About Laura Espinosa

Laura oversees Content & Inbound Marketing, spending most of her time organizing marketing projects, editing, or immersed in Google Analytics. Her favorite part of the job is writing, so you will find her on the blog as often as time allows. Contact her at laura@bicomsystems.com

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.

More posts like this one:

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.

More posts like this one:

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

More posts like this one:

It’s a Small World After All (Bicom in Montenegro)

bicomAs many of you know, last month we held our annual Bicom Systems conference with staff and partners in Budva, Montenegro. Part of the weekend was spent cruising around the beautiful Bay of Kotor.

Funny story – while on the boat, someone noticed that the safety equipment was from the North of France – near where another staff lives. It seemed quite a coincidence. But then a partner from Italy, also on the boat, noticed that it was manufactured by an Italian company (Eurovinil Survitec Group). Just a week beforehand, Eurovinil had signed up for PBXware.

Small world.

Speaking of Montenegro – our 2017 Conference was a blast. We got down to business the first day and all attendees say they learned more than ever before. (You can now view and download our conference presentations.) The weekend was spent seeing the sights, relaxing, and getting to know one another. We hope you will join us next year!

bicom

Breaking the Silence on Skyswitch

skyswitchThough we have discussed our competitors a number of times on this blog, it is never something that I like to do. I am a firm believer in “rising above,” especially in a professional setting. But the “marketing” efforts coming out of a company called SkySwitch have pushed even me to the point of breaking my silence.

SkySwitch is again using the search phrase “Bicom Systems” in an attempt drive traffic to their website. (A piece of advice – if your own brand name is not bringing in enough traffic, there are thousands of industry-relevant keywords to focus on before resorting to other companies’ brand names.)

This time they are proclaiming that “it’s time to cheat on Bicom Systems.” At the risk of stooping to their level of using immature, inflammatory language in what should be a professional setting – dare we throw out the phrase “if they will cheat with you, they will cheat on you.” Of course business partnerships are not really like marriages, but trust is an important part of both. Our advice to you: choose a partner that values integrity and trust.

As far as I can tell, SkySwitch is claiming that subscribers of all major communications providers (the document I was given is clearly not specific to Bicom Systems) should switch to them on the basis of nine reasons. I will respond to each of these as concisely as possible and include evidence so you can come to your own conclusions. (Yes, we are confident enough in our own solutions and partners to transparently discuss potential issues.)

1. “You know there are problems before you (SIC) provider does”

Their first claim is that your business may be in trouble and no one will notice. Bicom Systems developed SIP Monitoring and SIP Security modules for this exact purpose. Issues will not only be identified, but even fixed automatically.

2. “No escalation procedure in place”

You can see our escalation procedure here: www.bicomsystems.com/support (I guess SkySwitch didn’t do their research before putting pen to paper.)

We whole-heartedly agree with their claim that “problems happen”. No provider is perfect and bugs will arise with Bicom Systems or SkySwitch or any other provider. However, after 15 years of experience, our team of technical support engineers and telecommunications experts responds to support tickets quickly and efficiently. But don’t take our word for it – check out our customer reviews here: blog.bicomsystems.com/customer-reviews.

Going one step further, SkySwitch claims that your platform is “connected to many carriers and third-party providers.  While most problems within your service provider’s own platform should be easily solved, those that originate outside their platform may require cooperation among a number of companies.” On the contrary, Bicom Systems partners typically do not require other carriers or third-party providers as we have all of the pieces in-house, thus avoiding many compatibility issues in the first place.

3. “Poor Processes = Poor Performance”

“There are reasons to have solid procedures in place when customers report issues or open trouble tickets.” Again, see our support procedures here: www.bicomsystems.com/support

Our support team put together efficient support and escalation procedures years ago. This is not something that occurs naturally in a company, but rather something that needs dedication, organization, and experience to perfect.

4. “Poor SLA Delivery”

We sign an SLA (Service Level Agreement) with all of our partners. You can see it here: www.bicomsystems.com/files/public/corporate/SLA.pdf.

May we also point out that we have more staff in our Support Department than SkySwitch has total staff. Our support team is spread across three continents for maximum reach and availability.

5. “Data Leakage Among Clients”

SkySwitch expresses a concern that data may be leaked between partners in the absence of a true multi-tenant platform. Fortunately for us and our partners, Bicom Systems actually developed one of the first multi-tenant platforms with unlimited extensions and tenants. We guarantee 100% scalability and elasticity to our partners and resellers, so of course we have the same capacity internally by default. Learn about our Multi-Tenant platform here: www.bicomsystems.com/products/multi-tenant-pbx

See our Privacy Policy here: www.bicomsystems.com/legal/policies/privacy_policy

6. “Tax Compliance Failure”

Our partners typically use our in-house billing software and integrate it with the Tax Provider of their choice. Again, we are more than happy to work on an individual basis and develop custom solutions when necessary. Read more in our TELCOware manual.

7. “More Iron to Support Growth”

SkySwitch points out an interesting difference between hosted and cloud solutions. “In a hosted solution, there is often hardware and servers specifically dedicated to servicing a particular client. Servers may need to be added to address the growth of that client or support premium features such as on demand call recording.” Not to worry, Bicom Systems offers true, high-availability cloud solutions that support scalability – both up and down – with just the click of a button. Read our definition of “cloud” here: blog.bicomsystems.com/what-is-cloud-communications

And we’ll add here that we are not limited to the cloud, but also have hosted, premise, and even Key Systems. Growth can happen however is best for your company.

8. “Insisting on Long-Term Contracts”

We offer our hosted and rented solutions with 30-day contracts. It never occurred to us to make them longer – to date no one has stopped paying.

9. “Provider Diversity is Met With Dismay”

On the contrary, many of our customers come to us from legacy situations. We always value the knowledge gained by working with other providers. With partners around the globe, diversity is no stranger to Bicom Systems and we have developed custom solutions to ensure compatibility with third parties many times.

In conclusion, if you are interested in Bicom Systems or already a partner and experiencing any issues or discontentment – just give us a call. To date, we have not lost any of our partners to SkySwitch. We are happy to chat about what’s going on and work together to a solution. It is not unusual for us to develop custom solutions for individual partners to ensure they are getting exactly what they need. Check out some examples here: blog.bicomsystems.com/category/custom-work 

More posts like this one: