Did you miss the conference in Montenegro? Attendees that watched our product presentations say they understand these products better than ever before – both for their own benefit and for their customers.
The average sales person makes 8 dials per hour and prospects for 6.25 hours to set 1 appointment. [Source: Ovation Sales Group]
One appointment, not one sale. As a job description, that is a bit depressing. In 2017 no one wants to spend nearly a full business day hard at work with little to no results. Or what about this one?
Nearly 57% of B2B prospects and customers feel that their sales teams are not prepared for the first meeting. [Source: IDC]
Talk about constructive criticism. With that kind of success rate and feedback, this last one is no surprise:
Sales reps ignore 50% of marketing leads. [Source: The B2B Lead]
Despite these disheartening statistics, the sales profession is here to stay. Particularly in B2B situations, sales people are simply the best way to convert prospective customers into partners. So it is high time that we have a discussion about sales and support our sales teams in the valuable work that they do.
Today we have Sheila Belzil from our Sales Department sharing a few strategies to make telecoms selling easier.
Strategy tip #1: Know your stuff
Before you ever pick up the phone to make a sales call, you must know your product inside and out. Prospects are naturally going to ask questions before committing to your company, so you better have the answers ready. And not just the product, you need to know your company, your employees, your partners, and even the market in general. Leads will be more likely to trust and listen to you if you establish yourself as an industry expert.
Strategy tip #2: Stay ahead of the game
According to Accenture, 94% of B2B buyers do research online before making a decision. We are living in a buyer’s market and in the age of Google. Most prospects are going to know plenty about what is new in the industry and what your competitors are offering. As a sales person, you need to stay ahead and know what is new and what is coming so you are not caught off guard by questions. Again, that knowledge will make you more trustworthy.
Strategy tip #3: Attract consumers with content
This tip will be fulfilled by the marketing team, but sales reps that want to sell should be pushing for it. If 94% of your prospects are researching you online, what are they going to find? There better be plenty of interesting content for them to read and look at before something – or someone – else steals their attention. The sales team will know best what type of content interests their prospects, so they should be contributing to the conception of marketing ideas.
Strategy tip #4: Nurture your leads
Your marketing team put all that great content out there, prospects are finding and consuming it, but they are probably still not ready for you to swoop in with a sales pitch. Their interest is piqued, but they still need more information. Now is the time for engagement through targeted content. Modern softwares and technologies can track what exactly your leads are looking at so that know what to send them next.
Strategy tip #5: Listen before you speak
You are finally on a call with a lead and itching to delve into your sales pitch. But before you start talking all about your company and your products, ask about theirs and then really listen. Aside from validating the lead and making them feel valued, you will gain insight into the types of problems they face. Even if you do not win the sale, the information gained will make you a better sales person for the next one.
Strategy tip #6: Be organized
Any successful sales team knows the value of organizing leads. A good CRM is a must to get through the sales cycle as painlessly as possible (check out: 7 Features of CRM Integration That Your Sales & Marketing Teams Need). Aside from the obvious benefits of more efficient lead management, organization helps nurture leads through the buying process and makes automated personalization possible.
Strategy tip #7: Dedicate account managers
A smooth sales cycle takes a number of dedicated staff to keep the pieces moving. From the early stages of marketing to making a sale to a dedicated account manager, each person plays an important, and often personal role. Do not let any leads feel like just another pawn coming down an assembly line. A dedicated account manager will get to know each lead on a personal level and ensure individual satisfaction.
Strategy tip #8: Making the sale is just the beginning
You made it through the sales cycle: your prospect became a lead and then a customer. Take a moment to celebrate, but then get right back to work because this is only the beginning. Supporting your customer after the sale is every bit as important as making another sale. Stay in touch and be a familiar presence; you want your customers talking to you before anything goes wrong. Keep them confident in your solution so they stick around for years to come. (Check out our video: 5 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty for ITSPs & Telco).
Would you like help improving your telecom sales or marketing strategy? Please contact your account manager or create a free account for expert advice and tools.
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CRM software is great for business. VoIP solutions are great for business. Integrated together, they create a powerhouse that will support both your sales and marketing teams.
Lead management is a core part of any business and getting it right can make or break your success. A standard, efficient workflow to apply to all contacts and individualized nurturing for each lead are of equal importance to get through the sales cycle.
The balance can be reached with CRM integration through the following features:
1. Call & email logs
Integrated CRM software tracks all calls and emails to contacts. Forget flipping through your calendar or racking your brain to remember your last call with a specific lead or customer – an integrated CRM will give you that information and more in seconds.
