Reasons to move from 3CX (and other IP PBX systems) to Bicom Systems… I did

Note from the editor: We are excited to have our first post from Stephen Corrigan, former Sales Director for 3CX and newest member of the Bicom Systems team. Below he shares his experiences in the industry and what inspired him to leave 3CX and come to Bicom Systems.

3cx
The telecommunications industry has seen some dramatic changes over the decades – from Centrex to digital Private Automatic Branch Exchange (PABX) – most recently in the early 2000s with the advent of software based IP PBX systems such as Asterisk for Linux and 3CX on Microsoft Windows, providing much needed convergence and integration between the IT and Telecommunications worlds.

But the market has moved on once again, from these earlier, predominantly on premise, systems, which are seeing declining sales, to a subscriber based services model, where multiple communications channels: voice, video, messaging (chat), collaboration, screen sharing, file transfer etc., are delivered over the internet directly to your customer’s employees.

This is a fundamental change, a change that many of the existing incumbent manufacturers just cannot deliver upon.

The Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) market is estimated to grow to over $96 billion annually, with the North American subscriber base set to grow dramatically from 11.6 million today to over 27 million subscribers by 2023, that is a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of between 25-30%.

So, with the changing landscape you are being asked yet again to make decisions and changes to your business, your model, your infrastructure, your services and reevaluate your current technology business partners. Are they delivering for you?

If your technology partners are only providing PBX software, like 3CX and many others, then they are emphatically not and are not producing for you!

In today’s market, you need to offer your existing and new customers not only improved core services, but also the ability to engage with you in the manner that they are now accustomed to and provide more self-service capabilities.

Our relationship with technology has changed. Just look at our own personal lives and see how we interact with technology today. We are all consumers of technology and are willing to pay monthly subscriptions for what we want and desire, whether that be entertainment with Netflix, Hulu or Amazon, or our cell phone contracts so we can keep up with the newest handsets as soon as they are released; we do our shopping 24/7 from the convenience of our home, as we do our banking. We also want control over our subscription based services, adding or changing our subscriptions, engaging with our service providers using an online portal 24/7 – We want that convenience and simplicity.

Businesses are no different. No longer do businesses wish to make a purchasing decision and invest in technology with a minimum of a 5-year lifecycle, being stuck with that decision. Just like us personally, businesses are consumers of technologies, subscribing to the services that their business needs to operate such as Microsoft Office 365, SalesForce.com (and other ERP/CRM systems) and of course Telephony and Unified Communications. And for very good reasons – it’s simple, it fits within their budgetary constraints, there are no equipment costs, no maintenance costs, no system management costs, and no vendor lock-in, just simplicity and convenience.

In today’s changing market it is no longer sufficient to sell and install PBX equipment on the customer premise. Buyers do not want that and they are voting with their wallets. You need to provide businesses more – flexibility, simplicity, and convenience.

In addition to providing core Unified Communications functions, you need to offer your customers methods of engaging with you on the basis that they want. You need to offer them comprehensive online services where they can sign up for your service, creating an online portal from where they can order additional products and services from you, upgrade their existing service plans, view and pay their bills, automate the billing process, automate the credit card or PayPal payment process, customer care functions where your customers can raise and track trouble tickets. In three words – flexibility, simplicity, and convenience.

And finally, delivering the service over the Internet requires some additional skills and technologies, from infrastructure to server and network virtualization so that you can deliver robust, fault tolerant, redundant services 24/7 to your customers with 99.999% uptime.

If your current technology partner cannot provide you these additional functional layers over and above a PBX, it is time to reevaluate.

So what can you do about this today? Well, you have several options open: (1) do nothing, business as usual, (2) invest the necessary cash in building out your own technologies and infrastructure to deliver these services, (3) work with existing service providers as an agent on a commission basis, but that is not very satisfying and does not create value in your business, or (4) do something different – engage with Bicom Systems.

