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

5 Benefits of the VoIP Softswitch

voip softswitch We have come a long ways since the manual telephone switchboard. 139 years, to be precise. From the days of manual telephone operators to PBXs to modern solutions that tap into VoIP technology to do more than just call routing.

We have written previously about what a VoIP softswitch is and even the difference between Class 4 and Class 5, but we had yet to actually delve into why you should use one. Let’s look at just a few of the benefits of using a VoIP softswitch…

1. Scalability

As a software-based solution, a VoIP softswitch can be scaled both up and down relatively easily. It will grow with your company so you can start as small as necessary. Upgrades are done by downloading new software.

2. Versatility

Routing, billing, reporting, and monitoring are just some of the functions that can be done on a VoIP softswitch. Integrated apps and software create a very comprehensive solution for maximum efficiency.

3. Billing

One of the most valuable functions of the VoIP softswitch, billing software is very accurate and gives you the ability to customize call rates and invoices for individual users. It takes the busywork out of billing so you have more time for what matters.

4. Cost-effectiveness

With no additional hardware to purchase, VoIP softswitches are more cost efficient than traditional switches. Upgrading via software is also much less expensive than purchasing new hardware.

5. Flexibility

Finally, with all of the aforementioned functions and capabilities, there is no denying that VoIP soft switches are very flexible. This makes them an ideal solution for all kinds of businesses and organizations.

An example of a VoIP softswitch is PBXware. Our integrated billing module is TELCOware. Visit our website to learn more today.

More posts like this one:

Call Center PBX: An Enhanced Software

call center pbxI recently stumbled upon an article claiming that PBX phone systems cannot replace call center software. My initial reaction was to scoff and dismiss it, but the article kept coming back to me as a response formed in my mind.

Rather than replying: “Yes, PBX can replace call center software”, I began to wonder why it has to be a question of one or the other – is it necessarily a replacement?

A PBX phone system that is dedicated to call centers is essentially enhanced call center software. Not a replacement, per se, but an improvement.

The aforementioned article challenged PBX phone systems on the basis that they do not offer the following features: Advanced routing, Call queueing, Live call monitoring, and Live reporting. The article further criticized PBX systems as less scalable than traditional call center software. Let’s go through these allegedly absent features one-by-one…

1. Advanced routing

Call centers are, by definition, dedicated to call management, so advanced call routing is essential. Call Center PBX solutions like PBXware offer skills-based routing, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and Automated Call Distribution (ACD). Our skills-based routing supports the following criteria: skill level, training level, performance, availability, call priority, and queue load. Additionally, should a call need to be manually transferred, gloCOM shows the real-time status of other agents and supports instant drag-and-drop transfers to whoever is available.

2. Call queueing

Queues are, without a doubt, indispensable in any busy call center. PBXware supports not only unlimited queues and optional callback, but also real-time queue monitoring and statistics. Live wallboards with real-time queue stats enable call center agents to monitor and keep up with call traffic. Queue reports enable supervisors to achieve better customer service by forecasting call volumes, calculating agent requirements, and comparing results with expectations.

3. Live call monitoring

Constant call monitoring ensures optimum customer service quality and satisfaction. PBXware supports real-time agent monitoring and barging. Supervisors can drop in on calls unannounced and unnoticed to verify that call quality standards are being met. Alternatively, they could jump on a call to provide input or assistance without ever placing the caller on hold or transferring them. Call center agents perform more consistently when they know that a supervisor could be listening in at any moment.

4. Live reporting

Real-time reporting of call center statistics inspires agents to perform better and keeps supervisors informed on progress. PBXware gives data on queue statistics, call detail records (CDR), actions logs, and system CLI messages. Many call centers put these stats on wallboards so that progress is at the center of attention throughout the day. Detailed reports can also be run after the fact and delivered at a specified interval.

5. Scalability

One of our primary goals at Bicom Systems is to enable partners to grow. Your success is our success and we have helped entrepreneurs start from the ground up as well as large corporations expand even beyond what the knew they could. PBXware is highly flexible and can scale both up and down fluidly. Bicom Systems is committed to giving you a solution as small or large as you need to get started. We are confident you will grow, so we are happy to start slow and grow with you.

Call Center PBX solutions do not need to be an alternative to call center software, but an enhancement of the traditional software. PBXware Call Center PBX is a powerhouse under-the-hood with all of the features and technologies that busy call centers need, but wrapped up in a simple and user-friendly interface.

Learn more about our Call Center PBX solution on our website.

More posts like this one:

Making the Next Sale: 8 Tips for Telecom Sales Teams

The average sales person makes 8 dials per hour and prospects for 6.25 hours to set 1 appointment.
[Source: Ovation Sales Group]

One appointment, not one sale. As a job description, that is a bit depressing. In 2017 no one wants to spend nearly a full business day hard at work with little to no results. Or what about this one?