Now more an expectation than a perk, click-to-call with CRM integration makes it easy to call leads or customers as you are reviewing their account. Cut the time it takes to get through a list of sales calls by doing everything from one screen.
3. Call pop-ups
If click-to-call simplifies your outbound calling process, call pop-ups greatly enhance inbound calling. CRM integration puts the caller’s name and detailed information on your screen before you even lift the phone receiver. No more pressure to remember details or asking the caller to wait while you change gears and catch up.
4. Marketing campaigns
Your CRM is no longer just for the sales department. Marketing teams will find an integrated CRM invaluable for creating, sending, and tracking marketing campaigns. Responsive marketing that targets audiences based on past behavior and interests shown is more effective than passive, mass marketing.
5. Marketing automation
All the buzz in 2017, marketing automation is quickly becoming standard practice. An integrated CRM makes it possible to automate marketing campaigns on multiple levels without forgoing a dynamic, responsive approach. In fact, the data collected by your CRM will make marketing efforts even more responsive to lead behavior.
6. Data organization
Arguably its primary function, it goes without saying that your CRM organizes contact data. But an integrated CRM will go even further in placing pertinent information exactly where your company needs it.
7. Lead Tracking
An integrated CRM goes beyond contact information and call logs, you can now track website visits, social media behaviors, downloads, and much more. Both the sales and marketing teams can get better results when they have more information at their fingertips.
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Everyone knows the benefits of VoIP and cloud services, right? It practically sells itself – save money, save time, keep up with the latest trend. But is that all there is to VoIP?
With nearly infinite features and almost as many ways to add value, VoIP is worth much more than most think. Try using some of the following features and values to market VoIP in a bigger and better way.
1. All Calls are Local
VoIP allows users to generate local numbers for anywhere in the world. This eliminates the need for expensive Toll Free numbers and makes customers feel closer to the company.
Call Detail Records are elaborate and complete with VoIP. Everything is recorded and saved, from call logs to chat history to bandwidth usage. This benefits both users and IT that monitor and maintain the system. With VoIP, CDR can even be customized.
VoIP permits inexpensive, easy, and efficient conferencing. Whether a spontaneous conference call or a weekly video conference, VoIP softphones makes it user-friendly and simple. gloCOM lets users start conferences by simply dragging contacts into a call.
4. File & Screen Sharing
Most VoIP solutions make it easy to share files or even screen share between contacts. It is quicker than emailing files or using third party software. File share and screen share can be done with the click of a button on gloCOM.
While fax may seem like a thing of the past, most businesses are still paying for a fax line out of obligation or habit. Fax Over IP (FoIP) eliminates the cost and delivers faxes straight to your email inbox. Click to learn more about The Value of FoIP.
6. High Definition Audio
HD audio ensures crystal clear communication for the most important calls. From big sales pitches to important conference calls to custom support, HD audio is the next best thing to a real conversation.
7. Long Distance Calls
VoIP eliminates geographic cost disparities and saves on long distance calls. The ability to call for ‘free’ via cloud services encourages users to pick up the phone more often and communicate quickly and efficiently to all parts of the world.
In a world of smart phones, tablets, and BYOD, mobility is crucial in the workplace. VoIP seamlessly integrates with mobile devices through call forwarding or apps, making communication possible any time, anywhere. gloCOM Mobile softphone is coming soon!
The ability to record calls is native to most VoIP phones and is an immensely useful tool for busy and preoccupied users. Record sales calls, training sessions, or any other important calls and come back to listen again later.
VoIP Voicemail saves time and cuts down on stress by delivering voicemail alerts and MP3 files directly to the user’s email. The file can be accessed from anywhere and can be quickly forwarded or deleted.
What are your favorite VoIP features and selling points? We’d love to hear from you in our discussion over on LinkedIn!
Ready to get started? Contact an Account Manager today!
Today’s most successful telecoms are gaining a competitive edge by keeping their customers for longer.
We all know the challenge of making sales and the frustration of losing customers after all that hard work. Not to mention the loss of profit, ruined reputation, and cost of remarketing that can result from customer churn.
To directly address this challenge, Bicom Systems created a video presentation with 5 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty.
Learn more and watch the presentation at www.bicomsystems.com/customer-loyalty
The short answer: Yes.
Anyone in telecom sales knows the importance of prioritizing leads and allocating your time wisely. Of course there will always be prospects that are clearly worth extra attention and time. But no prospect should be ignored if you are still interested in growing.
The reasons are obvious: you never know who will surprise you, ignoring a lead may hurt your brand image, etc. But we have a prime example of the value of every lead.
