Sourcing Telecom: Is it a Marathon or Relay Race?

Who would ever run a race where the rest of the field gets to start halfway closer to the finish line?

Not many. This is why the players in our niche industry don’t negotiate from carrier proposals – those deals that represent your best efforts to get savings on your own. The low-hanging fruit is gone. The race seems over before it begins. You really have to perform to win.

But for those in peak condition, the race can change. It becomes a relay. True experts don’t give up before the race starts; they look for the baton from their teammate and sprint to the finish line.

Having a professional telecom contract negotiator evaluate your telecom carrier proposals and finish negotiations offers your company the best of both worlds: you get to claim savings through your own efforts and any additional improvements earned by a third-party is pure value because it is savings otherwise kept by the carrier.

However, this service is little known or practiced – because most consultants avoid it. It is easier to negotiate the first dollar of savings instead of the last. Taking on 11th Hour engagements requires the confidence and ability to improve upon what may already seem like remarkable savings.

There is a significant difference between what a company can achieve on their own versus the results of a truly professional negotiator.

Look into this service and ask these questions. The best negotiators will give you the following answers:

  • My carrier proposal already represents a lot of savings. Why should I wait to sign? An assessment to determine if a worthwhile savings opportunity exists will only take 48 hours.
  • How much will this savings opportunity assessment cost? Any reputable firm will provide the analysis at no charge. The onus is on them to prove they are worth being hired.
  • I have leveraged the carriers through a competitive RFP, how can any savings remain? A third-party negotiator is armed with the resources and market intelligence to improve upon what seems to be significant savings. The least we have ever seen a proposal improved is 12%.
  • How do I know the savings you claim is real and significant? Here is an easy test: the consultant should only work under a performance-based or incentive fee basis. No one will take on work where they have no hope of getting paid.
  • How much time is it going to take for someone to take over negotiations and finish the job? A true professional is going to work more quickly than most –even in a complex environment such as telecom. Expect the project to take two to three weeks.
  • Isn’t that two to three weeks a lost opportunity cost? Yes it is, but the return of additional savings will easily eclipse that loss. And, a professional will likely make up for lost time through the carrier contract review and approval phase.
  • I’m experienced and negotiated the carriers hard, how is there more? The carriers are experienced, too, and motivated to keep margin. By definition alone, on any given day most deals are average. Size, competition and carrier relationship do not matter. Truly, without evaluating from fact-based, recent and aggressively-acquired market intelligence it is all guesswork whether a deal is bad, good or great.
  • Do I have to switch carriers or modify my network? No, this is a financial exercise to maximize savings and improve contract terms and conditions. Your network and business are not disrupted.
  • Will you supply me references for clients where you conducted the same type of 11th Hour Negotiations? A consultant should have plenty of references who are your peers and from companies that are well-known, capable and with complex networks.