For a time it was tempting to characterise O2 as a step behind rival Vodafone in its indirect sales strategy.
For a good 12 months, really until the back end of last year, there was a discernible paranoia within the indirect channel that Vodafone’s decisions to axe partners, and to divert third party connections via subsidiary business units or close high street allies, were likely to pre-empt copycat moves by rival networks.
And simplistically, O2 looked most likely to succeed where Vodafone had already gone.
Vodafone, it appeared, was making all the big cutting decisions, but O2’s strategy to take consumer sales from the high street only and to micro-manage business sales via the distribution channel looked broadly similar.
It is only now, following changes to its UK management team and maturation of its sales strategy, that O2’s moves look to have been deliberate from the start and, though made in the same climate of consolidation and convergence, wholly independent of rival Vodafone. It is only now clear how much the old analysis of O2’s sales drive does it a disservice.
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