Sprint Targets SMB Customers to Help Stem Falling Sales
NEWS ANALYSIS: Sprint, the No. 3 carrier, focuses on business users as a way to gain new customers and grow revenue as it tries to avoid slipping to fourth place.Sprint is in trouble. Customers are abandoning the nation's third-largest carrier in droves. Efforts to grow by swallowing T-Mobile have been rebuffed. While the company has plenty of support from its new owners in Japan, much of its recent history has been a story of dysfunction. What's worse, other CEOs are taunting the hapless company, effectively kicking virtual sand in its face. It seems a pretty safe bet that its smaller competitor, T-Mobile, is about to surpass Sprint in total customers served. The question is no longer about how long Sprint can stay in the third position, but rather whether the company can remain a relevant force in the wireless industry. To try to reverse the current trend, Sprint is adopting a response made famous by baseball great Willie Keeler, who explained his success at the plate by saying he would "Hit 'em where they ain't." In the wireless carrier business, this means occupying a market segment that doesn't include T-Mobile, and which may not be particularly well served by bigger rivals AT&T and Verizon.
That market segment is small and midsize businesses, especially businesses that are attracting a lot of younger workers, mainly millennials. To do this, Sprint is launching the Sprint Business brand again.