Bicom Systems provides all the necessary pieces for the ITSP jigsaw. With Bicom Systems and our private white label UCaaS platform you can build:

  • YOUR Business by leveraging our infrastructure, investment, technologies people and expertise to tap into the booming UCaaS market.
  • YOUR Brand by marketing and delivering UCaaS services in your own unique brand on a local, regional, national, or even international basis. Creating value in your business.
  • YOUR Way, you set pricing and service plans, you do it all your way, you’re in total control.

3cxOnly by changing can you survive and prosper in this market. Bicom Systems can help you make the change and get you there.

Learn more by visiting www.bicomsystems.com or by contacting me directly at sc@bicomsystems.com.

 

Jump into the UCaaS Market this Fall at TelcoFest

UCaaSThe UCaaS market is projected to grow in North America at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of between 25 to 30 percent until 2020, with a total user base rising from 11.6M (2016) to over 27M by 2020. Barriers to entry into this market have been set exceedingly high, but our latest releases are designed to support your transition into this lucrative market.

Join us for lunch this September or October as we travel across the country giving presentations on the newest Cloud UC technologies, services, and strategies to help your business establish a presence in the UCaaS market and offer services that customers are increasingly demanding.

From coast to coast we will hit 17 different locations during TelcoFest, including WISPAPALOOZA and AstriCon, click here to find a local venue near you and connect with us.

Bicom Systems, with over 15 years of experience delivering success, has developed a formula to increase revenue, profits, and customer satisfaction by:

  • Adding more value to existing solutions by merging multiple technologies like Unified Communications, Key Systems, the Cloud, and more into one stable, marketable product.
  • Reducing customer churn by stimulating long-term commitment, nourishing partners even after the sale, and constantly innovating upgrades & custom solutions based on the newest technology.
  • Future proofing your business by keeping pace with industry trends with a team of dedicated account managers, technical support engineers, telecom experts, and marketing professionals.

Learn more about TelcoFest here and join us at an event near you!

How to Sell… CRM Integration

crm integrationTo conclude our series on “How to Sell…”, let’s talk about integration today. Of course there are many softwares and applications to integrate with VoIP, but for the purpose of this post we’ll focus on CRM.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, let me repeat the overriding strategy from our previous two posts (on how to sell UCaaS and Mobility): Show your prospects the benefits and features through real-life examples that would actually impact their day-to-day lives. This strategy remains relevant when selling CRM integration.

CRM Saves You Time

The major benefit of using a CRM is the time saved. The organization, efficiency, automation – all of those values ultimately come back to saving time. So the key to selling it is demonstrating how this will save time for your prospect.

Let’s go through seven of the primary points you will want to cover:

1. Call & email logs

Integrated CRM software tracks all calls and emails to contacts. Forget flipping through your calendar or racking your brain to remember your last call with a specific lead or customer – an integrated CRM will give you that information and more in seconds.

2. Click-to-call

Now more an expectation than a perk, click-to-call with CRM integration makes it easy to call leads or customers as you are reviewing their account. Cut the time it takes to get through a list of sales calls by doing everything from one screen.

3. Call pop-ups

If click-to-call simplifies your outbound calling process, call pop-ups greatly enhance inbound calling. CRM integration puts the caller’s name and detailed information on your screen before you even lift the phone receiver. No more pressure to remember details or asking the caller to wait while you change gears and catch up.

4. Marketing campaigns

Your CRM is no longer just for the sales department. Marketing teams will find an integrated CRM invaluable for creating, sending, and tracking marketing campaigns. Responsive marketing that targets audiences based on past behavior and interests shown is more effective than passive, mass marketing.

5. Marketing automation

All the buzz in 2017, marketing automation is quickly becoming standard practice. An integrated CRM makes it possible to automate marketing campaigns on multiple levels without forgoing a dynamic, responsive approach. In fact, the data collected by your CRM will make marketing efforts even more responsive to lead behavior.

6. Data organization

Arguably its primary function, it goes without saying that your CRM organizes contact data. But an integrated CRM will go even further in placing pertinent information exactly where your company needs it.

