As your corporate wireless contract comes to a close, it may be tempting to renew the same terms for another cycle. This is especially true if you’ve had a favorable relationship with your vendor. But by doing so, you are missing an enormous opportunity to reduce operating costs, improve service level agreements, update termination rights, and much more. Instead, take the time to execute a successful carrier negotiation using these tips.
1. Future-Proof Your Contract: Rise Of 5G & Carrier Consolidations
The consolidation of wireless carriers and the introduction of 5G has drastically changed the overall wireless landscape since your last contract. Due to T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint, large nationwide carriers such as AT&T & Verizon have updated their overall pricing matrix to meet shifting customer demand. Hardware discounts, ETF waivers, promotions, and features have all been impacted which makes this new normal increasingly challenging when trying to forecast costs based on previous contracts. 5G service, though not available in most markets quite yet, will be a major consideration during your next contract term. Within the next 2 years, data hungry 5G devices and increased carrier rate plan costs will drive wireless bills steadily upward. It’s important to take a look at the current rate plans being offered by your carrier and the other major providers in order to “future-proof” your future contract. Don’t stop at business plans either, take a look at the rates being offered to consumers. Oftentimes, the aggressive promotions reserved for consumers or new customers can be extended to a business account.
2. Avoid Concessions, Know Your Timeline
A well planned and well executed contract negotiation can take several weeks from start to finish. If you wait until your contract expires to open up discussions with your carrier, you will inevitably end up making concessions. Ensure that you give yourself enough time to properly research, plan, and move through the negotiation process without being rushed. Begin planning roughly 6 months before your contract end date and let your carrier rep know that you’d like to open up contract discussions.
“I routinely see companies using previous contracts as their only point of reference in negotiations. This is a huge mistake.” – John Mastro, Mobility Services Manager
3. Don’t Be Dazzled By Empty Add-ons
When a carrier offers you discounts and free features, they are designed to give the impression of value. However, something like “free international text messaging” doesn’t really provide any value unless your employees travel internationally. The carriers know this and will fill your contract with as much “perceived value” as possible. Don’t let these empty add-ons distract you from the features and services you really need.
4. Leverage an MDM Subscription
Do you utilize a mobile device management (MDM) system or are you considering implementing one? If so, the subscription can be billed through your wireless carrier. This is an additional revenue stream for the carrier and can potentially help you leverage a larger discount. Ask your carrier rep if there are incentives for adding MDM or moving your subscription.
5. Never Guarantee Future Business
Changing carriers can be a minor inconvenience at best or a major hassle at worst. Carriers know this and are not as willing to make concessions when they are the incumbent. They are typically more generous when a client can offer an increase in business (line counts) or when they know they will lose your business. Seek pricing from alternate carriers and be willing to use this as leverage when you negotiate. The more lines you have, the more your carrier will be willing to work with you.
6. Leverage Industry Benchmarks
How does your current wireless contract compare to other businesses of comparable size and vertical? Is your wireless provider offering better discounts and rates to other businesses in different states, regions, etc? This is important information to ascertain before negotiating a new contract. Unfortunately, this information and data is not available from your individual carrier reps. As a WEM solutions provider that manages over 1 Million wireless devices per year, GoExceed’s proprietary contract database and unique relationships with all domestic carriers allows us to benchmark your current carrier contract(s) against other businesses whom are similar in size, industry, etc. Our team of wireless consultants will leverage years of expertise in data analytics and knowledge of the cellular industry to drive or simply assist your cellular contract negotiations.
Founded in 2001, GoExceed is recognized as an industry leader in Wireless Expense Management solutions. We service over 1 million enterprise wireless devices per year and our clients range from mid-size businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Our comprehensive suite of management solutions have revolutionized the way companies manage their wireless accounts, devices, users, costs, data, cost centers, contracts, policies, and more. We firmly believe that innovation is not only the key to our success, but essential in an ever-changing wireless landscape across the world. GoExceed empowers businesses with real-time reporting and analytics, enabled by Microsoft Power BI, in order to proactively reduce time, money, and resources. Your success is what drives our passion for technology and innovation.
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