How to structure a brainstorm on ways a telecom company can grow through cross-selling?

BCG brainstorming growth growth strategy McKinsey Telecoms
New answer on Feb 21, 2021
6 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Feb 19, 2021

Hello. Any ideas on how one should structure this? The case is a telecom company in Europe wanting to cross-sell things to it's customers, other than typical telecom products. Could be things like insurance, electronics, lound speakers, etc. Any other product ideas as well?


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Content Creator
replied on Feb 19, 2021
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience


You are on the right track. I would look at the following buckets, there are many ideas to choose from

Ancilliary services

  • Insurance
  • Additional lines
  • International calling

Retail services

  • Phones
  • Cases
  • Headphones etc
  • 2nd hand phones buying and selling

Phone repair/maintenance

  • Screen repair
  • Software glitch
  • Hardware damage
  • Setting up a new device

Financial services with partnerships

  • Credit cards
  • Bank accounts (T Mobile in USA has this)

There are many more as well but above captures the majority for Retail consumers. There is a whole additional bucker for corprorate customers but I was not sure if this was part of your scenario or not.



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Content Creator
replied on Feb 21, 2021
Strategy&| ex-interviewer | 170+ coached over career |95% success @ MBB, S&, RB, LEK, OW, Big4 [SUCCESS STORIES BELOW]

There are all sorts of ideas that could work e.g. content (netflix/spotify), payments, insurance, smart speakers ...

I would recommend approaching this by thinking of a useful framework to categorise the particular tactics to be employed.

  • Products / Services
  • Channels
  • Markets (despite them saying B2C, take the initiative to also explore B2B or B2B2C; make your own assumption)

Thinking about telco-specific solutions, there was a big push over the past decade to convergence via bundling i.e. quad-play, triple-play. The idea being bundling increased customer stickiness and lifetime value. Although the jury is still out on whether this works, one option to present is bundling TV/OTT, fixed fibre and mobile.

Now, telcos are also pushing to capture more of their customer wallet through owning the home - smart home tech, bundling of non-telco services e.g. financial services and energy.

You may even want to think about how COVID/WFH could change the product mix e.g. cross selling network equipment (better routers/mesh), teleconferencing equipment, selling a signal booster if 4G/5G signal is poor in the house.

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 19, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Udayan nailed the what. I have nothing to add there.

In terms of the how, think through how you'd access your customers (i.e. channels). These include:

  1. POS (point of sale) cross-selling. I.e. new customers comes in to buy x, we also sell them y
  2. After-sale cross-selling. I.e. followup in the future with add-ons
  3. Activity-based cross-selling. When a user does x activity, this tells us they may be likely to buy again
  4. "Push" cross-selling. I.e. promoting products/services periodically via email/devices
  5. Touch-point selling. I.e. when the customer calls in for issues, aiming to cross/upsell then

In terms of indetifying this, data analytics is huge here (feel free to PM to learn about a project I did specifically on this...i.e. implementing data analytics at a telecom company to cross-sell products)

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replied on Feb 19, 2021
Experienced consultant on executive level

Instead of brainstorming about possible goods and services to be cross-sold, I'd rather take a look at your customer base in the first place.
They are your target group. Thus, conduct a thorough analysis of them. Try to categorize their consumer behaviour assumed. Develop personas. From that point, derive whatever may be appropriate to cross-sell to them.

Yet, even better: do a research what goods and services they would accept buying from you. Involve them into the development of your cross-sell portfolio. That definitely increases your chances of additional turnover.

That's the way I'd approach this challenge.
Good luck and don't hesitate contacting me for further discussion and guidance on this topic.

Best regards,

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Content Creator
updated an answer on Feb 19, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience
  • Think about customer segments you will focus on : B2B or B2C or both. Make your scope clear and assume you are going to focus on B2C for this case
  • Work out synergistic industries and their products that can be cross-sold e.g. Finance/Banking, Retail, eCommerce, Media etc. You dont want to sell minerals for example- there is no opportunity
  • Come up with some ideas on products from the synergistic industries


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Content Creator
replied on Feb 19, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Plenty of interesting info here, you have the case solved ;)

One small point to add, consider always the channels, since crossell strategies are totally different depending on them.

Hope it helps!



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Udayan gave the best answer


Content Creator
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience
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