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How to Sell a Whole Product


By Chris Bohrson Chris Bohrson

This Division of a larger company had been successfully selling multi-million dollar systems to telephone companies who installed them throughout their network to test copper lines used to carry analog voice services. By the late 1990's phone company spending on such voice infrastructure was declining, primarily due to end market revenue decline as consumers shifted voice call usage from landline to cellular services.

In response to declining sales the Division launched a voice of the customer program to discover underlying pain points in phone companies' service provisioning and service assurance processes that might indicate a new testing opportunity. The VoC effort revealed that phone companies were banking on new sources of customer revenue that required them to deploy digital services over their copper networks to support booming demand for internet access.

Not all copper lines are of high enough quality to be used for digital (DSL) services, so conservative phone companies restricted consumer access to the offer. Worse yet, it was common for phone company customers to request internet access only to be subjected to a long wait while the phone company attempted service provisioning, ultimately to find that they did not have access to a suitable connection. The Division saw this problem as an opportunity to sell unique testing technology that enabled mass pre-qualification of copper lines for digital services. With this technology phone companies could expand their available market, and avoid frustrating customers.

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