A few days ago we were contacted by a company that wanted our gloCOM unified communications softphone app. They already had an Asterisk-based PBX system and were not interested in making any changes. They just needed that one last piece to tie the whole solution together.
Rather than writing them off as satisfied with another provider, the assigned Account Manager started a conversation to see where it went. In just 15 minutes the contact had become interested in our philosophy of “all the pieces” and signed-up to test Multi-Tenant PBX.
Moral of the story: Even a prospect that is 100% satisfied with their current provider can be swayed with even a short, open conversation.
So the answer is yes, ALL prospects are worth the sales pitch.
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As social media becomes increasingly predominant in day-to-day life, now is the time for businesses to begin taking advantage of this often underused platform.
With vast audiences that dedicate time and attention on a daily basis, social media gives businesses a unique opportunity to connect with customers.
Businesses of any size need to become more strategic and direct with social media marketing campaigns.
Wondering what to do now? Here are a few ways to get started:
Find your audience
Determine where your target audience spends its time on social media. Find out what platforms they use, what they do on those platforms, where they spend the most amount of time, etc.
Create a plan
Don’t dive into social media without giving it some thought first. Whether that’s creating a team dedicated to social media or purchasing a software that will bring all social media into one simple interface, organization will help.
Take advantage of options for business
Most social media platforms offer paid options for businesses. These will be much more effective than simply joining as any other users. For example, paid advertisements on Facebook will get more attention than a user profile. The investment will be worth it.
Social media is no place for business jargon or paragraphs of boring text. Engage customers by getting creative with images, stories, or special deals. Social media gives business a unique opportunity to interact with customers personally.
Similar to creating a plan, it will do no good to jump right in to social media without having a way to measure the results. Whether through trackable URLs or tools built-in to the platform itself, any successful social media campaign will track results and make changes accordingly.
Sooner or later, most companies will be ready for a new Communications System. Whether the company needs more features, is trying to cut costs, or wants to expand, a VoIP System is likely the best solution. Ziff Davis brings us 5 Steps to VoIP.
Set Goals The first step is defining goals that fit your business and budget. This may be done in-house or done with a consultant or advisor.
Set Expectations In addition to goals, your company needs to think about what it wants from the VoIP solution. Consider who will use the system and what features would benefit them.
Define a Successful Deployment Plan Once your goals and expectations are defined, you can create a plan of action. Set a timeline and ensure that the entire team is on board.
Choose a Method of Ongoing Operations Once the VoIP system is in place, you will need a plan for maintenance, back-up, disaster recovery, etc. Determine whether this will be done in-house or outsourced to a different company.
Choose a Method of Support Finally, consider support options for your system and your users. This could be a full-time internal employee or outsourced to an external party.
These five steps will ensure a smooth transition to a VoIP System and guarantee maximum benefits from the move.
What do you think of when you hear the term MARKETING? I think of drawing prospective clients in with features, promised benefits, and catchy phrases or images. But there is a whole other facet to marketing that we often forget: Purchase Validation.
Our advertisements and websites and other marketing techniques will not only be seen by prospective VoIP clients, but also by current customers, giving us the opportunity to validate and reinforce their decision. Combat buyer’s remorse and encourage customers to take pride in their VoIP purchase, thus telling others about it, through marketing.
How do we do this? Ziff Davis brings us 5 Ways you’ll Know that VoIP was the Right Decision which we summarize below:
#1 – COST SAVINGS
You likely promised lower costs to prospective clients, so now is the time to remind them how much they’re saving. Ziff Davis shares eight areas in which business save costs with VoIP:
Monthly Line Charges – less than Legacy costs
Domestic Long Distance – no longer an additional cost
International Long Distance – lower rates and/or plans
Enhanced Features – now FREE with VoIP
Reduced Need for Toll-Free Numbers – no longer spend on Toll-Free
Phone Systems – no large capital investment
Less Need for TEM – less complex, less need for management
Trunking – shift from PRI trunks to SIP trunks
#2 – EMPLOYEES LOVE THE NEW FEATURES
Users that had been using the same Legacy system for their entire career will be impressed with the vast features available with VoIP – and the easy learning curve. Ziff Davis gives us four of the most popular features among users:
Visual Voicemail – users can access their voicemail anywhere with an Internet connection and easily share messages with others
Ad Hoc Conferencing – advanced conferencing features such as drag-and-drop, recording, etc.
Click-To-Call – simply click on a contact on a PC or mobile device to call
Customization – users can control many features from their PC including ring tones, personal greetings, call forwarding, etc.
