Are you searching for a product catalog that can support your telecom business? The product catalog is a central element in the support systems of telecom operators. Choosing a product catalog that isn't up to the task can lead to inefficient and costly operations, ultimately resulting in lost revenue due to a lack of the necessary tools to run the business.
The telecom business is distinct from conventional retail stores. Operators require a product catalog tailored for telecom products, accommodating a variety of products and services offered by both the operator and its partners. The product catalog guides the customer journey, sales, marketing, and the order fulfillment process. A crucial aspect is how the product catalog connects to the service catalog, decomposing product offerings into individual items and deliverable services, often spanning multiple technologies.
In the fiercely competitive fiber market, efficient campaigns, promotions, and geographical segmentation management are vital for monetizing fiber investments. The product catalog and pricing features must be well-structured to promote reusability, facilitate the launch of new products and services, manage complex offerings, and set up promotions, recommendations, and discounts across digital and physical sales channels. A key focus should be supporting diverse pricing strategies commonly employed by operators, such as location- and channel-based pricing, variable contract periods, and specific customer agreements. This includes providing enhanced tools for marketing and sales teams to run promotions or apply discounts independently, without the need for product manager involvement.
So, what are the essential features you should include in your RFPs? Do you operate a retail or wholesale business, or perhaps a combination? Are you reselling off-net products? Will your partners market and sell their offerings through your digital sales channels? These are critical questions when selecting the right product catalog for your business.
Here are our top 5 features to request for a retail and/or wholesale business:
If you are running a retail business:
Market Segmentation: Knowing your customers and using market segmentation is essential for monetizing fiber investments. It serves as a vital marketing tactic to increase penetration and is crucial for delivering tailored products and services that appeal to specific consumers, building long-term relationships, and fostering a loyal customer base. Segmentation includes supporting diverse pricing strategies such as location, consumer type, channel-based pricing, variable contract periods, and specific customer agreements.
Managing Campaigns and Promotions: In a competitive market, running campaigns and promotions is essential for boosting sales and increasing penetration. The product catalog should enable sales and marketing teams to easily manage their promotions, special offers, and bundles with minimal involvement from the product manager to define new product specifications. This requires a well-structured catalog with reusable components that can be easily repackaged or priced differently. The product catalog may also include built-in tools for A/B testing, making it easier to follow up and evaluate the effectiveness of different promotions.
Sales Discounting: Actively working with door-knocking and help desk sales often requires additional tools given to your agents. Providing your agents with special offerings and room for negotiation with the consumer can help increase sales and motivate your staff in the field. Therefore, the product catalog and pricing modules should allow for setting up discount levels for groups or individuals within your sales organization.
Recommended Offerings: Recommended offerings can be a powerful tool to increase upsell to new and existing customers. These offerings are typically based on the type and location of the consumer and the customer's existing services. Offerings may include more expensive upgrades or add-ons to existing services. You may also want to proactively promote recommendations to targeted customers through marketing campaigns based on the customer's usage.
Contract Conversions and End-of-Contract Events: The end of the customer's contract period always comes with a risk that the customer starts looking around for alternatives and cheaper options. You want to ensure that your customers remain loyal after the contract ends. This requires proper tools for communication with your customers when the contract period ends, offering the customer appealing options, including contract renewal, conversion, or upgrade offerings. In some markets, this type of communication is even mandatory by law. Your product catalog should allow setting up communication methods and rules to automate the entire process, ensuring your customers stay loyal and keep using your services.
Read more about the retail business model.
"The right product catalog stands as a central element in the support systems of telecom operators. It guides the customer journey, sales, marketing, and the order fulfillment process, ultimately leading to efficient operations and increased revenue.”
Ulf Engstrand, Senior Product Manager
If you are running a wholesale business:
Quick Onboarding of New Retail Service Providers (RSPs): As a wholesale operator, you want the onboarding process of new partners to be hassle-free and efficient. The product and service catalogs should promote reusability across service providers, preventing the catalogs from growing linearly for every new RSP added. Still, simultaneously, allow for variances in the agreements and pricing between different RSPs, geographical regions, and similar. The product catalog structure should enable a good separation between your wholesale products, your own retail products, and, when applicable, the RSP's retail products, allowing each party to manage their part of the product catalog.
Wholesale Campaign Management: Running campaigns with your RSPs can be a powerful way to boost sales and increase penetration in existing areas. In this way, you can let the RSPs release their marketing capacities and do much of the work for you in the geographical areas you decide to target. The product catalog should, therefore, allow for the setting up of targeted campaigns and promotions for groups of or individual RSPs, making these campaigns accessible to the RSPs.
Communicating Product Availability and Fiber Rollout Status: The system should enable fully automated communication with the RSPs, informing them about new and planned installations, lead times, product offerings, and price adjustments. This allows the RSPs to proactively follow the progress of your fiber rollout and plan their marketing and sales activities ahead.
Bundled Offerings across RSPs: Allowing RSPs to bundle and resell product offerings from other RSPs can be a powerful way to attract more appealing product offerings and specialized RSPs providing certain services. This requires RSPs to buy and resell your wholesale product offerings and compose offerings that include other RSPs' product offerings. In this case, the product catalog should allow configuring and controlling the availability of products between RSPs.
Wholesale Enabled API: The RSPs will likely want to automate the entire fulfillment process from their sales channels, and you will need to provide a well-suited API for address takeout, product availability, and ordering. Conversely, you want to provide the same API to all RSPs, keeping down your maintenance and development costs. Ensure your product catalog and ordering capabilities have a well-documented, modern, and scalable API built to support the wholesale business. Chances are that your RSPs will ask for TM Forum compliance, and by choosing a product catalog using TM Forum information models and standardized Open APIs, the integration process can be significantly simplified for all parties.
Read more about the wholesale business model.
Netadmin Systems offers a suite of product, service, and pricing capabilities modules designed to meet the high standards of contemporary wholesale and retail fiber operators. Our cutting-edge product catalog introduces new and enhanced ways to create new offerings efficiently, run promotions, and deliver a unique customer experience through tailored offerings, recommendations, and discount options.
Our commitment to TM Forum standards and the implementation of relevant Open APIs ensures seamless interoperability, accelerating the launch of innovative consumer services to the market.