Each leader has a few career-defining moments. These include professional wins, business decisions and directional pivots. These moments are a time when you naturally stop, reflect, learn, and move forward.
This month is a defining moment in my career as the leader of ACC Business, an AT&T brand that offers networking solutions. We celebrate the 20th anniversary with AT&T this August. It has been a rewarding experience for me as well as the ACC team.
As I look forward to the next 20 years, I reflect on the most important lessons that have fueled our success.
Collaboration Can Be a Result of Competition
We were once competitors before AT&T bought ACC Business. ACC Business was the underdog – a small, scrappy company in contrast Coach Tennis Shoes to a Fortune 10 firm. We saw great opportunities for collaboration through this competition.
AT&T’s leadership in the industry and its ability to drive our business forward was evident. Fortunately for us, AT&T recognized ACC Business’s established reputation and brand equity on the market. Both organizations were able to benefit from our alignment, which was a win-win situation. It also gave us a distinct advantage for customers who can access the global power of AT&T through doing business with them.
Startup Culture is Not Just for those Who are Starting Up
We have always been proud of our size since the inception of ACC Business. Smallness has its benefits. We are entrepreneurial, responsive and nimble – qualities that have been a hallmark of a startup culture for over 20 years.
We have a very low turnover rate by hiring people who share these core values. Nearly 20% of our employees celebrate their 20th year of employment. I have been with the company since the beginning of our relationship. This shows that you don’t need to be a startup in order to reap the benefits of a start-up mentality.
The core of the Company has Always been the Solution Provider
Customer experience is a popular buzzword in many companies. Although customer service and communication channels have changed over time, the foundation of providing an exceptional experience is still important. Our solution providers are our customers. They are the heart of our business.
ACC Business has maintained a solution provider-focused program over the past 20 years. Our DNA is made up of solution providers. We have built a community that feels connected. They feel part of something that has like-minded people who share similar values, and that’s what’s important to them. It has always been.
Owning a Home is an Empowering Experience
AT&T Business has 3 indirect sales channels. ACC Business is one of them. Our business operates in a unique way because of the ownership our solution providers have.
They are responsible for the relationship with the customer they have sold to. They don’t get rewarded for the first sale, but for nurturing and growing the relationship over the years. They bring ownership and personal commitment to each customer relationship.