Two of our new Australian based corporate reps made their first sales yesterday on the 7th day of their employment and the third of the five 'newbies' in North Sydney will receive her first two orders on Friday (today being a public holiday) having been told the paperwork is in the process of being completed. The Exetel record for a new hire getting out of probation (making ten sales) is a little short of two months and the current intake shows very positive signs of giving that incredible achievement a real shake. In Sri Lanka the fourth rep to get off probation has set a new record for the number of sales made in a month by an SL based sales person and all but one of the 18 new hires since mid December has made at least one sale in the most difficult time of the year. With three working days to go corporate sales may well reach close to 150% of a very demanding January quota.
We have a very long way to go to 'convert' Exetel from being a company that mainly derives its revenues from providing residential ADSL services to a company that overwhelmingly derives its revenues from providing business and corporate services but we are now making faster progress towards that objective. More than half of Exetel's total personnel will be directly involved with corporate sales and support before the end of February 2012. This will have been accomplished over almost exactly three years from the start of our 'program' to transform Exetels 'business model'. The coming fourth year is the time where we plan for business/corporate revenues to become 50% of Exetel's total revenues - a very ambitious target and a very dangerous assumption as we become 'more visible' to the competitors from whom we are taking more than 100 of their customers a month - even in December and January which barely have two weeks of real 'selling time' in each of them.
I am, absolutely not, taking ANYTHING for granted but, right now, but I can see that we are far more likely to succeed in our ambitions in building a business/corporate presence in the Australian market places than at any previous time in my commercial life and, without remotely overstating the cases, I have been part of some pretty spectacular successes in such 'ventures' over the years. I can see now, as in retrospect was the case in the previous three ventures I have participated in, that success came from training, from the ground up, a dedicated sales force that was complemented by an highly supportive, and very good, engineering group. Growing Exetel up to date has been very, very difficult - almost too hard on more than one occasion over the past few years. Right now, for the first time in a long time, it is beginning to feel that it has been worth all the back breaking work and harsh experiences.
Australia Day is an appropriate day to consider one of Jack Kennedy's more memorable lines. While the urgers and nincompoops (who but Juliar Faustus could come up with a vastly overpaid expatriate movie actor as Australian of the year?) do nothing but leech off the work of others, real Australians make a real difference to this country and its future. So, perhaps the best way of 'celebrating' Australia day is to spare a small amount of time (in a completely non-jingoistic way) to contemplate "what you can do for your country".....by making the most of whatever abilities God and a non contributory heredity has blessed you with.