Systems Integrators and Installers have one of the most important roles in the Telecommunications Industry. This role comes with many challenges. There is the competitive challenge, where big systems integrators face competition from smaller, local installers. There are technical challenges, where system integrators are pushed to go into details, they are not completely comfortable with, but the market requires. These challenges make it important for System Integrators to make the most of every single hour they put into sales efforts. There are untapped opportunities for System Integrators to make the most of this effort.
In this article we want to show you how to increase your average sales ticket and improve your repurchase rate by simply choosing the correct antenna.
The most basic technique for increasing your average customer ticket is to sell more products. This can be by cross-selling, upselling or creating bundle deals. The saying that people buy from people and, more importantly, buy from people they trust, still holds very true. Trust is only created by ensuring you offer good quality products backed by excellent service.
We have lost count of the number of projects where system integrators or installers convince their customers to invest in high-end routers, gateways and radios, with no thought given to the antenna that is used with the hardware. The antenna is added as an afterthought. This is like buying a Bang and Olufsen or Bose sound system but connecting it to low-quality, budget speakers.
It does not matter what capabilities and features your router has, if the antenna has a poor electrical design this is all in vain. If your connection is not reliable and not consistent, the user will experience no connection or very poor connectivity which will slow download and upload speeds.
What is the benefit for the System Integrators?
1. Prove you are an expert
You have the opportunity to cultivate the trust that the client places in you. If you are presenting solutions to a problem that nobody else has considered, the customer sees the benefit of dealing with you. Are we not always impressed when someone knows more about something than we do and helps us to get the most out of the solution? Do we not gain an additional degree of respect for that person and company?
2. Increase the value of the sale
When you are selling one, two or three antennas, it may initially seem to have a low impact, but most wireless projects (be it cellular, Wi-Fi, IoT or any other) are typically far bigger and the benefit can be seen when looking at the complete project. TWith very little money, time, or effort, you can increase the sale by adding some quality antennas.
3. Lower the total cost of support for your company
A well selected antenna will lower the total cost of ownership for your entire organization. When committing to a project, the System Integrator, will typically commit to a warranty period, or even a support and maintenance contract.
By choosing the correct antenna, you:
- Reduce re-installations. The probability of going back to the same place to re-do an installation in case the specific location of installation has a low and inconsistent signal levels is greatly reduced.
- Reduce the cost of support and maintenance contracts. With an improved system you do not need to drive to a (often remote) site due to a communication issue.
- Improve remote monitoring. With an antenna that ensures connectivity you can do remote service and maintenance of the system and connected devices.
- Increase customer satisfaction and overall improve on the end user experience.
- Protect your reputation, by implementing a “set and forget” kind of solution.
4. Repeat business
The final opportunity is that the trust in yourself as a consultant, your team and your company is reinforced by providing the end-client with a solution that works, that is always up and that allows them to sleep well at night. This automatically results in a loyal customer that will give you repeat business! Clients will return to buy again from companies which make their life easier and more comfortable. Companies who made them, the buying person, shine before their superiors or peers’ eyes.
In the end, going for quality products makes yourself and your company a stronger player in the market, even when the market is a price driven one.
What should you then be looking for in an antenna?
How can one understand antennas without having to go to a lab, with an anechoic chamber and all the high-tech and expensive measurement devices? What separates the good guys from the bad guys, when discussing antenna technology?
The answer lies in superior electromagnetic design and a future-proof product!
A future-proof antenna is one that covers a wide band, including all cellular frequencies for the foreseeable future. It covers the existing and future technologies and is optimised to perform equally well across all frequencies served by the antenna. A future proof antenna is made from high quality components and materials, both inside and out. This means it can withstand heat, cold, dry, and wet environments alike and has been tested and certified for applicable environmental standards. This antenna is built to last and has proven itself in harsh environments for many years.
Superior electromagnetic design is perhaps easier to describe and explain, but very much harder to achieve. Such antenna needs to:
- Have a good radiation pattern, meaning, that the gain needs to be pointed in the direction of the expected signal source, thus there where it is supposed to be, depending on the type of antenna:
- Omni-directional antennas should have a steady gain 360º horizontally, and the vertical aperture should be pointing to the horizon, and not to the moon!
- Directional antennas should have stable horizontal and vertical apertures, pointing to the signal source;
- It must perform well across all the frequencies of operation. We often see that manufacturers claim that an antenna has 5dBi max peak gain over a frequency range from 690-3800MHz. The gain at 690-960MHz, where you need the antenna to work, might be much less ?
- Have a good VSWR across all the frequencies of operation. There is no point on having very high gain antennas if most of the signal is being lost due to high VSWR levels.
The ability to optimise and balance these three aspects is what differentiates Poynting from other antenna manufacturers.
Additional to the fundamentals of an antenna, there are other important aspects for the system integrator:
- Out-of-the-box mounting options,
- Attention paid to each detail on the product design (including cables connectors and others),
- Ability to predict the performance of the antenna, based on comprehensive, measured data presented on the technical specification of the product.
Standing out in the crowd is hard. Sometimes companies fail to find a way on doing so and fail to realize that the answer may be more straightforward than anticipated. They fail to realize where the opportunities are and that with just a bit of effort, they can put themselves on a different level.
It does not have to be like that. There are opportunities out there to make System Integrators and Installers stand out from their peers, to leave the cluttered discussion and arguments that everyone is having and bringing a fresh new look into the stale wireless projects and scenarios.
Are you ready to stand out from the crowd?