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Feeling Rejected? Ordering Best Practices Part 1

By Katie Williams, Founder & CEO,

CommuniKateCo

If some of your orders you arent getting rejected, you arent selling enough. 

Its a common delay in the order process. You turn in an order, happy to have sold something, and before you can go skipping off to the field to sell another, youve gotten a rejection notice. And sometimes, the rejection seems arbitrary. After all, you put information in every field on the order form.

No one wants to get caught up in  order delays, so lets find out what the carriers actually need to get an order through their systems and through the  local exchange carriers systems and where we, as indirect sales agents, make some common mistakes. 

Every carrier has different paperwork requirements, but the basic information is typically the same:

  • Company Name
  • Service Location
  • Demarcation Point
  • On-site Phone Number
  • On-site Contact
  • The Technical Stuff

Lets start with the customers name. I know, it sounds too easy. In some cases it will be, but you will come across international companies that are headquartered outside of the U.S. and you will have parent companies who are opening brand new (no credit established) smaller companies as well. What you need to understand is that the carrier is looking to verify a few things using the company name: 1. Do they currently have bad credit? and 2. Is there a potential that they could develop bad credit (typically new companies fall into this category)? Having the correct U.S.- registered legal name and the parent companys legal name can save you from experiencing a stall in the billing department. Also, make sure you provide three months of the prospect’s most recent bills; this will show their favorable payment history. 

Service location also seems fairly easy,but you could encounter problems if the service location is under construction or if the customer will occupy a new suite in an existing building. Rule of thumb: If the walls arent up, the power isnt on and the certificate of occupancy hasnt been issued and the LEC will not deliver the service. The carrier cant place an order with the LEC with a future due date more than 60-90 days out,  so submitting early will not help (it differs by carrier). 

You also will  want to be very careful about noting where the customer demarcation point is. Its common practice to state that the demarc is in the first floor phone room rather than hold the order up while the customer tries to get a hold of someone who knows the answer to this question. Here is the danger in this:  The circuit might actually be delivered to the first floor phone room and the customer may not want to pay to extend the circuit to their server closet. You need to know exactly where the customer wants it delivered and be very specific. Some customers have very little space in their phone rooms and they might tell you to mount it above the door since thats the only space left. The installation technician wont install it there without  instructions, but will reject the order based on a lack of space. You also want to make sure the demarc is in the customers building. In a campus-type setting, such as hospitals and schools, it is common to put the telco demarc in one building and have the customers extend their circuits to all other buildings on the campus from there. A little up-front legwork can save you some time and aggravation on the back end.  

Providing an on-site phone number is often misunderstood. The carriers ask for this information not so they can call your customer, but so they can use the phone number to determine which central office the customer should be served out of and to verify the address if all address verifications fail. It is best if you use an analog POTS line or fax number that is on site, so they can get a LEC-issued number for verification.  If they do need to call your customer, they will call the person listed as the on-site contact.

The on-site contact is not necessarily the information technology person for the company. If he/she works from that site, their name can be used, but the carrier is looking for the name of someone who will show the technician where to install the circuit and will unlock any doors for them. This person has to have access and be available. This can be a receptionist, the landlord or a janitor who has the keys to the server room.

And then theres the technical stuff: What is the product? How do they want it configured? What should the protocols be? Are we porting numbers? Do we have faxes? The list goes on. I will tackle the technical stuff in my next blog. But for now, you should know that if you and the customer dont have this information, you will need to either enlist the equipment vendor or thecurrent carrier to gather it. 

Knowing some of the pitfalls will save you trouble up front and improve your customers experience, as well.

To make sure youve collected all the information you need while youre in front of the customer, its a good idea to have a sales form that reminds you to ask all the right questions. If its not something you currently have, give CommuniKateCo a call; wed be happy to help.

Katie Williams is founder and CEO of

CommuniKateCo

, which provides telecommunications back-office support to agents and resellers. Williams has worked in the telecommunications industry since 1996 in both CLEC and incumbent organizations. Previously, she was a product manager for a wholesale carrier supporting 30 carriers and a large VAR base with product pricing, training and post-order processes. For 15 years, Williams has assisted sales teams, agents and VARs in managing implementations, driving process improvements and providing sales tools that help them to effectively serve their end-users.


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