Sure glad Marcelo has commited to no more limos and snacks for the executives!

part 2/3

Whenever I get the chance, I like to spend time with our Sales teams and with our customers because it can be so helpful to see for myself how it’s going with the many things we are doing to move our company forward. I had a few experiences this past week that I want to talk about because they will help us as we strive to get better.

I visited Louisiana to give an update about our company during a meeting with some of our largest business customers. While there, and during another trip to Chicago, I visited some of our Sprint stores.

Making sure we expand our distribution so we have enough stores to serve our customers has been, and continues to be, a huge priority. I truly believe it is vital to our success. But all of that investment and effort [email protected]’t mean anything if we are not committed to making each one of our stores inviting places where customers can easily buy our devices and services.

In some of the stores I visited, I found them filled with energy and great sales people ready to make the case for why a customer would want to choose Sprint. We’ve talked before about how the recent availability of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is the biggest new phone launch we’ll have all year. We made sure to give our sales teams the tools they need to succeed with the new $1 per month plan that provides the absolute best way to get one.

I enjoyed chatting with the sales people in the Chicago stores I visited, and hearing them tell me about those plans and how much they have helped close the deal with customers in recent days. They had smiles on their faces, they were upbeat, and they were quick to greet customers as soon as they walked in the door. I believe our Sales teams can be incredibly helpful experts for customers and that’s what I saw in action. The representatives were knowledgeable about our products, including accessories, our rate plans and service and repair.

[email protected], though, I visited some other stores during a different trip. I didn’t see the same level of energy or find stores where we were as effective in making the case for buying Sprint service. We have to take advantage of every opportunity to do just that because consumers never have to go far to find an alternative with one of our competitors eager to serve them.

Making sure we have the best people who are trained and ready, and making sure our stores are fully stocked and outfitted with the latest posters and other information about our best offers is a big job when you have thousands of stores across the country like we do. Still, we must rise to that challenge. When I see an example of us falling short, I’m not happy. It was very encouraging to visit other stores where we are doing a much better job overall. But the lack of consistency is troubling. I plan to visit more stores in cities across the country on a regular basis. I will make it part of my routine. We can’t afford to offer a hit-or-miss experience for customers visiting our stores. I have higher expectations for what we are doing, and I would think that anybody truly committed to making sure our company gets better would have higher expectations, too.

I’m not saying these things because I want to criticize. But if we truly are committed to #gettingbettereveryday, we have to be willing to talk honestly with each other when we have something that needs to be fixed. That is the only way that we can succeed.

Learning from the Best

Sometimes the most effective way to achieve excellence is to work with, and learn from, the best in the business. We told you earlier this year that Sprint will be working with Dixons Carphone to drive our distribution expansion, and our retail transformation.

We have a pilot program to build and operate new Sprint stores. We’ll have members of the Sprint team staffing the stores and Carphone will manage them. Dixons Carphone is a leading electronics retailer in the U.K, and from everything I’ve seen, I think they are among the best, if not the best, in the entire world.

I received a great report about one of the new stores we opened in Florida as part of this initiative. They sold dozens of connections on the first day – 45 postpaid connections in all!!!

With an approach they call “Always Selling,” members of the sales teams in these stores are telling their friends, family, local businesses and anybody they run into about Sprint. They pass out leaflets and they are active on social media. It’s definitely making a difference based on these incredible results.

I could see why they are so effective after visiting one of the stores in Chicago that are part of the Carphone effort. If you get a chance to see one, I think you’ll agree that we can learn a lot. The store layout is impressive. It’s bright, fresh and very organized. I talked with the team there about the sales process that they use, and I can see why it works so well.

With the Carphone process, the No. 1 thing they keep in mind is that getting a new phone and the right plan should be an awesome experience. But they realize that customers face a barrage of questions and choices that can leave them anxious, and feeling anything but awesome. So their team described to me how they have a process breaking it down into 5 steps – Greet, Explore, Build, Recommend and Close – that allows the sales person to guide the customer through all of the decisions in a manageable way. We use a similar process in our other Sprint-branded stores.

We work too hard, and invest too much, to persuade a customer to walk into the door of one of our retail stores. We must make sure we deliver the awesome experience rather than allowing them to become overwhelmed. We always want a customer to leave with what they came in to get – and we never want to see them leave empty handed.

This initiative is just getting started, but it’s looking very good so far. I’m excited by how successful these stores can be, and how we can always make sure our approach is evolving so that we are using the best way that will help us be successful.

Helping our Business Customers

Sometimes the members of our team are our employees, or partners like Dixons Carphone. And other times they are our customers. I spent time this past week meeting with Chief Information Officers for large companies who serve as members of our CIO Advisory Council. These business leaders, and CIOs like them at many other companies, make buying decisions that determine whether thousands of their employees carry Sprint phones. Or the phones and services of one of our competitors.

We talked with them about our Mobility-As-A-Service platform, and they told us that was very appealing. The basic idea is that it allows companies to get the mobility services they need to run their business, and they can avoid with the hassle of managing a bunch of devices.

With Mobility as a Service, a Sprint business customer picks the devices, the data usage plan and services that work best for them. They don’t have any upfront costs, they get the latest technology available and they can benefit from several other options that provide them with high-quality services. They are charged per user, per month in a very predictable way, which many of our business customers have told us is something that is absolutely vital.

Over the course of the day of the meeting with the CIOs, we had great conversations about Mobility as a Service and other needs that they have. I left with many helpful ideas that we’ll use to focus the Enterprise segment of our business.

Günther Ottendorfer, our Chief Operating Officer, Technology, came with me because we wanted to make sure that the CIOs knew how much our network already has improved, and how it will be getting much, much better over the next couple of years as we advance with our next generation network.

It was incredibly encouraging to hear from several of the CIOs that they already had noticed substantial improvements with the performance of our network. And they were pleased to hear about our plans to densify our network, bring carrier aggregation to more areas and enhance performance to the point that it won’t be long before Sprint enjoys a competitive advantage with our network.

One of the most effective things we could do, the CIOs told me, is to continue making so much progress that we change the perception about Sprint. Their confidence about choosing our company rises as they hear more people talking about Sprint because we deliver dependable and high-quality service. CIOs always will be reluctant to push for doing business with a wireless company if they expect that many of their employees would not be satisfied. Even though these business leaders represent some of our key Enterprise accounts, our conversations reinforced for me how critical it is for us to continue with our new network-focused commercials and spreading the word to individual consumers about how we are #gettingbettereveryday.

/r/Sprint Thread