Proving that patience and creative selling are virtues in todays market, Sprint says it has inked a multi-year, multi-million-dollar deal to provide complete voice and data services to Ingram Entertainment, a leading home entertainment-distribution company.
La Vergne, Tenn.-based Ingram is buying telecom, frame relay, IP VPN, toll-free and audio-conferencing services from Sprint for use in 20 locations around the country.
The key to winning the account, according to David Mohr, Nashville branch sales director for Sprint, was a very hands-on approach.
"To show Ingram that we are the leader, we took them to our Applied Technology Center, and to the switching center in Atlanta," says Mohr. He notes that winning business today is a lengthy and involved process. "You cant just make a couple calls," he says. Sprint has taken years to build a relationship with Ingram.
Sprint has had a team, including tech-support experts and salespeople, working with the entertainment company.
"Over the past couple years, a lot has changed in the way corporations approach their businesses. You have to work hard to prove your value, and to win the customers confidence," says Mohr. "Ingram, which is converting a whole network, needed to be comfortable with the Sprint team, and with the whole procedure." The Ingram network was converted in two days.
Sprint beat out four competitors for the business, including two Ingram incumbents.
Mohr says the trip to Atlanta sealed the deal. Sprints Applied Technology Centers, located in Atlanta, Dallas, Kansas City, and San Jose, show the providers technology in action.
Mark Ramer, Ingram senior vice president and CIO, notes that Sprint will be instrumental in helping Ingram build the online component of its business, including consumer-direct fulfillment services for a multitude of Web sites.
Ingram distributes products like pre-recorded videocassettes, DVDs, video game hardware and software, audio books and accessories to over 10,000 retail accounts, including video specialty stores and supermarkets.