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Digitization of sales: "Startups have ingenious solutions"

Deutsche Telekom is way ahead when it comes to digitization. We had the opportunity to talk to Christine Wietsche and ask what Deutsche Telekom's recipe for success is. One reason: the strong cooperation with startups.
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What successful digital sales looks like

Best Practice with Christine Wietscher from Telekom Deutschland GmbH

Deutsche Telekom has made DIGITALIZATION very important. This is shown, among other things, by the recently launched campaign with the much-acclaimed musician Billie Eilish. The theme of the campaign: "Digital Optimism". With this advertising campaign, Telekom is making it clear that it is more than open to digitization. In doing so, Telekom also shows that it is one step ahead of many companies, because some are still lacking the awareness that target groups are changing and that we must react to them in order to remain at the top of the competition. It is the language of the digital natives who enter the market with different expectations. But giants like Telekom are also facing challenges when it comes to digitization, and especially when it comes to digital sales. The change in the target group means that the subject of "digitization sales" has become a priority and innovative solutions have to be found.

One recipe for success for the company is working with startups. We had the opportunity to talk to Christine Wietscher from Telekom about the digitization of sales and cooperation with startups. Christine Wietscher is a professional manager in the "Digital Touchpoints B2B" division at Telekom Deutschland GmbH, where she is responsible for discovering and implementing innovation solutions, among other things. Telekom is one of the pioneers in the digitization of its business models. Digital television, cloud solutions, broadband connections and real-time communication through 5G are just a few of the keywords that Telekom offers. But, as is well known, pioneers also face problems.

So we asked Christine Wietscher what challenges Telekom is facing in digitizing its sales and how they are mastering them. “Digitization is changing our environment. User expectations are changing and new products are emerging that merge into one another and are networked automatically, ”says Christine Wietscher. She then gives examples such as VR or self-driving cars, which now require much more bandwidth than television, and new innovations such as smart home gadgets or wearables that are changing the telecommunications market. But personalized shopping in the online shop is also an exciting project that Deutsche Telekom is currently working on. Cross-channel, this means that sales and service processes are growing. "True to the motto that only a satisfied customer is a loyal customer, we also identify pain points in the online shop in order to improve customer satisfaction." This brings us to our core topic, digitization of sales.

Tackling the challenge of digitization

“Customers expect the right offer at the right time as well as personalized and proactive communication on products, service and malfunctions and that on all channels at all times. In the online service, customers prefer to make their own adjustments to the contracts and the options they have booked, preferably using the app. unless you find partners who serve you the right and simple solution on a silver platter. Christine Wietscher's job is to find such solutions.

With the mass of information and offers that the World Wide Web offers us today, it is more than ever the task of companies to compare and assess which solutions are innovative and suitable for them. Conversely, it is becoming increasingly difficult for providers of digital solutions to be noticed - unfortunately, the digital innovation silver platter has not yet been invented. Telekom, however, has found a successful way to master these challenges: The company works actively with the startup scene. Telekom founded the startup program for this purpose Techboost, with which they financially support founders who have innovative ideas and enter into collaborations.

There are tons of startups that have the right brilliant solutions out there.

Before companies look for innovative solutions, it is important to be aware of their own weaknesses. That is why Telekom works with customer surveys and analyzes the customers' paint points. A customer survey showed, for example, that the customer could not find the right product in the "tariff jungle", as Christine Wietscher calls it. Christine Wietscher finally got to know our founding foxes Benjamin Dammertz and Carsten Dolch through the Techboost program. The Digital Product Selector from FoxBase helped Telekom get out of the tariff jungle quickly, says Christine Wietscher. In general, we don't want to talk about ourselves that much in our blog articles, but the cooperation with Deutsche Telekom is a really nice example of successful digitization of sales and work between established companies and startups.

Cooperation between Telekom and FoxBase

When Christine Wietscher got to know FoxBase, she was immediately enthusiastic, she says. The first joint design thinking workshop was so successful that Deutsche Telekom was able to go into the evening with a first prototype of a fixed network tariff advisor. After just a few optimizations, Telekom was able to go live quickly with its fixed network tariff advisor. Christine Wietscher enjoys working with startups, because startups are highly innovative and bring a breath of fresh air to well-established structures and processes. Both sides have different corporate cultures and thus their advantages and disadvantages.

Startups have what corporations want. So flexibility, innovation. Corporations have what startups want: reach, money and experience.

After the fixed line tariff advisor went online, the question arose whether the software solution really solved the problem. Customer surveys are an important tool in this. The feedback from customers was consistently positive. Telekom particularly appreciates the fact that they can gradually optimize the tariff advisor if they want or if the requirements change. It is important that solutions bring some flexibility with them.

“It's always an evolution that goes through such a topic, where tiny screws have to be turned again and again. And that it is possible to try out innovative solutions even with limited financial resources, ”added our founder Benjamin Dammertz in an interview. “It doesn't always have to be the big solution!” Adds Christine Wietscher from her experience.

The success of digital sales in numbers

Christine Wietscher summarizes how successful the work with the Digital Product Selector is for Telekom.

  • The tariff advisor was called 87,865 times.
  • The CTA clicks / completions (proportion of completed questionnaires in which one clicks on the call to action “Tariff details” in the tariff recommendation) was 83.67 %
  • and 9 % of the sales came through the tariff advisor.

With the Digital Product Selector, we have developed a solution that supports customers and sales staff in finding the best product easily and digitally in the shortest possible time - just like a good individual consultation. The software identifies individual customer needs via an interactive user interface and calculates a specific product recommendation. In addition to recommending products, sales can also identify trends in customer needs and the coverage of the product portfolio. Welcome digitization sales!

One advantage of the software solution, Digital Product Selector, is that you can measure whether customers are satisfied on the one hand with the software and on the other with the company's offerings. No personal data is collected, but shown, for example, which products are recommended in the end and which answers are clicked most frequently. In addition to the positive feedback, Telekom was able to read in the figures for the past 2019 financial year how the response to the tariff advisor was.

Outlook: digitization of sales in the telecommunications industry

Christine Wietscher recommends looking around for startups if there are problems within the group, because there you may find the right solution. In addition, startups are often flexible and can develop a tailor-made solution with the company if not all of the components are right. With regard to the corona pandemic, she sees a massive increase in digital tools and communication channels. "Digital technology has been used in a way that has never been seen before." In a positive way, this leads to higher quality and increasing acceptance. “In order for it to stay that way, investments must also be made in the infrastructure. Much more is possible than expected. It is now important to use the change and drive it forward! "

We thank Christine Wietscher for the exciting interview. If you want to watch the conversation in full, then this way:

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We look forward to every inquiry about the Digital Product Selector. Let's digitize B2B sales sustainably together!

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