Orange is on a drive to boost slower than expected sales of its b2b service Pocket Landline in the indirect channel.
The move comes after Pocket Landline, which allows SME customers to take landline calls via their mobiles, failed to hit targets following its launch in January this year.
In a bid to bolster sales Orange will allow dealers to bundle Pocket Landline with Orange Solo 55, which offers unlimited landline calls.
The operator is also planning to lower the price of Pocket Landline to £10 in Q3 and will provide additional training for indirect sellers using case studies and customer feedback.
This strategy will be underpinned by a major advertising campaign in August targeting SMEs.
Speaking to Mobile, Darren Hopper, Everything Everywhere’s head of SME marketing, said: ‘If you asked me if Pocket Landline has hit its targets, I’d have to say we are not exactly where we want to be but we are now seeing an acceleration of these numbers.’
Hopper said Pocket Landline sales are improving significantly, particularly in telesales, but needed to improve in the indirect channels. ‘In the last couple of weeks we have seen an 80% to 90% increase in the volume of sales. Certain channels are grabbing hold of this, particularly telesales.’
He added: ‘We are now actively focusing on all channels, but particularly the indirect channel, to ensure the product is embedded.’
He said: ‘The lesson learnt is that we need to do more work so that customers really do understand the benefits. We need to make sure that the channels are having the right conversations with customers.’
Hopper added: ‘From August onwards we are accelerating the activity and support behind Pocket Landline, going back out to the channels, the customers and to different media using the feedback we have from existing customers.’
Hopper said bundling Pocket Landline with Orange Solo 55 will incentivise dealers. He explained: ‘This will make it an easier sell for dealers. Linking it with Solo 55 gives commercial flexibility, allowing dealers to go to customers with a fully contracted service.’
What the dealers say
Pocket Landline had a very quiet launch. Orange didn’t seem to push it that hard. We get the impression it was not thought through and came with little back office support. Then there is all the fiddling around with migration from BT – which can take seven working days – so it is messy.
Trying to push a very basic service like Pocket Landline into Solo 55, which is a very sophisticated service aimed at heavy users who know their comms, has grief written all over it.