The telecom industry is under constant pressure to innovate faster and deliver the products that customers are willing to pay for. External forces, especially the economically disruptive COVID-19 pandemic, haven’t made this task any easier. In a worst-case scenario, telecom industry service revenue is not expected to return to 2019 pre-pandemic levels until 2024, according to industry research by Analysys Mason. This means telecom companies are looking for ways to double down on optimizing revenue opportunities and stopping avoidable revenue losses.
It’s precisely because of these challenges that Salesforce has put out products like Revenue Cloud or Salesforce Industries in recent years. CPQ tools like these provide telecom companies with a powerful, unified revenue ecosystem that is designed to streamline, automate, and integrate all of the complex tasks associated with the revenue lifecycle. For telecom companies, CPQ is an opportunity to effectively and efficiently bring standardization and quality control to revenue management, as well as to offer and deliver to customers more of the products and services they want. Let’s explore four fundamentals that every telecom company needs to understand about how CPQ tools deliver consistent, meaningful value to telcos:
They manage complex configuration and pricing
When it comes to product configuration and pricing in the telecom industry, complexity is inevitable. Not only is there enormous complexity associated with moving, adding, changing, and disconnecting services, but telecom pricing also is complicated by seemingly endless permutations associated with contracts, renewals, bundling, discounts, and other special offers. Moreover, telecom sales teams often spend as much time engaging with customers as they do manually preparing quotes and dealing with other administrative matters. CPQ is designed to streamline all configuration and pricing issues for telecom companies. From a single source of truth, CPQ automatically configures custom quotes and pricing—as well as reconfigures, as necessary—enabling quotes and bills alike to be generated reliably and rapidly. Just as importantly, given the frequency of configuration and pricing changes within the telecom industry, CPQ can automatically reconfigure and reprice contracts for existing customers.
They integrate seamlessly with finance management systems
Configuration and pricing are only part of the complexity associated with managing revenue in the telecom industry. Companies are also responsible for ensuring that bills get generated accurately and sent in the appropriate timeframes and that all revenue that is owed gets collected and properly recorded. Without proper integration between sales systems and backend finance and order management systems, all of these tasks become laborious and error-prone. CPQ eliminates this friction with a frontend system that integrates seamlessly with a company’s existing backend systems, ensuring an automatic, continuous flow of error-free sales data. As a result, sales teams don’t need to waste their time sending any of this data to finance teams manually, and the company can have confidence that it is collecting all of the revenue that is owed. In a nutshell, CPQ ensures that bills are consistently generated accurately, so the company isn’t being forced to retroactively catch and fix billing mistakes.
They provide valuable customer insights
Customers’ preferences and expectations for what their telecom company should be providing them are constantly changing. Whether it’s more services or faster speeds or special pricing offers, telecom companies must be hyperresponsive to these trends to attract new customers and avoid losing customers to the competition. CPQ provides telecom companies with a continuous stream of highly relevant, actionable data about what it will take to keep customers happy and to avoid churn. By creating a centralized view of the customer, CPQ can serve up real-time insights into what sales teams should do to convince customers to renew, and how to identify the optimal mix of bundles and packages. For marketing and customer service teams, CPQ provides insights into what sorts of marketing and service strategies are most likely to drive customer retention and accelerate growth.
They create visibility and transparency for customers
As every telecom company knows, customers don’t want to pay extra for services provided and, more often than not, are constantly skeptical that their provider is ripping them off. With a fiercely competitive landscape, and ever skeptical customers who are acutely aware of just how competitive the landscape is—telecom companies have their work cut out for them—customer loyalty is a luxury that they rarely have. Today, telecom companies have an obligation to go out of their way to keep customers as satisfied as possible. CPQ tools (like Salesforce Industries or Revenue Cloud) help in this area by creating visibility and transparency for customers: Quotes and bills are accurate and itemized in clear, consistent, explanatory formats. When customer service teams are contacted, CPQ tools ensure they can retrieve the information they need to answer all customer questions correctly and consistently every time. The quality of this information is central to building and maintaining customers’ trust and satisfaction with their telecom provider.
Digital transformation can be tough for the entire telecom industry, but CPQ tools put these increasingly necessary technology upgrades within reach. When telecom companies invest in CPQ tools like Revenue Cloud or Salesforce Industries, they rapidly gain access to a streamlined, automated way to manage complex configuration and pricing issues. Telecom companies also gain a frontend sales system that integrates seamlessly with their backend finance systems, a platform that provides actionable customer insights that advance retention and growth goals, and a system that prioritizes making account and billing information visible and transparent to every customer.
Simplus specializes in helping telecom companies build a single, unified, interconnected revenue ecosystem. To learn more about how to modernize your revenue lifecycle with CPQ tools, please reach out to Simplus today. We look forward to helping you maximize satisfaction among your existing customers and achieve your long-term growth goals.