Customer Story: TDS Telecom

TDS Telecom Turns to Qstream to Boost Sales Rep Product Proficiency

Using Qstream for a flagship product roll-out, commercial sales reps achieved a 97% engagement rate leading to an average 25% gain in essential product knowledge.

The 7th largest local exchange carrier in the U.S. and a growing force in the cable industry, TDS Telecom (TDS®) provides 1.2 million connections to high-speed internet, phone, and TV entertainment in rural, suburban and metropolitan communities, as well as business communications services including VoIP phone service, dedicated broadband Internet and hosted-managed services.

Given the broad scope of its products and services, TDS provides sales reps with training on product features, pricing, and sales messaging to ensure they can effectively sell to a customer base with ever-evolving needs.

The Challenge

In the highly competitive and regulated telecom industry, product offerings can play a critical role in setting one provider apart from all others. TDS was charged with rolling out a new business services flagship product while also preparing for the acquisition of two cable companies. Given the inherent disruptions that can occur during an acquisition, TDS sought a way to reduce delays and streamline the process of getting its commercial sales reps up to speed on the new product offering and associated process changes. The company also sought to decrease the amount of time their managers had to spend reinforcing the new information and determining areas where reps are struggling.

The Solution

TDS deployed Qstream to provide an engaging and effective method of reinforcing new product information and to help managers guide their sales teams to success. Each challenge was related to product details, pricing and positioning, and took 3 minutes a day or less to complete, so they did not interfere with selling time.

“We found that, while training sessions did a good job of educating our reps on the necessary information, as research bears out, a good amount of that information wasn’t retained for more than a week or two,” said Heidi Tuftee, TDS sales leadership coach and sales enablement manager. “Ongoing reinforcement proved necessary for our reps to fully retain the new product information and skillfully convey it in sales conversations.”

Qstream’s manager dashboards, which use the Predictive Insights Engine to continually analyze response data, provided managers with graphical updates, comparisons and trends on sales force capabilities, as well as targeted coaching actions to help address any knowledge gaps that could put a potential sale at risk.

The Results

TDS commercial sales reps achieved a 97% engagement rate, which led to an average 25% increase in product knowledge proficiency.

“The fact that we achieved such high engagement with Qstream is a testament to how much our reps enjoyed the challenges and the friendly competition fueled by leader boards. In fact, reps would often ask me when the next challenge was starting,” said Tuftee. “This impressive engagement level led to equally impressive gains in product proficiency, enabling our reps to have more compelling conversations with sophisticated B2B buyers. Qstream also positively impacted our managers, who found the graphical dashboards an easy and efficient way to identify and address knowledge gaps among teams and individual reps, saving them some much-valued time during a tremendously busy time for our company.”

Moving forward, Tuftee plans to use Qstream’s data-driven platform for onboarding new reps more efficiently and to drive ROI on the company’s annual sales conference investments.

About TDS Telecom

TDS Telecom, a wholly owned subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. TDS Inc. is a Fortune 500® company, which provides wireless; cable and wireline broadband, TV and voice; and hosted and managed services to approximately six million customers nationwide through its businesses U.S. Cellular, TDS Telecom, OneNeck IT Solutions LLC, and TDS Broadband Service LLC. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Chicago, Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. and its business units employ 10,300 people.