The one question that keeps coming up: How do you hit quota (which incidentally never goes down) when the pricing is declining?
What do you do when a $60K MPLS network is replaced with a $40K SD-WAN network? And when some of those Internet links are not even on the carrier’s network?
What do you do when 10GB trans-continental private lines are so ridiculously low?
Well, the management has to re-adjust their reality for the sales team. It isn’t the salespeople’s fault that price is eroding fast. That is an industry wide executive decision. There are no safe havens for high margin. Even SD-WAN which was hyped just a year ago has fallen under the I Will Save You Money banner (already).
Much of the merger mania is based on synergies – or that at scale the same amount of people can take care of more revenue, which adds margin. A few of the mergers are due to a debt burden that becomes due. That was Intermedia’s problem in 2001. No one learned that lesson. Avaya faces that problem today with a debt load that cannot be serviced by its revenue.
But direct sales, channel managers and partners face declining revenues across the board. This means less commissions, less margins, less profitable quarters.
When cablecos stop paying commissions on modems sales (like ILECs did with anything TDM or DSL), what will the channel do? I ask because all the SD-WAN hype is about a branch office utilizing broadband – DSL, cable modem, fixed wireless, 4G, satellite or a combination – for lowered costs but improved performance via that special little white box of SD-WAN.
Also with the shackles off at the FCC, we will see bigger mergers and most likely port blocking will become a thing again. OTT VoIP providers will have to figure out how to circumnavigate the waters pf port blocking on broadband circuits at SOHO, branches and rural locations. It will be interesting.
But that is all down the road. Right now we face consolidation of vendors but price erosion, which may be accelerated by the MPLS to SD-WAN transition. Oh, Goody!
I say this a lot but we have to sell a lot more, faster to maintain.
We need to Land and Expand. Get the pipe but start taking apps and voice, backup, DR, security. It will become imperative to take a chunk of the whole customer IT/telecom budget to survive.
Carriers can help by stopping pushing product and going to a holistic package approach of bundling products into a turn key solution like UC + 4G + Internet + POS + Compliance + backup.
Or savvy partners will start bundling multi-vendor solutions themselves to get more of the pie. The carrier will be stuck being a component.
Co-Selling will be a see-saw. The carriers will like it to protect their own offerings and sales numbers but will hate paying twice one the sales.
We are in for a ride about as smooth as dealing with the airlines! Happy Travels! Back to CP Expo 17 now.
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