CRM & B/OSS: Putting Customers First

By: Arun Pasrija

Historically, service providers have started working in their B/OSS systems when a customer calls to order service. This moment has typically been the first time any information is captured by the telco regarding the customer or the products and services they want to order. As the telecom industry continues to evolve and customer expectations change, however, the demand and need for better technology grow. 

In order to be operationally efficient and remain competitive in acquiring and activating new business, service providers need a next-gen B/OSS platform. The reason has to do with key changes in customer behavior that drive both B2B and B2C purchases. According to Adweek, 81 percent of all buyers engage in online research before making a purchase decision. Long before you get products and pricing negotiated and service orders entered, your potential customers have been looking at your competition and making buying decisions—without ever talking to you. So, how do you engage with a seemingly invisible prospect? How can you keep your company top-of-mind when the customer is ready to buy? 

Of course, all business starts with a lead. A lead could result from an incoming call sparked by a referral or your advertising or be the result of a carefully nurtured relationship between a sales agent and an executive decision maker. But, how do you capture information about those leads and use it to advance and complete the sale? These potential customers may not be ready to buy your products or services or know that your products or pricing are the best and most competitive. Being able to connect, track and keep in touch—in an approach known as drip marketing—is critical to your growth and necessary for you to stay ahead of the competition.

Integrated CRM and B/OSS: one view to rule them all

With a next-gen B/OSS system, advances in software technology have begun to integrate a complete lead-to-order process that includes marketing automation and CRM functionality. This robust set of tools allows providers to better know and communicate with both potential and existing customers, making the process described above much more automated and fruitful. A next-gen B/OSS system must be able to track leads, as well as nurture them to the point of a sale. This activity generates demand. Then, when the time is right for a prospect to purchase, your company is already top-of-mind.

“We’ve spent nearly half a decade with our clients to understand their needs and truly help them grow their business and bake that experience into our products,” says Jason Malmquist, Sr. Vice President at CHR. “Commercial and Residential customers have far more options, and we’ve ensured Omnia360 enables our customers to better manage their customers in one CRM system by integrating B/OSS with it.” 

Fig. 1 - Omni360 Dashboard Variations from CHR Solutions

With integrated technology available today, service providers can create highly targeted marketing campaigns based on any number of demographic or psychographic criteria—all within one B/OSS system. Leveraging built-in CRM and marketing automation functionality allows you to send specialized messaging directly to potential customers, while also keeping current customers informed and notified of updates to products and services. This new technology also automates the follow-up process and continues to send pre-determined messages based on the prospect’s engagement—or lack of engagement—with your campaign. A next-gen B/OSS creates an entire ecosystem that creates interest, drives demand and increases sales. And, in fact to achieve the growth companies seek, they need systems just as robust and adept as this kind of system, designed to navigate the highly competitive and informed marketplace.

The process doesn’t stop with incoming leads. Once the leads start coming in, it becomes critically important to track all interactions and move the sale forward. When selling to businesses where the sales cycle is more intensive, your sales team needs automation functionality. This functionality allows them to manage opportunities from conception through negotiation, approval, quoting and contract.


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