There are opportunities and challenges when you want to sell unified communications as a service. There are many unified communications services a VAR and MSP have as available candidates. This blog covers the challenges and recommendations for successfully selling unified communications as a service.
There are many challenges faced by the VAR and MSP. One of the first is how much does the customer know about unified communications? Another is that there are multiple competitive pressures from other VARs, MSPs, carriers, and over the top offerings. One of the things that is not always well stated are the benefits of unified communications for customers who are using legacy technologies or services. Many businesses are afraid of the migration obstacles that will occur when they move to a unified medication service. For the VAR and MSP, it’s moving from a CAPEX to OPEX business model. Even when you do sell the service successfully, there’s still the problem of keeping customer loyalty so that you do not lose them as a revenue source.
You cannot just start selling unified communications as a service. You have an existing business model with goals that need to be reevaluated for the service offering. Do not try to go after every business. Focus on an industry or customer type first. Then get the right toolset that will deliver your business goals. Assuming that you will have success, you will need a scalable solution so that you can easily add customers and their users quickly in a low risk solution.
A question that comes up is should you as the provider order from a menu or select a package? Go for the package as this is easier for the customer to understand what they receive and it is easier to the cell of the service. But the package should not only include unified communications functions should include recording and billing capabilities as well. The provider of the unified communication service should also support you with marketing and sales tools. Selling unified communications is new to you so you should have experienced support from the UC provider.
The Right Solution
There are many unified communications service vendors in the market. Most can look like a viable candidate. You want a solution that is just as good in the office and for the work from home user. The selected solution should have scalability so you can grow fast with a low risk.
When you look at a UC provider, you need to determine the reliability of the service. Poor reliability will eventually cause you to lose customers and revenue. In today’s world, you should also have a service that has uncompromised security. You want to be able to ramp up the service quickly and easily which also impresses the customers that you have the experience to support them. And finally you need a service where the revenue margins are very positive.
Selling a UC service from the website is not good enough. You need to generate leads for your salespeople. Spot advertisements and special events are potential sources of leads these help create brand recognition and locate potential customers. By sponsoring podcasts and webinars, you can also generate leads. Cold calls are not as successful since the pandemic started. I found that speaking at local business meetings are a way to generate leads. As an MSP or VAR, you’re probably producing content. You should put some demonstrations on YouTube, post podcasts on iTunes and Spotify, post blogs and articles on Google News.
Who you sell to is important. You can assume that there are customers out there who do not have UC and new customers. You need to cultivate your existing customer list by offering UC or adding new services to the UC service they already have. You have existing customers who are satisfied with the service and use them as references. Use your UC videoconferencing services and schedule calls with potential clients demonstrating the use of the UC platform during the call.
Selling a UC service is to generate continued revenue. To keep this revenue coming, you need customer loyalty. The loyalty is due to not only how you implement the service but how you support the continued service with the customer. Without customer loyalty, you will have to re-market old customers, which is a cost. It will reduce your revenue, business growth, and profit. It also will damage your reputation which is extremely hard to regenerate.