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BellSouth Background

BellSouth Corporation is a Fortune 100 communication services provider headquartered in Atlanta, GA, serving nearly 46 million customers in the United States and 15 other countries. BellSouth's e-Platform leverages the company's network-based architecture to provide a variety of e-business services, including web hosting, managed storage, managed security, content distribution, disaster recovery, and Application Service Provider (ASP) services.

BellSouth's Challenge

Despite industry-leading facilities and decades of experience managing state-of-the-art datacenters, sales of BellSouth's web hosting, security, and storage services were sluggish after the launch of its e-Platform in 2000.

A barrier to sales that plagued the 300 BellSouth sales reps supporting the e-Platform was that decisions to purchase these mission-critical applications are made at the executive level within companies–a position into which they had little experience selling. BellSouth sales reps struggled to create a compelling, quantified business case that clearly demonstrated the impact their e-Platform solution had on a customer's bottom line. As a result, the rare executive audiences reps were able to attain failed to be effective. Many reps reverted to selling into established BellSouth relationships, such as mid-level operations managers and technical experts. This inability to effectively appeal to the executive level resulted in long sales cycles and unsatisfactory close ratios.

The Talant Solution

After evaluating a number of ROI solutions, BellSouth ultimately chose the following components of Talant's Value Measurement Suite:

  • Needs Analyzer: enables BellSouth sales reps to identify each prospect's capability gaps with respect to Uptime/Availability, Data Recovery, and Physical/ Network Security and quantify the impact of those gaps in terms of additional cost incurred and revenue lost.
  • Business Case Generator: provides BellSouth sales reps with the financial and operational metrics necessary to cost-justify their solution; quantifies the business benefits of BellSouth's e-Platform solution as compared to alternative solutions.
  • Proposal Builder: automatically generates a proposal-ready presentation that positions the output of the Needs Analyzer and Business Case Generator in a compelling manner for the customer.

Talant Impact

The analytics driven by Talant's Value Measurement Suite arm BellSouth sales reps with the ammunition to confidently reach out to senior executives and introduce them to the business benefits of BellSouth's e-Platform. Sales reps reported immediate success engaging at higher levels within customer organizations with statements like:

  • "Are you aware that employee downtime caused by system outages is costing your business $1,200,000 each year?"
  • "Our solution for XYZ Company had a positive ROI, driven by net 3-year returns of $13.2M on a 3-year total cost of ownership (TCO) of $2.7M. This solution broke-even in 5 months."

BellSouth reported powerful benefits after introducing Talant's Value Measurement Suite to the field:

  • Significantly higher success rate in attaining meetings with senior executives
  • More efficient sales process by leveraging early executive buy-in to facilitate access to other key stakeholders and decision-makers
  • Decreased sales cycles
  • Higher close ratios for e-Platform products
  • High-impact proposals that take less time to develop
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