O2 Centre of Excellence (CoE) partner Challenger Mobile Communications (CMC) is targeting London with plans to recruit up to six mobile sales reps in the region.
The Chester-based company is also on the acquisition trail, looking for O2 dealers willing to sell their customer bases. CMC’s move into the south east of England sees the company expand beyond its traditional hunting grounds in the north west of England, Yorkshire, the Midlands and Bristol. MD Jeff Eamens said: ‘We want to expand this year and since 50% of all mobile phones in this country are within the M25 we are focusing on expanding in this area.’
Eamens, who founded CMC with business partner Wayne Skellon in 1991, said the company is also looking to add up to another five sales staff at its headquarters, which currently houses 45 sales, administration, account management and technical staff.
CMC is one of O2’s largest CoE partners with 4,000 plus customers and over 27,000 connections, largely with O2.
The company targets the SME market with the bulk of its customers taking up to nine handsets. However, customers include SOHOs taking just one phone as well as large corporates taking up to 1200 connections.
The company, which offers mobile, fixed line and broadband via O2, is expanding its portfolio to offer
a VOIP proposition.
Eamens said the company’s expansion plans will not impact on its existing customers who currently display below average churn levels of between 8-10%. He said: ‘Our primary focus is our existing customers. We are all about good old fashioned account management – everyone promises that but few deliver it. Well, we do.’
He cited CMC’s performance in O2’s annual customer satisfaction index as evidence. ‘We have taken top place out of all O2’s CoE partners for the past two years.’
Eamens said the company’s success is driven by a mix of listening to customers and rewarding employees for doing their job well rather than on their sales levels. He said: ‘We check exactly what each account manager has given back to their customers, in terms of better deals, better handsets or cashback, and that is what they are rewarded on.’
He added: ‘It is a triangular relationship between the customer, the company and the employee. Every time we do something the customer has to benefit, otherwise we will not do it. It’s about long term gain, not short term rewards.’
However, Eamens said that finding sales people who can adhere to CMC’s philosophy can be difficult. ‘We are struggling to find the right quality of people. There are plenty of mobile order takers but few really talented sales people. So the hunt is still on, but the rewards are really good for the right people with the opportunity to double the basic salary.’
Potential acquisitions must also fit the bill. ‘Most companies are run very differently. We want to buy the customer bases. It would take so much time to train staff from another company. Challenger people are nice people. When I walk out on the floor our people are happy, smiling people and our customers are happy too. That’s the way we want to keep it.’
Author: Carol Millett