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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3 Steps to Telecom Success: Part 2 How to Increase Profit

telecom profitsIn our previous post we identified three key goals to success for any modern telecom:

  1. Sustainable growth
  2. Increased profit
  3. Loyal customers

We covered the first one with ideas like using a scalable platform from the beginning, future-proofing your business, and building your own brand. Today we are moving on to number two: how to increase your profits.

Of course there are innumerable ways to increase profit, but many of them really come down to making more sales. We believe there is a way to increase your profit with just the sales you are already making, so that is our focus today.

The secret to earning more is in added-value solutions. We see this happening in everyday situations. Here’s an example: You walk in to McDonalds and order a burger. The sale is initiated and they will automatically make X amount of profit. The cashier asks if you want cheese on your burger and you accept, that profit just became X + cheese. Pickles? Sure. X + cheese + pickles. What about fries and a soda? That base profit very quickly shoots up without much effort on their part. Value is being added to your burger and to their profit.

You can do the same thing with telephony. If you are offering basic voice services right now, why not add Unified Communications? Or Billing? What about Security? Some telecoms don’t even have VoIP yet – that’s your first step.

If you are a VoIP provider, you already know the benefit of value-added solutions. The transition from traditional telephony to VoIP telephony increments profit easily. If you have made that step, why not make another? VoIP is a great service and it’s not going anywhere, but frankly it’s old news. Newer, complementary technologies have emerged like UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service), Mobile Apps, Integration, etc.

Today’s successful telecoms are selling not only products, but bundles and complete solutions that are worth more both up-front and on a month-to-month basis.

Not sure where to start? Partnering with a provider that offers all of these pieces is really the best option. There are so many technologies and options available today that trying to research and obtain each one individually would take all of your time. Bicom Systems has all of the pieces starting with the telephony and provisioning platforms and expanding to all of those extras that will add value to your existing solution.

Better yet, our partners are backed by a team of technical support engineers, telecom experts, and marketing professionals. From a custom-tailored solution to meet your specific needs, to engineers that achieve functionality on your behalf, to free marketing materials for your own customers, we are invested in the success of our partners.

If you would like to speak with an Account Manager about how to add value to your current profits, please contact us today: www.bicomsystems.com/contact

Stay tuned for the final post in this series: Earning customer loyalty.

3 Steps to Telecom Success: Part 1 Sustainable Growth

telecom growth15 years of conversations with partners and clients have taught us a thing or two about succeeding in the world of telecommunications. Three things, really.

In our experience, no telecom will succeed without pursuing these three goals:

  1. Sustainable growth
  2. Increased profit
  3. Loyal customers

These may sound mundane enough, but how many of us actually know how to increase our profit? We can talk about earning customer loyalty all day, but can we actually attain it?

In our next few posts we’ll tackle these issues one by one and offer realistic suggestions on how to actively pursue these goals.

Jumping right in: Sustainable Growth. Key word being sustainable. Short-term growth can be great and exciting, but if it doesn’t extend into the long-term, what was the point of it?

The first step to sustainable growth is a simple one: you need a platform that will support growth. There are too many providers out there that will give you a functional, cheap – maybe even great – platform, but once you start to grow it fails you. Before even thinking about growth, find a platform that supports scalability with unlimited extensions and tenants, great customer support, and an upgrade plan already in place (see also: How To Grow Your Telecom with a Multi-Tenant PBX).

Once your growth-friendly platform is in place, it is time to create a plan to future-proof your business. You are about to start growing, let’s make sure you know what to do next. Ideally your provider should have a working roadmap in place and offer customized support for your company specifically.

A large part of this future-proofing is following the trends: both current and future. Failure to jump aboard the latest trends will not only decelerate growth, it can throw you off the tracks entirely. Now is the time to adopt popular technologies like UCaaS, integration, or mobility (see also: One More Card for Your Hand). The benefits of add-ons like these are twofold: one, to start growing now; and two, to sustain that growth into the future.

It goes without saying that adding more technology to your offering will enable you to widen your customer base, expand to new markets, and make more sales. But the real value is that these add-ons will enable your solution to compete with newer, more modern options into the future. Partnering with a provider that researches and stays ahead of the trends (so that you don’t have to!) is simply invaluable.

A final way to extend growth beyond the temporary is to take matters into your own hands. Stop the monotonous routine of selling someone else’s solution day after day and year after year; start building and investing in your own brand. Yes, by all means partner with a great provider, but choose one that invests in your success as a company. By shifting the focus from earning sales for someone else to your own paycheck, you will be much more aware of – and in control of – your growth.

If these methods of generating sustainable growth sound like something you want for your own company, please reach out to us today. Our experienced account managers would love to chat and learn all about your unique situation. Contact us here: www.bicomsystems.com/contact

Stay tuned for the next post in this series: How to increase profit.

 

One More Card for Your Hand

telecomIf the telecommunications industry is a game of cards and your offering is made up of the playing cards clutched in your hands, would you want one more card?

In games of strategy – and we all know business is the ultimate game of strategy – power is earned by having more cards (or chips, or pieces) to leverage yourself above the competition.

Telecom add-ons like Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), seamless integration, mobile apps, billing software, and more will give your business leverage to sell more often, sell at a higher value, and keep customers happier for longer.

The more services you have, the easier it will be to make the next sale. Imagine being able to say “yes” to all prospect queries. Or satisfy customer requests on the spot. You will quickly become the most popular business on the block.

Our partners sell not only products, but bundles and complete solutions that are worth more both up-front and on a month-to-month basis.

Want another card or two for your hand? Contact us today to discuss your business model and how we can help you strategize to beat the competition.

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What Do We Mean by UCaaS?

ucaasIt is easy to pick up buzzwords and start throwing them around without fully understanding the implications. Words like Integration, The Cloud, and Collaboration appear in marketing materials for most telecoms today, but often without full understanding or definitions.

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is another one. So what exactly do we mean by UCaaS?

I think CommsTrader defines it best:

UCaaS, or Unified Communications as a Service is a solution in which all of the collaboration and communication tools that an employee must use can be accessed through a third-party, provided by an integrated cloud platform.”

UCaaS is, at its heart, a singular platform that simplifies and enhances communication through a plethora of tools. It’s almost an oxymoron: nearly innumerable features and capabilities in one single product.

So what are some of those features? Basically anything that makes communicating easier and better. To name a few:

  • Voice
  • Instant messaging
  • Presence
  • Conferencing
  • Video calling
  • Collaboration
  • File sharing
  • Desktop sharing
  • Integration
  • Mobility

It is easy to see how these tools would bolster efficiency and productivity in the workplace. UCaaS will go over well with the accounting department as well since it gives you so much bang for your back. Perhaps best of all, Unified Communications as a Service is flexible and scalable, easily molded to fit the existing business structure.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today or watch for yourself all that gloCOM, our UC app, can do:

Learn more about gloCOM here.
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