If your UCaaS sales are low, it might be time to improve the sales pitch. Understanding the benefits of UCaaS will help ensure that you’re selling the competitive edge that UCaaS delivers. Instead of selling on features, one must convince prospects of the value UCaaS represents which will improve your chances of successfully making a sale. If you’re ready to make a change and save your sales figures, consider these five benefits of your sales tools, including cost savings, versatility, improved collaboration, and more. And then contact MicroCorp to get started on your journey towards finding the right product. Our UCaaS experts can help maximize your sales. Continue reading
When businesses move away from centralized hardware private branch exchanges (PBXs) and migrate to unified communications as a service (UCaaS), they’re probably not thinking much about the intersection of UCaaS and cyber security. However, going from a private network in PBX to a UCaaS solution with PBX functionality living in the cloud means that multiple internet connections will open up across business offices. And when this occurs, there will be dozens of exposure points for security breaches.
With UCaaS, not only do businesses become more exposed in that way, but they also have more internet connections to lock down. And, businesses implementing bring your own device (BYOD) programs that allow employees to use their own devices could bring additional security breaches. So how does a CIO handle mobility, and what is the best strategy for a partner to address the issue of UCaaS and cyber security?
The Importance of UCaaS and Cyber Security Knowledge
In order to counterattack UCaaS and cyber security concerns, it’s essential for partners to be educated on security to tie all the pieces together. And security doesn’t necessarily mean just the firewall. Migrating to the cloud with a solution such as UCaaS means that a fair share of security concerns, like those posed with BYOD programs, will be present.
With more and more businesses moving to the cloud, statistics have revealed that by 2020, 75 million VoIP and UC subscribers will be in the cloud – increasing vulnerability to attack due to the larger space. And in 2016, cyber security attacks using VoIP grew and were responsible for more than 51% of the issues analyzed that year.
As businesses continue moving workloads from servers and hardware at data centers headquarters to the cloud, partner opportunities – whether that be security or UC – will keep coming from those migrations.
Therefore, it’s important to understand that working in areas such as UC, security, networking, etc. means that you can’t talk about one solution without considering the others. They’re all so tightly ingrained with one another that they’re impossible to split apart, and partners should consider such a bundled concept.
As a partner, being well-rounded in all these areas, recognizing opportunities when speaking with contacts, and working with experts in these disciplines will be critical for your success moving forward. They will allow you to sell security on top of UCaaS solutions.
Reach out to MicroCorp for the Ultimate Training
If you’d like to gain more knowledge about how technologies – and the opportunity to sell them – are inherently tied like UCaaS and security, contact us today. Our Ultimate Partner Training will ensure that you’re educated on the connections among these solutions so that you’re better able to sell the technologies that address all of your customer’s concerns.
For partners, a unified communications rollout can be a challenge. The actions you take to help establish a rollout can be the start of business relationships that last long after the individual partner has retired. Help build those relationships with the top five points to know to make a unified communications rollout work.
Unified Communications Rollouts: What You Need to Know
Make sure everybody is involved. Before you’re even in a position to start a rollout, get ready in advance by bringing in perspective from all the major stakeholders. You may not use all of that perspective, but by getting it, you increase the chances of spotting problems before they crop up, right in the earliest stages.
Be ready with an answer. It’s a safe bet that your customer will ask a lot of questions in the earliest stages, and that’s just what you want to happen. All these questions help suggest issues to watch for, and again, the kinds of things you can head off at the pass later, and establish your reputation for being knowledgeable in unified communications.
Know what’s available. A unified communications rollout can be a big process; it’s easy to overlook some key points. Consider adding lesser-known technologies like redundant connections to fuel stability. This makes the rollout go more smoothly and work better down the line.
Prepare for the worst. Light Network’s VP of engineering, Ryan Harrelson, makes one point crystal clear: “Overall deployments of midmarket customers never go as easy as planned.” Keep this in mind, watch out for things like number porting and the development of design documentation, and be flexible so you can address issues that pop up.
Engagement, always. Get regular feedback about the process, and then be available to make the desired changes. Don’t just take that feedback from one or two sources, either; try to get a complete cross-section or even poll the entire user base. These points help build engagement and reinforce your positive image.
What to Do When You’re Ready for a Unified Communications Rollout
Don’t leave your next rollout to chance. Prepare by considering what we’ve said here. Then, get in touch with us at MicroCorp. We can help you deploy unified communications and UCaaS to ensure your rollout is as smooth as possible.
Improved network. UCaaS depends on its network and SD-WAN improves network performance. SD-WAN’s ability to prioritize traffic and monitor the network from one pane of glass allows for higher-quality throughput and a better UCaaS experience. SD-WAN can allow problems to be spotted and fixed quickly so cloud-based solutions such as UCaaS don’t suffer downtime.
