BT operates a number of franchises throughout the country. They call these franchises BT Local Business.
Using publicly available documents we have put together this guide to BT Local Business - telling it the way that BT see it.
There is a full guide to the names of the brave companies who have taken up BT's offer here.
Winning a licence is via a 4 step formal process undertaken with a group from BT. A licence award will probably include hiring the staff from the existing franchisee under a TUPE arrangement. Losing a licence means that the franchisee effectively does not have a business. The licence is reported to have a “no sale of the business” clause included.
BT sees the franchisees role as providing customers a face-to face local service supported by the credibility of the BT brand. They service BT’s existing business customers and seek new ones.
BT say that the BT brand gives the franchised business credibility and confidence. It also enhances the business in the mind of potential clients that they are dealing with an established, reliable and reputable company.
BT sees their role as providing training support and mentoring. They have a team called the Partner Sales Management (PSM team) with partner regional directors and partner sales managers who drive this. They also arrange business events for the businesses. BT also develops the commercial relationships with manufacturers and suppliers.
The PSM team also arranges Quarterly MD Forums are held on a regional basis. All MDs also attend a national conference twice a year.
Ongoing training and support is provided by BT channel’s online learning portal.
WHAT DO THEY SELL?
Overall the sales consist of lines, calls, broadband, phone system maintenance, phone systems, IP solutions, unified communications, mobiles, ethernet, MPLS and SIP. Manufacturers include Cisco, Avaya, Mitel and Lake with their telecommunications products such as PBX’s. The deals are based on the commercial arrangements that BT have in place with the manufacturers. They are also supposed to sell the Ring Central product that BT have rebadged as BT Cloud Voice.
Additionally they offer finance packages which again BT has set up with GE, Cisco, Siemens and Shire. There is a commercial team - The BT Finance team - who help when needed.
The sales activities are coordinated with BT using the Salesforce CRM platform.
WHAT SCALE IS THE BUSINESS?
The 45 franchisees serve 1.2 million customers and have a revenue in excess of £1bn. They form the largest division within BT Business. On average they employ between 12 and 50 people the majority of whom are involved in the sales activities. Sales staff are usually paid a low base salary of £16- 18K with a large element of commission boosting on target earnings to above £30K.
The average existing customer base in the franchisees territory is 15,000 against a potential of 75,000 appropriate businesses. The figures quoted above imply that turnover is around £2m on average with a profit margin we have seen quoted as between 10 and 20%. It is likely that there is a large variation in these amounts on a franchise by franchise basis.
For full disclosure BT Local Businesses are competitors of Birchills Telecom. We welcome the open and honest competition that they bring to the market place. We feel that such competition is good for the end client.
All of the information presented here has been sourced through publicly available documents. It is intended to give a fair and balanced view of the organisation. Whilst we have done our best to check the information it may not be fully accurate. We will be happy to make any amendments where we have made any errors.
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