More and more end customers are reviewing their business processes and communications strategies as they consider migrating to cloud-based offerings. The availability of business intelligence solutions, with the same level of functionality that is present in premise-based offerings, is one of the key factors behind their move to cloud telephony.
For the industry, cloud technology has been and continues to be extremely disruptive. The channel is being forced to embrace cloud services to remain competitive and they must now focus on the business value of every solution that they sell. Understanding customer requirements is imperative so that they can deliver the most appropriate solution for each and every customer.
As customers move to the cloud they minimise their risk. They can now pay only for what they use, switch solutions if they don’t see the value and monitor the performance of their chosen technology. Customers can also demand working pilots before committing to a company-wide rollout, with the supplier having to prove a return on investment before adoption. And once the customer contract is signed, the supplier has the same vested interest as the customer to monitor usage and drive business value.
Although the risk element has increased, the cloud has created opportunities for all tiers of channel partner to sell a wider range of solutions that add value to their product portfolio. The most successful telecoms resellers are those that deliver phone systems that are integrated with call management services that enable customers to manage and control entire telecoms assets, users and costs across multiple sites via a single secure web portal. The best results are achieved when providers sell this intelligence and the value of the information before they sell the PBX and technology.
However, our recent study found that only 20% of providers currently lead their sales with a solution, even though it is easier to sell and it generates a far more constructive and business orientated discussion. These few providers understand that the integration of call management products is particularly beneficial to ends customers who are becoming increasingly accountable for company expenditure. These applications are key in the way their customers can measure and justify real return on investment but they also empower service providers by adding value to their hosted voice offering and improve customer service.
Selling call management using the cost-justification model gives providers big advantages, differentiating them from those strictly meeting a list of requirements within a specific budget. Adding margin-rich services to the offering not only adds value to the sale and differentiates one reseller over another, but most importantly increases revenue. This provides a double win for solution sales, with a genuine benefit for both providers and end customers.