29 January 2016
Customer-supplier relationships are all about trust. Whether as consumer or business buyers we all have providers we are comfortable with using. And telecommunications is no different. Customers want to know that the people they are spending money with have their best interests at heart. And today some suggest that transparency and honesty is at the top of their priority list, even above price.
One of the most important products for resellers today is SIP trunking. It is widely popular and offers many of the qualities customers are looking for in their telecommunications, such as flexibility and in-built business continuity. But with telecommunications buying being such a big decision for most companies, it has become part of the reseller’s job to guide, advise on and find the best solution for customers. Especially when happy customers are more likely to take additional services as part of a communications package, than those who feel they’ve been sold the wrong product.
This blog looks at five areas in which channel resellers can identify the need for SIP amongst current customers and future prospects, simplifying their sales operation in the process:
If the customer is confident in their future growth plans then SIP trunking is almost certainly the best choice for them. Yes, it involves up-front costs and support fees. But unlike a Hosted system, SIP trunks give the business line ownership. Experts compare the choice between SIP and hosted to buying or leasing a car. The decision is in part based on how much confidence the buyer has about their financial position in three years’ time, rather than immediately.
All industries could benefit from better communications technology. But the public sector, for example, is focused on improving infrastructure which provides opportunities for suppliers who sell next generation voice solutions.
There is no substitute for SIP trunking if the client is looking to install a truly reliable system. And the mention of reliability as a priority is the most obvious signal for a sales department to move the customer to SIP.
Fixed or mobile?
As SIP is a fixed line solution, this is where resellers can build that crucial relationship of trust with a client. Mobile focused clients with a sparsely populated central office are unlikely to benefit from SIP. However, the potential to sell in converged services is huge and would benefit both customer and reseller.
A secondary point is the reseller’s choice of supplier. To offer converged services to a non-SIP customer becomes less of a challenge if the supplier provides a full suite of mobile, voice and data.
There are typically two kinds of customer: the big enterprise business with an expert centralised IT department; and the small or medium sized organisation, whose frontline staff are also in charge of support operations such as HR, finance and telephony provision.
SIP trunking gives the customer ownership of the infrastructure and, as such, the responsibility of maintaining it. In the case of the SME or sole trader, there is unlikely to be enough in house resource or expertise to be able to effectively manage the system and its infrastructure.
The best thing for the provider to do with SME customers is to consider two solutions. Either an alternative to SIP, such as hosted or converged. Or SIP trunking with a maintenance contract. In both cases the service works for the customer and means that the sales department has a lead to follow.
2016 will be a busy year for telecommunications resellers. Particularly their sales departments. Knowing where and when to prioritise SIP sales will lead to better lead generation and prospect to customer conversion. But it will also bring about stronger customer relationships, greater potential for selling additional services and huge reputational benefits as a responsible and trustworthy communications provider.
29 January 2016 | Justin Coombes
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.