Training Camp

By Peter Radizeski, RAD-INFO

Since BellSouth was taken over by AT&T, BellSouth Authorized Agents have had to put in more than 50 hours on training and testing to be able to sell across the AT&T portfolio and across the country. That’s a lot of time and effort, but you get to expand from nine states to 50, so the pie got bigger.

I created a survey to get some feedback on training. (Have you taken it yet?) This goes along with all the Webinars that Phone+ and the carriers have been holding. Have you taken any? Do you find any of this training useful?

I don’t know about you, but much of the product-based training is simplistic and lacks meat. Does the customer care if the technology is MPLS or Ethernet? Not really. They want to know if it will fill their need in budget.

In my opinion, MPLS, VPN, etc. are buzz words for marketing departments.

Everyone offers the same stuff. During training, tell me who your ideal target is. What did the market research say was the best audience to pitch to? Why?

What will be the downside? Is provisioning difficult? Is trouble-shooting difficult? Is it available throughout the footprint? Is it mileage sensitive? Is it all on-net? This information makes it easier to set expectations. In sales, that is key.

How about a case study? And not your multi-million dollar account that you announced via a press release. How about the $5,000 per month case? (There are more $5,000 per month and smaller accounts than there are $10,000 MRC and up.)

In short, the training for a product could actually just be a case study. Go over the sales pitch, the objections, the provisioning, the ROI, and why this particular solution. Then the agent can follow the template.

Is it Just Me?

For the last six months, I have had huge problems getting quotes and capacity checks from just about every carrier. (I won’t name names.) This delay – up to six weeks – to get a quote to the prospect is seriously dismissing the sale. And when I close a sale, getting FOC is taking weeks as well. (I’m having a difficult time managing the customer expectations, because I do not know what the interval will look like.) Anyone else experiencing this as well?

A quick story: Prospect calls about capacity and pricing for bandwidth in a building clearly marked and identified as Carrier A. Carrier A comes back twice saying they are not in that building despite the fact that the prospect says their name is on the building and their trucks are outside.

Anyone else running across this nonsense?

Peter Radizeski is president of


. He can be reached at


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