From traditional telecom services to industry-specific solutions:
a sales approach transformation

The B2B sales department within a telecom service provider.
The company’s strategy is to target specific digital solutions to large B2B clients. Unlike classical telecommunications services (land and wireless communication systems) and digital mono-solutions (e.g., information security), the sales of digital industry specific solutions are, as it requires additional salesforce skills, sales support systems, and longer sales cycles.

Training: train the top 40 salespeople in industry-specific solutions and client-centered sales approaches and apply the knowledge to real clients and leads in the pipeline.
Consulting: develop strategic recommendations for the target sales support system, leveraging interactions with the salespeople and validating them with B2B segment management.
Salesforce training was chosen as the primary driver for the sales approach transformation, as well as the platform to run diagnostics and develop strategic recommendations for the top management.

The project team included: the learning and development team, HR, mentors for salespeople from the segment HQ, industry and tech experts, and project managers.

The salespeople were grouped into teams by selected industries; each group was assigned a mentor experienced in sales and an industry solutions expert.
2-week sprints. Each group met bi-weekly online:
In the final 2-day live sessions, salespeople presented their new approaches to their current deal flow to a top management panel. These presentations included real-world results. Experts provided feedback and recommendations for further skills development.
during the group sessions, we discussed progress on actual leads selected for the training, provided individual recommendations, and agreed on the next steps,
at each session, salespeople were trained in practical client-centered sales frameworks, which were applied to the actual leads right away,
homework assignments were specific to each individual, depending on their situation and specific deal flow.


The sales approach transitioned from a product focus, based on traditional telecom services, to one focused on clients’ needs.
Salespeople learned to profile and identify relevant decision-makers. About 40% of the initial decision-makers were not interested in industry-specific solutions.
Salespeople shifted from pure service sales toward value-based selling. Previously salespeople would offer clients the organization's complete list of services to select from. Now they prioritize the client’s needs first and select the most valuable solutions to present to them.

Salespeople developed a knowledge base regarding different industry-specific solutions and, together with experts, pitched them to customers. With this new capability, salespeople were no longer afraid to sell complex digital solutions.

Salespeople became familiar with the customer journey framework and linked their client journey with the internal sales process.

Visible progress has been made on actual sales leads: the salespeople have identified and contacted relevant decision-makers, tailored their proposal to the actual client needs, pilot programs were launched, and contracts were signed.

Having worked in cross-regional teams, the salespeople extended their network and support base.

– Analyze the client’s organizational structure to find the right "entry points"
– Expand my client pool with clients interested in industry-specific solutions
– Find out more information about the client’s needs
– Farm the clients based on their behavioral profile
Client development
lessonS LEARNED for salespeople
what i will start doing
– Establish contact with only the IT function within client organizations
– Waste time with irrelevant clients
– Make assumptions for the client whether the service suits him or not, whether the price is acceptable
– Sell based on complete solutions / services lists
what i will stop doing
– Use the industry-specific solutions portfolio tool
– Reference case studies of successfully implemented solutions
– Communicate more with colleagues on similar projects
Industry-specific solutions
what i will start doing
– Be afraid to offer industry-specific solutions to clients
what i will stop doing
– Coordinate the detailed roadmap with the client and use it to manage the sales process
– Contact industry experts with questions and assistance early on
– Remove the stereotype that our company sells only traditional telecom
Sales process
what i will start doing
– Makes decisions for the clients without asking for their feedback
– Delay escalation if the sales process is stuck in other departments within our company
what i will stop doing

Based on the recommendations, the B2B top management team agreed on the priorities of industry-specific sales support, including such areas as:
– scale up the training to the rest of the eligible salesforce,
– build a client pool interested in industry-specific solutions,
– further develop the solutions portfolio tool, linking the solutions with the client’s needs,
– create a database of successful industry-specific cases and leverage it for sales,
– re-think material and non-material motivation,
– formalize the new internal sales process and link it with the CRM being developed.

«We need to introduce a new approach to sales based on the client needs to all types of salesforce training»
«Selling industry-specific solutions increases my interest in a long-term career in our company and brings joy to my professional development. It was useful to step out of my comfort zone and work as a team»
«We liked the structured approach to training and the joint generation of artifacts with salespeople»
Learning and development team:
«The training of top-40 brought us extraordinary results. Let’s think together about further in-depth training. In parallel, we should train the rest of several hundred salespeople in the new sales approach»