Image from Nielsen.
If you are launching a product (like a Hosted PBX service), there is more to think about than the back office. Sure, for Hosted PBX, you need a softswitch, an engineer, Origination/Termination, E-911, LNP, CNAM, a billing solution, CPE, leasing, etc. But that's just the necessities of delivering the service. And as we have seen in the Hosted PBX (ITSP) space, most providers never really leave the gate. Sales & marketing are paramount to victory.
As the instagram shows, you need to think about Messaging, Value and Brand. (Brand is basically Trust).
Everyone needs sales, but not everyone is your prospect.
With the PAETEC-Windstream acquisition today, I wrote about how organic growth seems impossible to the telcos during this economy and with the flat markets (of wireline, cellular, TV, broadband). Also, revenues are dropping due to competitive pricing pressure where it exists (like in Internet bandwidth in the Top 75 MSA's). Selling on price brings in customers but at what cost? You have to ramp up customer service or suffer a bad reputation. You have the same costs to deliver the service but less revenue to do it with.
When buying a car, most consumers have a budget. They are not shopping for a Kia and a Mercedes at the same time. Mercedes (and other luxury brands) know exactly who they are marketing and selling to. GM and Chrysler didn't know who they were selling to or how to differentiate between brands. If you like a model, you shopped it: Dodge, Chrysler, Plymouth. That doesn't help the bottom line.
You have to know who you are selling to; why they would buy it (sales triggers); why they would buy it from you; and how what message and tactic do you reach them with.
Hugh Macleod put it nicely when he suggested that Zappos is nothing more than an inbound call center for a shoe warehouse. Then he asked, "What dialogue is your product starting?"