......in any previous January and the Telstra induced fog that has suffused so much of the past three plus years shows some signs of lifting.
Yesterday was a pleasant enough day and, like most days this January, sales and order results were much better than expected. We had the best January residential ADSL order day 'ever' which adds to the other very strong January 2012 days pushing residential ADSL sleas to well over 250% more than last January with the increase trend line continually growing stronger. Churns from Internode have now surpassed those from TPG making Internode the second highest source of residential churns behind Telstra residential....something you would never have expected to see prior to the sell out and plan price increases. VoIP sales have also been much stronger than in any previous month which is strategically more important than residential ADSL sales and indicates something or another that needs to be better understood.....actually understood at all.
We are also about to sign, I hope I haven't jinxed them by saying that, some very large corporate accounts and corporate sales for January have already comfortably exceeded those made in January 2011. We will re-look at our business and corporate pricing over the few remaining January days to ensure it is as sensible as we can make it but at the moment it seems better, on a like for like basis, than any competitors and our methods of adding 'incentives' are working well. The level of 'interest' in our business/corporate services has increased markedly over the past few months, almost in direct proportion to our addition of new sales personnel, and we will now add more 'promotional tools' to our direct contact methods from mid February after we finish testing two new ideas. One of those ideas 'solved' the problem of how to contact the alleged 2,000,000 small business customers in sch a unique and 'different' way it makes you very happy to be in the problem solving business.
In a time where so many ISPs (including Exetel) are really struggling to add any new ADSL customers at all it seems quite strange to contemplate serious plans to attempt to add 100,000 new ADSL users over the coming 24 months....maybe I've become totally delusional. However as I completed the 'arithmetic' (following finding the solution to contacting the alleged 2 million small business users) it didn't/doesn't seem too outrageous to aim at selling 5% of the total small business market given that we could provide the best solution, by a considerable margin, than those provided by any other competitor...and that isn't wishful thinking - it is solid point by point comparison. So we will continue testing over the next week or so to determine what offering will be optimal in appeal, at this stage, and how much more appealing it can be made - progressively over the coming months.
Perhaps its just the 'novelty' of planning positive things rather than just planning 'defensively' that is lifting the mood that has become part of 'business life' for a very long time now? Maybe that is just my minds 'rebellion' against so much dullness inflicted on the industry by Telstra's mega dollar 'promotional' budgets and their crushing ambitions? Perhaps it's all just wishful thinking? Whatever it is,or isn't, it's engendering a more pleasant set of feelings than I can remember in Januaries of the past few years.
I remember in a previous blog entry that a company had a long contract with Telstra and you were confused why they would sign with them again at the same price despite you having offered a much better price, and your reason was because IP simply costs less after 3 years (or there abouts).
But I also remember you saying that one reason you got new corporate business was because prices had dropped since the corporation originally signed with the other operator and the other operator didn't pass those changes on in the new contract.
I can't imagine you ever lose a corporate client but does Exetel ring up the existing clients before the contracts are up and cheerfully offer discounts for the next contract?
We now have three people dedicated to our corporate customer base whose sole function (apart from addressing any in bound requests) is to contact customers two months before their contract expires advising them of their options.