Monday, November 26, 2007

Telarus, the New Face of Telecom Sales

Disruptive technology is reforming the telecommunications field. Wireless is disrupting the 100 year old wireline business. VoIP is disrupting the 50 year old digital voice trunking business. Competitive fiber optic carriers are disrupting the stranglehold of incumbent phone companies on metro and long haul data circuits. Ethernet and IP network cores are blurring the distinction between local and wide area networks.

Despite this revolution in technology, what hasn't changed much is the sales and marketing process for business telecommunications services. It's largely parochial, consisting of isolated channels with sluggish inquiry and price quote systems. To call it Web 1.0 would be generous. But what's wrong with that? After all, augmenting telephone, paper and fax based systems with online inquiry request forms, email communications, and brochure Web sites seems like just the enhancement needed to keep up with changing times.

It did seem that way, until someone came along and completely blew the equipment rack doors off the staid old telecom sales and marketing process. In the last five years, Telarus, Inc., has totally obliterated a century of incremental improvement in the industry. Rather than cut the inquiry-to-price-quote time on a T1 line from a few days to a few hours, they reduced it to a few seconds. Instead of bolstering the carrier-by-carrier response to a customer inquiry, they merged all the responses into a single report that compares similar services, say ISDN PRI trunks, by price for the same service from all participating carriers.

An overworked IT manager can get an automatic price quote for a triple-bonded T1 data line at 3 AM in under a minute, including the time needed to enter the business location and number. That same manager can call a toll free number anytime 24/7 to discuss WAN expansion needs or compare telephone trunking options with a technical and sales consultant.

What has Telarus done that others didn't? A lot of the answer is in rethinking the business process with an eye to automating as much as possible and providing rapidly responding human links for everything else. The core of their pricing system is a patented software system called GeoQuote. It connects directly to carrier databases to perform the engineering and cost calculations needed for the most popular T1 voice and data line services. They also broke up the marketing team into dedicated sales people who work directly with carriers and customers on a real-time basis, and dedicated marketing agents who focus on bringing in qualified business leads.

Re-engineering the traditional wireline sales and marketing process would have been innovation enough, but Telarus has gone on to expand the GeoQuote system to support Ethernet WAN services that don't touch the incumbent telcos. Prospective customers can enter their building address and get a map of the nearest fiber lit buildings and carrier POPs with distance listings. Once again, this automated system is available for both business hours and second or third shift inquiries. Response time is easily under a minute and phone support is always available for consultations, if desired.

Not satisfied with revolutionizing carrier services, Telarus has gone on to re-invent the equipment sales and services marketplace with a social networking approach called the VAR Network. Also totally automated, this system allows customers to enter form-based inquiries which are routed to member VARs (Value Added Resellers) within the appropriate geographical footprint nationwide. Once isolated business telephone and network equipment vendors can now tie into a system that feeds them warm leads via email from businesses in their service footprint that need the products and services they offer. Dealers also have the entire Telarus wireline marketing system at their disposal so that they can add T1, Ethernet and other bandwidth services to their line cards without having to develop in-house expertise in this field.

Little wonder, then, that Telarus has won numerous awards from carriers impressed with the sales volumes they bring in. Now Telarus has been just been announced as a Phone+ Top 50 Channel Program winner. All of this makes us beam with pride to be part of the Shop For T1, Shop For Ethernet and VAR Partner Network programs that are the Telarus marketing juggernaut.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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