Broadband Communities

MAR-APR 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 8 | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | 2 9 slow." Such answers may have been true, but did they explain why sales fell so much farther this April than in previous Aprils? To help our sales team, my group created reports showing year- to-date trends and comparisons with prior years. It took some time, however, before the sales managers learned to use these reports effectively. We also learned that being local and committed to the community was not pivotal in customer decisions. After we had been in the cellular business for 10 years, utilizing ad campaigns, bill inserts (remember printed bills?) and other techniques to get the word out, many local residents still weren't aware we were in that business. Connecting with our target market proved to be challenging. Consumers are busy with their obligations and personal lives. Advertising blends in with other white noise. Offers are ignored. Emails are deleted. ose who don't subscribe to a service may not grasp its value. When I began consulting with other local broadband providers, I saw that these difficulties in meeting revenue goals were far from unusual. Drawing on my firsthand experience and consulting work, I have developed a method to turn sales and consumer quandaries into a sustainable business by adopting a systematic approach with four key elements. LEAD THE WAY Pull together all parties – including both internal and external interests – to get their input on where the business stands today and where it strives to be. Help all parties see the big picture and their respective contributions to the welfare of the whole. Collaborate to shape an integrated strategy for success. From this consensus, you can confidently lead and execute well. • Commit. As Yoda says in "e Empire Strikes Back," "Do. Or do not. ere is no try." Top leadership has to buy into a progressive, consistent strategy that is communicated to staff, adhered to through accountability measures and executed well. is may be new. ere will be some eye-rolling, but when people see that C-level executives mean what they say, results will follow. • Communicate the message clearly. A message from the top about the commitment is a good first step. Be specific so that employees understand the "So what?" (For example, "So, what happens if we don't meet revenue targets? How does that affect me and my pay?") Often, the message is so polished by committee that employees can't connect with it. It comes across as a public service announcement. Use simple language and be direct to avoid ambiguity and employee speculation. Sales teams should be like orienteers finding their way through the woods – tracking progress by milestones and keeping to their bearings. Photo by Murray Foubister / www.flickr.com/photos/mfoubister/28354765220

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