Keeping Up with Changing Customer Expectations

Stephen Kowal March 10, 2015

CustomerExpectationsMy dad loves to tell me stories of his days as a traveling salesperson. Every Monday morning, he would leave the house with a trunk full of brochures and product samples to make his rounds, shaking hands with customers to introduce what he was selling that week.

Educating the customer was fairly simple and usually involved a brief talk followed by a brochure that was left behind for customers to read and keep on their desks for reference. When the afternoon would arrive, my dad would call his office from a payphone to get his messages for the day. No one expected an immediate call back; 24 hours was an impressive turn-around. Sometime in the early 1980s, something changed. He got a pager. Now, he was expected to respond to every message the same day. Soon afterward, cell phones took the place of pagers and my dad was able to respond within a few hours, and then minutes.

From my dad’s perspective, the impact all the technology transformation has had on customer expectations has been nothing short of amazing. Even when it comes to education, he is amazed at how things have changed. The salesperson used to be the main source of product information for the customer. Now, the salesperson is only one of many resources of information. No longer do we rely on just a product brochure or catalog. We search the internet, talk to other customers and even expect to have multiple lines of direct communication with the companies we want to do business with.

At CommScope, we recognize these changes all too well. Customers want access to information on our products and solutions when they want it and how they want it. Once they decide to engage CommScope, they are ready to move forward without delay. Often, they have already made the decision to buy and they only want to engage us to complete the transaction.

In order to keep up with this change, CommScope has been investing in a vast network of partners to serve our customers’ needs. Since the launch of the PartnerPRO Network™, we have grown to over 2,200 highly qualified partners serving our customers around the world. CommScope soon will introduce a collaborative software tool that will pair the needs of CommScope customers with our PartnerPRO Network members faster and with more precision. I believe that this will be the next step in the continuing evolution of the sales process for our global customers. We have come a long way since those days when salespeople, like my dad, were relying on simple conversation and handing out brochures to help secure a sale.

For more information about the PartnerPRO Network, including information about how to find a CommScope partner, go to www.commscope.com/partnerpro.

About the Author

Stephen Kowal

Stephen Kowal is the senior vice president of global enterprise sales at CommScope. He leads a team that is responsible for the promotion and sale of CommScope solutions to enterprise customers around the world, Mr. Kowal was named to this role in July of 2017. The team he leads has direct representation in 54 countries and indirect representation via channel partners in 159 countries. The enterprise team at CommScope focuses on complete network infrastructure solutions, wired and wireless, for intelligent buildings, large public venues, and data centers.  

Mr. Kowal previously served as senior vice president of CommScope’s global partner organization where he was responsible for growing CommScope revenue by recruiting, developing and managing traditional Channel Partners (Distributors, Installers, and Consultants) and by expanding CommScope’s Partner Network by engaging with new types of Partners, Influencers and Alliances. 

Mr. Kowal began his career with CommScope in 1998 when he joined Lucent Technologies as a Territory Sales Manager. Since then he has held strategic roles in Sales and Sales Management. Under Avaya he was the National Account Manager for Avaya’s largest Business Partners in the North America Region (NAR). Additionally, under Avaya and then CommScope he has held the positions of Global Account Manager and Global Customer Solutions Director of Sales North America.  In 2007 he was relocated to Europe where he lived in the Netherlands then the United Kingdom as the Global Client Director of Global Customer Solutions.  In this role, he was responsible for developing, driving and implementing the CommScope Global Customer Solutions strategy in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  

Mr. Kowal holds a Masters of Business Administration focused on Global Leadership and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business with a minor in International Business.  He has almost 30 years of industry experience.  Prior to joining CommScope he held Network Engineering roles at Intel and American Express.