Nearly 57% of B2B prospects and customers feel that their sales teams are not prepared for the first meeting. [Source: IDC]

Talk about constructive criticism. With that kind of success rate and feedback, this last one is no surprise:

Sales reps ignore 50% of marketing leads. [Source: The B2B Lead]

Despite these disheartening statistics, the sales profession is here to stay. Particularly in B2B situations, sales people are simply the best way to convert prospective customers into partners. So it is high time that we have a discussion about sales and support our sales teams in the valuable work that they do.

Today we have Sheila Belzil from our Sales Department sharing a few strategies to make telecoms selling easier.

Strategy tip #1: Know your stuff

Before you ever pick up the phone to make a sales call, you must know your product inside and out. Prospects are naturally going to ask questions before committing to your company, so you better have the answers ready. And not just the product, you need to know your company, your employees, your partners, and even the market in general. Leads will be more likely to trust and listen to you if you establish yourself as an industry expert.

Strategy tip #2: Stay ahead of the game

According to Accenture, 94% of B2B buyers do research online before making a decision. We are living in a buyer’s market and in the age of Google. Most prospects are going to know plenty about what is new in the industry and what your competitors are offering. As a sales person, you need to stay ahead and know what is new and what is coming so you are not caught off guard by questions. Again, that knowledge will make you more trustworthy.

Strategy tip #3: Attract consumers with content

This tip will be fulfilled by the marketing team, but sales reps that want to sell should be pushing for it. If 94% of your prospects are researching you online, what are they going to find? There better be plenty of interesting content for them to read and look at before something – or someone – else steals their attention. The sales team will know best what type of content interests their prospects, so they should be contributing to the conception of marketing ideas.

Strategy tip #4: Nurture your leads

Your marketing team put all that great content out there, prospects are finding and consuming it, but they are probably still not ready for you to swoop in with a sales pitch. Their interest is piqued, but they still need more information. Now is the time for engagement through targeted content. Modern softwares and technologies can track what exactly your leads are looking at so that know what to send them next.

Strategy tip #5: Listen before you speak

You are finally on a call with a lead and itching to delve into your sales pitch. But before you start talking all about your company and your products, ask about theirs and then really listen. Aside from validating the lead and making them feel valued, you will gain insight into the types of problems they face. Even if you do not win the sale, the information gained will make you a better sales person for the next one.

Strategy tip #6: Be organized

Any successful sales team knows the value of organizing leads. A good CRM is a must to get through the sales cycle as painlessly as possible (check out: 7 Features of CRM Integration That Your Sales & Marketing Teams Need). Aside from the obvious benefits of more efficient lead management, organization helps nurture leads through the buying process and makes automated personalization possible.

Strategy tip #7: Dedicate account managers

A smooth sales cycle takes a number of dedicated staff to keep the pieces moving. From the early stages of marketing to making a sale to a dedicated account manager, each person plays an important, and often personal role. Do not let any leads feel like just another pawn coming down an assembly line. A dedicated account manager will get to know each lead on a personal level and ensure individual satisfaction.

Strategy tip #8: Making the sale is just the beginning

You made it through the sales cycle: your prospect became a lead and then a customer. Take a moment to celebrate, but then get right back to work because this is only the beginning. Supporting your customer after the sale is every bit as important as making another sale. Stay in touch and be a familiar presence; you want your customers talking to you before anything goes wrong. Keep them confident in your solution so they stick around for years to come. (Check out our video: 5 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty for ITSPs & Telco).

Would you like help improving your telecom sales or marketing strategy? Please contact your account manager or create a free account for expert advice and tools.

More posts like this one:

7 Features of CRM Integration That Your Sales & Marketing Teams Need

crm integrationCRM software is great for business. VoIP solutions are great for business. Integrated together, they create a powerhouse that will support both your sales and marketing teams.

Lead management is a core part of any business and getting it right can make or break your success. A standard, efficient workflow to apply to all contacts and individualized nurturing for each lead are of equal importance to get through the sales cycle.

The balance can be reached with CRM integration through the following features:

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.

PBXware and gloCOM integrate with Salesforce, Zoho, Sugar, Zendesk, and Microsoft Dynamics. We can integrate with other CRMs through custom solutions. Learn more about gloCOM or contact us today.

More posts like this one:

Free & Reduced Price Passes to Channel Partners

channel partners

Will you join us and 5,000 of your telecom peers at Channel Partners in Las Vegas? Deadlines are approaching and hotels are filling up, so register today!

As an exhibitor, Bicom Systems is offering free and reduced passes to Channel Partners with promo code:

BicomSys

If you would like to start or grow a telecom company, you won’t want to miss Channel Partners. During the conference you will be able to:

  • Get your name and brand out there in the worldwide telecom industry
  • Network with prospective customers
  • Take advantage of great conference sales and promotions
  • Learn about hot topics at the keynotes
  • Connect with peers to discuss and compare notes
  • Meet and try out providers in person

The 20th anniversary of Channel Partners will be held at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas from April 10th to 13th. Learn more and register for Channel Partners here: www.bicomsystems.com/channel-partners-2017

Don’t forget to enter promo code BicomSys for free or reduced prices.

Click here to Register Now!