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The What, Why and How of Carrier Activations

Posted by Harish Sathisan on Oct 11, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Tech Data is a leader in technology solutions. Representing all of the top vendors enables Tech Data to offer its channel partners a vast array of solutions configured to the needs of their customers. This breadth of offering and the depth our experience as a legacy distributor for all the major brands, solutions consultants and experts in customization predisposes us to providing the right choice and the right solution. This expanse of knowledge and representation is also true in supporting the exponential growth in mobility. Tech Data represents all of the major national carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. For roaming services—global and domestic—Tech Data uses Telna as its network provider. Tech Data’s global Wi-Fi partner is cloud-based, iPass. iPass’ hosted Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provides ubiquitous Wi-Fi connectivity, keeping users accessible anywhere in the world for a flat fee.

Why Activation Matters 

Beyond the obvious, the transmission of your call or data, activations play a very important role in mobility and can play a key role in solving your customers’ mobility issues. By having the right activation options for your customers, you have greater flexibility in structuring an offer that provides them more, costs them less, increases your margins, and boost win rates; all based on how you structure the deal using activation fees.

Using a simplified sales scenario, I will illustrate why carrier activations matter in achieving the sale. You are negotiating a hardware sales opportunity that includes laptops, smartphones, tablets and routers. The traditional approach would be to sell the hardware without the activation service included, and then offer discounts based on the relationship, volume or (worst case) a competing bid from a competitor. Using this approach, your only option is to offer special pricing/discount on an already wafer-thin margin.

The other alternative—and likely the most successful one—is to build in the carrier activation fee per device. This approach provides you pricing flexibility (should your need it) to compete more effectively against your competition resulting in greater success probability. Beyond the obvious increase in close ratios, a post-sale evaluation will reflect a favorable customer experience, better pricing and higher margins.

Creating More Solutions With Higher Value – How Tech Data Can Help

Solutions are key in value creation. What if I told you that you could offer your customer an effective solution by building the activation into your proposal and you could achieve margins higher than a ‘hardware only’ sale. The approach discussed here can produce substantial margin growth; more than a two-fold increase, from three percent to seven percent. 

Tech Data’s mobility-specialized vertical teams are highly experienced and can provide answers to your questions and solutions to your problems. Our solutions experts are just that – experts in creating solutions. Citing a recent example, is a customer who ordered 1,000 tablets from us. The Sales team asked if the customer would be interested in speaking with a member of the Tech Data Mobility team. During the conversation, we learned that the end-user was a retail customer, purchasing the tablets for use in its stores in the U.S. and abroad. 

Tech Data’s Mobility team was able to create a solution that included:

  • Tablets and protective cases to guard against drops and serving as a convenient accessory for employees carrying them as they walked the floor
  • Convenience for international employees to charge the tablet issue-free
  • Device protection and privacy of information
  • Mounting convenience for increased productivity
  • Software supporting kiosk mode (access limited to business related apps on the tablet)
  • Activation for each device

The result was a simple solution that provided significant end-user value while concurrently doubling the seller’s margins from three percent to seven percent, per device.

No longer are customers going to be enticed by hardware specs or feature/functionality conversations. Today’s customers are engaged in sophisticated operations that require solutions to complex business problems. Tech Data represents all of the top technology providers. Our goal for our end customers is to solve their issues using the products, solutions and services that best meet their needs.

We can help with creating solutions for you. Contact us today at mobilitysolutions@techdata.com.

About the Author

Harish Sathisan leads Tech Data’s Mobility Solutions strategy for the U.S. He's a technologist at heart and considers it his mission to enable his customers on solutions that materially impact their business. Harish speaks regularly on next-generation technologies and is focused on bringing them to the channel.

Tags: Mobility, Carrier Activations, Mobile Solutions, Global Wi-Fi, Mobile System Integrator, Tech Data Mobility Solutions