7. Lead Tracking

An integrated CRM goes beyond contact information and call logs, you can now track website visits, social media behaviors, downloads, and much more. Both the sales and marketing teams can get better results when they have more information at their fingertips.

Armed with those features and any others you can think of, it will be easy to paint a picture throughout your sales conversation.

Not Just for the Sales Department

Another point to make during any conversation on CRM integration is that it will go beyond the sales department and benefit the whole company. Numbers 4 and 5 above are for the marketing teams, and CRMs can certainly reach just about any department in any company. The benefits are boundless.

Implementation Roadmap

Finally, walk uncertain clients through the upcoming implementation process. Assuage any fears about the transition and learning curve – you can always roll out the new software in stages.

We are confident that with these tips and stable service, you will be selling CRM integration in no time.

If you are interested in learning more about CRM integration and/or selling, we have a few more blog posts that may be of interest to you.

This series was in response to a previous series with 3 Steps to Telecom Success that covered a variety of ways to achieve sustainable growthincrease your profit, and increase customer loyalty. One of the overriding themes was adding more cards to your deck – bundling more services into your existing offering.

As always, feel free to reach out to us if you want to chat with an experienced account manager.

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How to Sell… Mobility

mobilityA few weeks ago we did a blog series on 3 Steps to Telecom Success, with a variety of ways to achieve sustainable growthincrease your profit, and increase customer loyalty. One of the overriding themes was adding more cards to your deck – bundling more services into your existing offering.

Perhaps you have made the decision to add Unified Communications, mobility, or something else to your solution, but what’s next? How do we sell this new service?

This series is on “How to Sell…” Last week we covered UCaaS and this week we are moving on to mobility.

At first glance, mobility seems like an easy thing to sell. Nearly every one in our industry has a cell phone and uses it both at home and at work. And for many of your customers and prospects, it may be as simple as saying “Hey, we have a mobile app now” and they will immediately jump on board.

But for others, the prevalence of cell phones in the workplace may in and of itself may be our greatest stumbling block. If your customer has been using their cell phone effectively for years, they may think they don’t need your mobile services or app. So how do we convince them otherwise? Similar to UCaaS, we show them the benefits.

Benefits

If you give your prospect a few real-life examples of how they could use your mobile app or service, they won’t be able to pass it up. This comes back to Unified Communications and the ways it makes work simpler, easier, and more efficient.

Here’s an example: With our own gloCOM desktop and mobile app, calls can be passed seamlessly from device to device without interruption. Imagine that you are on an important call at your desk, but if you don’t leave the office now, you’ll be late for your next appointment. What are your options? Ask the person on the other end to reschedule and risk losing their interest. Ask them to hang up and wait for you to call back from your cell phone and risk losing them to another task. Stay on the phone and lose your next appointment. Lose, lose, lose. Or you could grab your cell and bluetooth headset, seamlessly transfer the call from gloCOM desktop to gloCOM mobile, and walk out of the office with the caller none the wiser. Which would you choose?

That is just one example of many. Similar to our strategies to sell UCaaS, be sure to walk through both benefits and features with your prospects. Other examples could stem from:

  • Presence, conferencing, and other favorite UC features available out of the office
  • Continuity in the face of natural disaster, outages, traveling, etc.
  • BYOD with consistency
  • Information and contacts go anywhere with you

So how do we achieve those kinds of benefits? It is important to get your mobile app just right.

Mobile App Features

If you want to be able to give a handful of enticing real-life examples of benefits like the above, you are going to need a feature-rich app. Some features that are important include:

  • Multiple platform support
  • Integration with a variety of softwares
  • UC functionality
  • Phone callback
  • Notification system

In today’s world, a mobile app will practically sell itself if it offers a bounty of useful features. Really, many of your customers are probably just waiting for you to offer it. To learn more about our desktop and mobile UC app, visit bicomsystems.com/products/gloCOM-Desktop-Mobile-Communicator.

If you are interested in learning more about mobility and/or selling, we have a few more blog posts that may be of interest to you.