Better routing. When it comes to quality of service (QoS) in UCaaS, there are three major factors that impede quality: packet loss, jitter, and latency. SD-WAN addresses those three issues with dynamic traffic management across healthier network links in real time and – in many cases – voice packet duplication. Some SD-WAN solutions that include cloud managed router capabilities further improve a business’s ability to manage issues that could impede connection quality.
Improved security. Most think of security as just a good way to keep files safe, but it can actually improve the health of UCaaS as well. One good way to improve overall security in the system is to isolate traffic by application, which makes it tougher for some kinds of security threats to figure out where core applications are located. SD-WAN can offer that kind of isolation, which not only makes the system safer, but also provides a cleaner flow for UCaaS traffic.
How to Get SD-WAN and UCaaS Working Together
SD-WAN sets the stage for optimal UCaaS performance. It’s the horse you need to pull the cart. These technologies combined make for a great opportunity to improve your sales by offering one alongside the other. When you need some help getting the right SD-WAN to your customers, drop us a line at MicroCorp. As a master agent, we not only have relationships with the industry’s top SD-WAN providers, but we’ve made SD-WAN a primary focus of our Ultimate Partner Training series to help ensure that you’re up to the minute on SD-WAN operations.
Check out our ultimate guide on selling SD-WAN to learn more about the technology itself, how it integrates and supports other solutions, and how channel partners can take full advantage of it.
As the adoption of unified communications as a service (UCaaS) continues to grow at an astonishing rate, there’s never been a better time for your customers to begin reaping the benefits of this next-level offering. From zero upfront fees and a reduced total-cost-of-ownership to increased flexibility and unlimited scalability, UCaaS offers an abundance of benefits — without costing an arm and a leg. And although it is obvious to many that outsourcing corporate communications is the way of the future, many businesses are still reluctant to make the switch. So to help you convince the companies you work with that now’s the time to adopt a UCaaS solution, here’s some invaluable advice to help you close more sales.
There’s little doubt that the unified communications as a service (UCaaS) market is swelling. An Infonetics report suggests the market will hit $88 billion by the end of this year. That’s a lot of room for opportunity, but how can partners get their hands in the pot? A few tips should help pave the way – check out these four options for boosting your UCaaS sales.
How to Drive Your UCaaS Sales
Protect the customer. The amount that downtime costs a company varies. Boosting your UCaaS sales, therefore, can be as easy as calling attention to your protective measures. Focus on your security, your highly-trained staff of problem solvers, and your quality of service (QoS) agreement if you have one. If you don’t, making one is a good plan; that guarantee, complete with remedies for failure, can smooth over a lot of concerns.
Support remote workers. More and more companies are embracing the remote worker concept. UCaaS is a great tool to keep remote workers working, so draw attention to that point and show how you make remote working, well, work! Point out how a customer’s remote-working employees can use UCaaS tools to stay connected to each other and the wider office and improve accountability.
Adjust your sales tactics. Understand one thing about the sales environment today: sales tactics that were a requirement 20 years ago like cold calling and telemarketing are mostly illegal today. “No soliciting” signs on business doors, the federal Do Not Call list…these add up to outdated tactics. So adjust to focus on social media interaction, qualified leads, and the like to keep up. Those more modern channels present an opportunity to interact with (and possibly become) thought leaders in the UCaaS world.
Get to know your customer’s true needs. The only way to ensure a truly successful UCaaS sale is to get inside your customer’s business, understand the issues and obstacles at hand, and then recommend the right UCaaS solution for the job. Sales reps who are uneducated about UCaaS and just sell to sell won’t get as far as a knowledgeable partner devoted to truly understanding the customer’s pain points.
Make Those UCaaS Sales with a Little Help
Sometimes, making UCaaS sales can be as simple as adding some new products to your lineup. We here at MicroCorp can help on that front; we’ve got a range of UCaaS services ready to offer from some of the best brands in the field. As a master agent, we’ve got the contacts you need to get the best product in place. Just drop us a line and let us help you get started.
By Ryan Harrelson, VP of Engineering at Light Networks
Unified Communications (UC) is a service that grants users the ability to work with each other across any platform from anywhere. It eliminates obstacles in productivity, making it easy for enterprises of any size to enjoy frictionless interactions regardless of location. Perhaps that’s why, here at Light Networks, we’re inundated with an overwhelming number of UC projects. In fact, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is — without a doubt — our fastest growing cloud and carrier service.
As an agent in the partner community, how we approach customers is exceedingly important. We often remind our clients that, while they may overhaul their communications systems once every 5 years, we design and deploy solutions across multiple providers and multiple customers on an ongoing basis. That’s why we’ve made it our objective to look beyond the marketing side of a product. Unfortunately, not everything you hear about UC platforms is what it seems.
