Success in Bulk
A national provider of cable TV, Internet and phone service was rapidly gaining market share in all but one state. Despite numerous aggressive offers and consumer studies, no one could understand what the barrier to penetration was, especially since consumers rated this company’s products and services as comparable, even superior, to those of its competitors.
My first action was to look at any publicly available information that could identify what made this market so different from others. The one major distinction was the profusion of homeowner associations, which I estimated to comprise about 40% of the residential market. Using one of the company’s geospatial engineering tools, I noticed that our penetration density in most of these HOAs was very light.
Using internal surveys, I collected the names and locations of nearly 2500 HOAs and condo associations from regional employees. Based on an over-sampling of 700+ HOAs through telephone surveys, we discovered that as many as 25% of HOAs, which represented nearly 30% of households in the area, were locked into long-term bulk* agreements with our competitors for TV and/or Internet services—a considerable penetration barrier. Especially when we did not have a bulk product that was priced competitively.
Working with our sales team, product line management, finance, operations, and other internal stakeholders, I led the development of a business case to bring a competitively-priced bulk video and data product offering into the market. The survey data we’d collected was integrated into a database to build and prioritize prospects based on size, expiration dates of current agreements, and interest in having us bid on their contracts during review. I developed our go-to-market strategy, sales enablement tools, and funnel tracking mechanisms, and turned the sales team loose.
Armed with a new offer in hand and a variety of sales enablement tools, I implemented a weekly governance program that drove our sales team to take over 6,000 units from our competitors within the first year. The program was so successful, I was moved to a national position to scale the program across the country. In less than five years, this program was delivering over 25,000 new units per year, and contributing more than $50 million per year in annual revenue.
*In a bulk arrangement, a property owner or HOA signs an agreement to provide 100% of its residents with TV and/or Internet services as a standard amenity in exchange for wholesale pricing. Residents may add additional products and services (set top boxes, channels, premium movie channels, digital voice, higher data speeds, etc.). Fees for the contracted services are included in monthly fees, and add-on products are billed directly to individual residents.