As always, feel free to reach out to us if you want to chat with an experienced account manager.

Stay tuned for our next How to Sell post where we’ll talk about integration.

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desk phoneOur whitepaper and video presentation Do You Still Need a Desk Phone? takes you through the latest alternatives and complements to the desk phone, including mobile phones, softphones, smartphone docking stations, and Unified Communications.

Learn more and download your free copy today: www.bicomsystems.com/do-you-still-need-a-desk-phone

How to Sell… UCaaS

ucaasIn our previous blog series on 3 Steps to Telecom Success, we discussed a number of things that you can do to realize sustainable growth, increase your profit, and increase customer loyalty. One of the overriding themes was adding more cards to your deck – bundling more services into your existing offering.

Perhaps you have made the decision to add Unified Communications, mobility, or something else to your solution, but what’s next? How do we sell this new service?

Our next series is on “How to Sell…” We will cover UCaas, Mobility, and Integration to start. If you want to learn about how to sell other services, please give us your suggestions in the comments below.

In the meantime, we’ll start with how to sell Unified Communications as a Service.

What is the main reason your customers do not purchase UCaaS? According to the research, it’s probably a lack of information about how UC will benefit their company and how to make the transition.

An Osterman Research study found that 48% of businesses do not understand how UC will benefit their business. They may understand and even want Unified Communications, but are unable to make the leap to the direct benefit to their business. Research also shows that “39% of businesses are intimidated by the migration process.” They may need a little hand-holding to get started. (Source: www.eweek.com).

In the face of these facts, your best tool will be education. If you want to sell UCaaS, you have to teach your customers about UC, thus assuaging their uncertainties and fears.

Benefits

Start by showing what UCaaS can do for your customer – what value will it bring to their business. Be careful not to confuse benefits with features. Features like presence and click-to-call and instant messaging are important and you will want to show those too, but not quite yet. Benefits are big picture values like:

  • Saves time so you can focus on selling
  • Eases stress in the office
  • Supports productivity in workers
  • Enables you to provide better customer service

These are all about how UC will improve the day-to-day lives of your customers. Put yourself in their shoes and consider what issues they face, where are they wasting time everyday, what frustrations do they express. They will identify with these benefits and instantly want to know how to attain them.

Features

Which brings us to features. You have explained what they will get from Unified Communications, now show them how they will get it. Go back through your list of benefits and add at least one feature that supports each. Those are the features that you will show your customers. Some examples are:

  • Click-to-call
  • Drag-and-drop conferences
  • Presence
  • Call transfers
  • Screen-share
  • Voicemail to email
  • Fax to email
  • Multichannel communication
  • Video calling

The list goes on and on. You will know best what types of benefits and features your customers would value.

Transition

Finally, show a clear transition roadmap to your customers from the very start. You now know that they may have fears when it comes to migrating, so bolster their confidence right from the beginning. Take care of as much of the transition from your end as you can so that they have less to worry about. If you are confident, they will become confident as well.

With all three of these areas, demos will be your best friend. Rather than trying to explain the benefits and describe the features over the phone, get them on a free demo and illustrate it. Once they get started, they won’t want to stop.

As you go through the demo, use clear, specific examples to make your points – things that they will immediately identify with and latch on to. For example, you could say “Have you ever been on the phone with a colleague and needed the quick input of someone else? How did you handle it? Did you have to hang up and then come back to the call later? Shoot an email and wait for the response? What if it was as easy as grabbing that third person with your mouse and dragging them in to the call?” as you are doing just that in a demo. If they have ever faced that problem, they will be sold.

One more selling technique to consider: UC makes it so even the smallest businesses can act like enterprises. This is a huge selling point if they fully grasp it. Show your smaller customers that they will have the same capabilities and tools as large enterprises, leveling the playing field for the first time.

If you are interested in learning more about UC and/or selling, we have a few more blog posts that may be of interest to you.

As always, feel free to reach out to us if you want to chat with an experienced account manager.

Stay tuned for next week: How to Sell… Mobility

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