Fill the void
To resolve this issue, agents need to think about how they’ll fill the void between the strengths and weaknesses of these providers, and what the customer desires. This can become even more challenging as companies transition from a small business to enterprise territory. Personally, I don’t see many enterprise customers getting excited about new features. Rather, they seem focused on talking about the total cost of ownership, and they’re looking to get rid of on-prem servers, which pose both a risk and a responsibility.
When an enterprise purchases an on-prem solution, you have no option but to purchase features for the entire organization. In reality, though, the majority of an organization’s employees aren’t superusers of any particular product. For the most part, they only use a tool for its core functionality. For example, 99% of what I do personally with UCaaS at Light Networks is make and receive phone calls. It’s not as if I’m playing around with advanced features on a regular basis.
It is still important for us to show our customers the “sexy” products and features sets end users want to see. As the saying goes: “sex sells.” It is even more important as an agent to pay attention to effectively using the customers’ budgets to give them what they need by reducing the management footprint. This increases an organization’s ability to satisfy the needs of their external and/or internal customers. Further, it helps agents provide additional services that can help customers succeed and make the agent more valuable, while increasing wallet share in a single customer.
How can partners distinguish the marketing fluff from important concepts they need to sell to customers? We recommend an approach that’s a bit different from our competitors. At Light Networks, we aim to spend time understanding our customers’ environments and solutions that can work for our customers, instead of merely taking end-users at their word and assuming they know exactly what they need and exactly how to use it. It’s the whole trust-but-verify model. It’s wonderful when a customer says they can do X, Y, and Z, but we like to do a full review of usage to ensure they are not missing anything that they may not recognize is required.
If someone tells you they’ve got the greatest solution for your business, you don’t just go all in right away. You install and test it before you make a full-blown commitment to it. It’s more about being diligent in your practices and not rushing through the sale and trying to get ink on paper. It’s about taking the time and spending it with your customer to ensure all of the features they want are actually required.
And if you’re wondering how Light Networks has been so successful in the marketplace, it all starts with us being an engineering-first firm. When one of our client principals or account managers meets with a customer, they ask a ton of questions and gather plenty of data. Then, they bring that information back to our engineers to find out what they think. If our engineers say we need more information, we’ll schedule a secondary call. But if they say some of our providers might have certain solutions that fit perfectly, we dig deeper to find out if those providers are truly viable.
Every provider will tell you they offer the best services around. And it’s not that they’re lying — at least hopefully not. For the most part, they likely believe their product is better than the competition. However, I feel like it’s our responsibility to be honest and upfront with our customers. Otherwise, what are we doing?
It’s imperative to understand your customers’ situation first, before recommending a solution. So use your experience, and make the best recommendation based on your customers’ needs.
Improving channel partner sales is MicroCorp’s focus, and digital transformation can actually boost opportunities for partners. This process of moving from a hardware-focus to more of a software-focus is bringing with it some great new opportunities to make sales.
How Can I Use Digital Transformation to Drive Sales?
Since there are several facets involved in digital transformation, there are several ways to use it to make improve channel partner sales.
SD-WAN. One of the biggest digital transformation moves around, software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) is a great fit for businesses with multiple locations. It takes what’s already worked with WAN operations and expands on it by taking the focus off hardware and putting it more on software.
Unified communications. Unified communications systems incorporate voice, video, conferencing systems and more, it’s an excellent all-in-one package, and also provides a great opportunity for sales by offering the basic infrastructure points—or even the limited hardware required—to do the job right.
BYOD. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) doctrine is a great cost-saver for businesses as employees bring their devices of choice to work. It takes some advance preparation to do correctly, though, so this is a good opportunity for channel partner sales in network security, Wi-Fi connectivity, and more.
Cloud services. While unified communications is a major cloud service, it’s not the only one. The cloud is increasingly offering a range of services from analytics to disaster recovery. Having these services on hand can mean excellent partner sales for businesses looking to branch out, better protect themselves, or perform a wide range of functions without having the hardware on hand.
Data center functions. Whether it’s on-premises, cloud-based, or a hybrid of the two, businesses are taking advantage of having their data immediately to hand and readily shared out throughout the organization. Channel partner sales benefit here, particularly for targets that have no data center or want to change the current one.
How Do I Get Started with Digital Transformation?
If you see opportunity in digital transformation, then the way to take advantage of it to start making more sales is to start working with a master agent, like us at MicroCorp. We can provide options for several stages of digital transformation. Plus, our Ultimate Partner Training program can help keep you on the cutting edge of new developments. So don’t let digital transformation pass you by; get in touch with us to get started making new channel partner sales.