launching with a pre-configured sales solution is that it keeps the momentum of the project high. Rather than everyone getting excited during the planning phase but tiring through the months it takes to piece that vision together, they can have access to the staging system within weeks and start getting to grips with a real, working product.

That can also help with change management. There’s nothing worse than spending months building a complicated system, only to reach UAT and find that someone has new suggestions they haven’t voiced before, or an emotional reaction to the change that derails the launch.

On the other hand, when they can get their hands on a pre-configured solution within weeks, your team can get comfortable with the way the system works – and they can bring up any changes that need to be made well before it reaches user testing.

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.

Choosing sales software: 4 reasons that set PSI apart for telcos and energy providers

For telcos and energy companies, choosing a field sales platform is a big decision. The right solution can optimise a team’s operational efficiency, elevate customer satisfaction and open the way forward for penetrating new territories.

Not all sales software solutions are made equal. While many offer a generic, one-size-fits-all solution, we built the PSI system specifically for ambitious telco and energy companies – to help them meet industry and customer demands, move fast in the face of new opportunities and empower the field agents who represent their brand.


1. PSI keeps reps selling – even offline

Any sales solution worth its salt should aim to empower field reps to be their most productive, wherever their routes take them. But most sales software is missing a crucial element that every field rep needs – the ability to keep selling even when they’re offline.

That’s especially the case for telcos. Rural areas are a crucial market for expanding telcos, but the same lack of connectivity that makes those regions an opportunity also keeps field reps from closing sales. If a sales solution can’t operate offline, it brings your reps – and potentially your entire campaign in that area – to a halt.

Offline functionality is a core part of the PSI system. When a rep loses connection, our system immediately switches to an offline mode that keeps the server updated. That means sales reps can keep on logging data and signing up customers without waiting on the doorstep for the system to reconnect.


2. PSI supports enhanced customer satisfaction and field rep security

Ensuring reps can always close their deals is vital, but it’s not the limit of what sales software can do. With the right features, it can also elevate the experience of both your sales reps and your customers.

For example, our Document Reader add-on allows reps to take a picture of a customer’s current bill and automatically input their data from that image. Not only does that make reps more productive it also gives customers a smoother experience than they’d have with a competitor using another sales solution.

We’ve also recently launched Fusion Guardian, a tool for ensuring the safety of lone workers while they’re out in the field. With key features like real-time GPS location alerts, a discreet panic button and customisable response frameworks, the PSI system helps sales teams go further in their duty of care.


3. PSI is a specialised solution for telcos and energy companies

The success of your sales team is rooted in how well you understand your industry and your customers. That understanding should extend to your sales platform too, to ensure your team is following the industry’s best practices and exceeding expectations for customer experience.

A general sales platform will still do the basics you need it to – input leads and keep an eye on customer journeys. But if you’re trying to penetrate new markets, cultivate long-term customer relationships and reap the competitive benefits of effective territory management, the basics aren’t going to cut it.

The PSI system has been designed specifically with telcos and the energy industry in mind. We know how vital it is for energy companies to monitor customer engagement as part of the sales process, or for telcos to fulfil complex requirements around customer switching, and have built our platform to handle that out of the box.

For example, our Touchstone software lets you easily give customers a grace period to review their documentation and new contract before they sign up. As well as helping telcos and energy companies satisfy the regulations around consumer care, it also ensures customers feel confident about making the right decision – and boosts customer loyalty by building trusting relationships.


4. PSI provides effortless scalability

Choosing the right sales solution isn’t a short-term question. While you might be looking to maximise your field sales productivity today, that might not be what you need tomorrow.

Other sales platforms focus on automating tasks and optimising processes – in other words, making your team more efficient at what they already do. But if a solution is limited to a single sales channel, it’s going to hold your team back in the long run – either when you hit the glass ceiling, or when you have to spend time and resources migrating your customer data and sales pipelines to a new, bigger system.

With PSI, we built our system in tiers that are designed to scale. If all you need is territory management, you can get that without paying for more features than you’ll use. But if you want to expand to end-to-end or multichannel sales, it’s a simple case of upgrading to a higher tier. Your data and processes remain in the same place, and your sales team doesn’t have to learn a new system each time you scale.

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.