#3 – NETWORK IS EASIER TO MANAGE
The previous two benefits of VoIP will please management and employees, but what about the IT team? The following three examples will benefit IT:
Streamlined Operating Environment – legacy systems involve two separate networks that need IT management, but VoIP converges them in to one network
Self-Provisioning – VoIP is more flexible and user-friendly so IT will have a lighter workload and be less dependent on the carrier
Budget-Friendly – due to the lower costs of VoIP the IT team will no longer be under budget constraints and can freely make changes without seeking budget approval
#4 – ACCESS TO A RICH ECOSYSTEM
While Legacy Telephony is a tried & true and long-lasting solution, VoIP is dynamic and opens the door to a large ecosystem of developers and innovation. VoIP will continually benefit users over time in two ways:
Added features & functions that go beyond Legacy’s capabilities. For example, High Definition voice.
Integration with other communication features such as video, presence, messaging, and ultimately Unified Communications.
#5 – STEPPING STONE TO UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS
While VoIP may be a passing trend that gives way to text or other methods of communication, it is the first step towards Unified Communications. Companies that purchase a VoIP System will be getting a foot in the door to Unified Communications and will be able to gradually add the other pieces.
In short, companies with VoIP will reap many benefits for years to come. We can use marketing to validate their decision and get them excited about the future. Want to read more? Visit Ziff Davis and 5 Ways you’ll Know that VoIP was the Right Decision.
In April of 2014, InformationWeek conducted a Unified Communications Survey with 488 Business Technology Decision Makers in North America. The results are in and the news is good for Unified Communications. The market has seen significant growth over the past year. However, this means that user expectations are at an all-time high and vendors have work to do this year.
OVERALL GROWTH FOR 2014
Of all survey participants, 70% have a Unified Communications solution or plan to deploy one in the future. These systems are being used by vast numbers of users – 34% of those participants provide Unified Communications to 76% or more of their users.
These numbers have increased since previous years. The percentage of participants that have a UC solution has increased from 38% to 44%. Additionally, those that do NOT plan to deploy a UC solution has decreased from 32% to 30%.
Not only are more companies using Unified Communications, they are also using their systems more extensively. The number of participants that provide UC to 76% or more of their users increased from 21% to 34%.
As could be expected with a growth in Unified Communications, the traditional desk phone is losing popularly. This year 14% of participants have no desk phones whatsoever. Only 30% have desk phones for 76% or more of their users.
PREMISE VS CLOUD
While there is no doubt that Cloud has made its presence known in the Unified Communications market, premise is still the more common deployment.
Companies with premise or premise-based deployments make up 64% of all participants. Complete Cloud set-ups account for only 3% of participants, though 17% have hybrid set-ups with some sort of Cloud component.
According to the participants, this trend will not change in the near future. Of all participants, 52% envision themselves with all or primarily premise deployments two years from now.
However, this means that a large amount of the participants are still open to the idea of Cloud. While premise set-ups may be less expensive in the long run, Cloud Providers could, and should, promote the benefits of Cloud. Features like ease-of-use, mobility and BYOD, and a low capital investment may make the long-term investment worth the price.
A new buzzword has emerged in the world of Unified Communications: Collaboration. Companies that use Unified Communications have expressed great satisfaction with the increased ability to collaborate within companies and teams, whether in the same office or on opposite sides of the world.
The market study provided 12 ways that Unified Communications helps business and asked participants to name the top three for their company. The most popular response was “improve employee collaboration” with 62% of the vote.
Two of the most loved collaboration tools are audio conferencing and video. These tools give teams a way to effectively and efficiently communicate regardless of location. Other tools that UC users enjoy are unified messaging, instant messaging, and the corporate directory.
Also check out Part Two where we discuss what users are looking for in Unified Communications today and Part Three where we discuss IT team’s responsibilities in Unified Communications and what to do when starting or expanding a UC solution.
Want to keep reading? Download the full report from Information Week
What are your thoughts on how the Unified Communications Market is going? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Unified Communications. We all know and understand the idea of Unified Communications, but do our End Users? Are you promoting the benefits of Unified Communications to their full extent?
The definition of Unified Communications is the centralization of communications to increase availability to users. Unified Communications are available at any time, from any place, and on any device. This translates to not only basic communications, but also extensive features that set your product apart from the competition.
So how do we convey the significance of that to our End Users? Focus on the real, immediate benefits to the user and create an environment that meets the users requirements so completely that they could not abandon it. The deeper the roots that the user develops in your solution, the more difficult it will be for them to abandon it.
Some features of Unified Communications to focus on:
Ability to work from anywhere
Increased & more flexible features
…What else would you add to the list? Brainstorm about how Unified Communications benefits your End Users and share your ideas with us!