Growing ARPU for B2B? Stop focusing on marginal tweaks to bundles and seek real change

Why is the industry so focused on bundle optimisation? It won’t shift the needle – what you need to do is to focus on how to add value beyond connectivity packages. Group calling, recording, team solutions, switchboards and more make far more sense – and have more impact on B2B ARPU.

We all want to grow B2B ARPUs, but changing bundles isn’t the real answer

ARPU growth from B2B markets is a complicated question that is much discussed. It’s easy to say that we need to grow B2B revenue, but it’s much more difficult to say exactly how. Among this debate though, it’s surprising to see that bundles still occupy such a prominent position, as we read in a recent update from Analysys Mason.

It’s not that we disagree – optimising bundles is good practice, particularly when we consider businesses of different sizes. No, it’s more that endless tinkering with bundles is something of a distraction from the real value-added levers that you can press.

Tinker by all means, but it won’t make much difference

The research rightly points to customer service as a differentiator – it most definitely is – but a focus on bundles, while necessary, is far from sufficient to really get the needle moving on the ARPU dial.

Of course, business users need options to suit their needs, but since most bundles are tending towards the same direction (unlimited data, and so on), any further tinkering should really be more in the direction of plan sharing, rollovers, number of users, and so on – beyond that, there’s not much more that can really be done.

Add services, not endless bundle refinements

Instead, operators should be focusing on other services that can be added. These include providing access to applications that users need (hence the growing focus on ICT services over the last few years), as well as those that enhance the user experience – or which provide a necessary supporting service to the business.

In the latter case, we can consider compliance call recording, in which calls are recorded to ensure compliance with relevant legislation. We can also consider services that group numbers together and provide call distribution capabilities, such as advanced switchboard solutions.

Or, for example, twinning services that unify multiple devices and identities used by an individual B2B subscriber. We can go further and add in solutions that create teams, manage opening hours – all the way to full-blown IP Centrex or Cloud PBX services.

Offer real service add-ons – or lose out to indirect players

There are so many value-added ways in which operators can augment bundles – and the problem is that, by focusing on the package, these are often ignored. Endlessly devising new bundles takes time, makes only marginal differences, and distracts attention from real changes that can be made.

At the same time, there’s a host of indirect players only too eager to add services that can be consumed over the data packages operators provide. B2B customers can simply default to buying connectivity from operators, while seeking enhanced services elsewhere – once that tide has turned, it’s extremely difficult to reverse it.

So, if you are too heavily focused on bundle optimisation, why not step back and think about the real services you can add that can make a significant difference when it comes to APRU? Changing bundles isn’t going to make much different to the bottom line; adding real value above the core suite of bundles will.

Cloud PBX, IP Centrex, B2B, ARPU

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