desk phone

Keeping up with Trends: The Desk Phone

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Do you still need a desk phone?, Unified Communications

do you still need a desk phone

How can we stay ahead of the advancing technology curve? This is a pressing question for many telecom professionals, particularly in the wake of a few major industry players closing up shop this year. One way to stay ahead is by keeping a pulse on current technology trends, for example, the future of the desk phone.

Will the desk phone continue to persist as it has for well over a decade? Or should we be preparing for its imminent death?

Join us as we take a look at how and why the desk phone has survived so long and what may be next for the phone sitting in your office. Here’s a hint: Frost & Sullivan project that IP desk phone sales will continue to increase for the forseeable future, but that more than half of those telephones will be deployed in the cloud by 2021.

desk phoneOur whitepaper and video presentation Do You Still Need a Desk Phone? takes you through the latest alternatives and complements to the desk phone, including mobile phones, softphones, smartphone docking stations, and Unified Communications.

Learn more and download your free copy today: www.bicomsystems.com/do-you-still-need-a-desk-phone

telecom sales

Making the Next Sale: 8 Tips for Telecom Sales Teams

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in How to Increase Customer Loyalty, Marketing

telecom sales

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.

More posts like this one:

more profit

How Bicom Partners Make More Profit

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in How Bicom Partners Make More Profit

voip profit

Telephony Service Providers everywhere are increasing their profits by subscribing to an integral solution that supports and sustains growth.

Benefitting from more tools than ever before, subscribers are drawing more leads, making more sales, earning more from each sale, retaining more customers, and ultimately growing more. 

Learn all about this growth-inducing solution and how it can be yours by downloading Why Bicom Partners Make More Profit for free.

More posts like this one:

  • 5 Reasons to Choose Bicom Systems

  • Bicom Systems Works WITH You

future-proofing-header

Future Proofing Your ITSP

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in How to Start & Grow an ITSP

itsp

Our most popular download – How to Start & Grow an ITSP – ends with a special section that we have not advertised very much. Clearly the whitepaper is a tutorial to starting an Internet Telephony Service Provider, and we even delve into moving that ITSP beyond the start-up stage. But our secret is that the final section covers “Future Proofing”.

Once the excitement of getting started wears off and growth becomes an expectation rather than a major accomplishment each month, ITSPs may begin to worry about sustainability. That is why we included a section on how to “stay in the game”, so to speak.

We cover things that can go wrong and how to deal with them and how to “future-proof” your ITSP with long-term customers and solutions.

Download our FREE whitepaper now!

More posts like this one:

  • What is an ITSP?

  • How do ‘all your pieces’ fit together to become a Phone Company ITSP?

itsp

How to Become an ITSP

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in How to Start & Grow an ITSP, ITSP, PBXware, Softswitch, TELCOware, Unified Communications

itsp

Becoming an ITSP or Phone Company is easier than it has ever been before. As communications technology has become more advanced in recent years, it has also become more simple and user-friendly. All it takes is a dream and some motivation to get started.

You can become an Internet Telephony Service Provider with four essential components:

  1. Hardware – This starts with a VoIP Softswitch and may include servers, routers, IP Phones, etc.
  1. Software – Core telephony services will be offered via unified communications software, billing software, etc.
  1. A VoIP Carrier – A VoIP carrier is necessary to become a services provider.
  1. Support – Too often forgotten, a good support system is vital to becoming a successful and growing ITSP. Nothing compares to having support from somewhere that has been there before.

Bicom Systems has all of the hardware and software that you need to get started, and our Account Managers are the icing on the cake. Visit our product pages to learn more or read our How to Start & Grow an ITSP whitepaper. 

More posts like this one:

customer retention

5 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in How to Increase Customer Loyalty, Marketing, Unified Communications, VoIP

customer loyalty

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

itsp-header

How to Start & Grow an ITSP

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in How to Start & Grow an ITSP, Unified Communications, VoIP, Whitepapers

itsp

Have you seen the newest release of our most popular download? How to Start & Grow an ITSP is a tried-and-true tool that was overdue for a second edition.

Essentially the instruction manual for all Internet Telephony Service Providers, this FREE whitepaper has already helped hundreds of ITSPs grow from the ground up.

Based on years of real-life experience, How to Start & Grow an ITSP covers three steps to starting and growing an ITSP:

  1. The approach – how to find customers

  2. The delivery – how to create a core system

  3. The stay in & get ahead – how to overcome challenges

Download the free whitepaper and get to work on your ITSP today!

ippbx-whitepaper-header

IP PBX System Part 5: Conclusion

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Hosted PBX, IP PBX whitepaper, IP Phone, PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Systems, Whitepapers

ip pbx

This is part of a series of posts from our newest whitepaper on IP PBX System. Click here to view all posts in series.

A Bicom Systems Whitepaper examining On-Site and Hosted IP PBX Systems November 2012 www.bicomsystems.com

PART FIVE

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the past decade has opened the doors to a new era in which end users have various options of IPPBX systems. While on-site solutions remain a large part of the market, providers now have the option – and responsibility – to offer hosted solutions as well. Those who will make best headway will be those that can offer the best solution to whoever their next client is. Take this opportunity to begin offering more solutions today.

Other posts in this series:

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: IP PBX System Options

Part 3: Example Scenarios

Part 4: Selling an IP PBX System

Part 5: Conclusion

ippbx-whitepaper-header

IP PBX System Part 4: Selling an IPPBX System

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Hosted PBX, IP PBX whitepaper, IP Phone, PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Systems, Virtual PBX, Whitepapers

ip pbx

This is part of a series of posts from our newest whitepaper on IP PBX System. Click here to view all posts in series

A Bicom Systems Whitepaper examining On-Site and Hosted IP PBX Systems November 2012 www.bicomsystems.com

PART FOUR

SELLING AN IPPBX SYSTEM

Today, end users have the flexibility to choose from on-site and hosted solutions as described above. It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of those options and how they relate to the end user. The ultimate goal is to market a solution to end users that is most appropriate to their business and requirements.

The following are methods of comparing IP PBX features:

ROI Calculator An ROI calculator can be used to convince potential customers of the financial benefits of the IP PBX solution. By preparing a calculation, the provider can demonstrate the literal savings from using their method. For example, an on-site IP PBX will include the following costs:

  • Initial cost of the equipment

  • Firewall

  • SIP Security software

  • Storage software & equipment (back-up)

  • Maintenance

  • Salary for administrators and technicians

The ROI calculator shows the total up-front and maintenance cost which can be compared to the low, flat-rate associated with a hosted solution.

Performance After price, most end users’ top concern will be performance. The provider must prove to potential clients the impressive speed, reliability, and scalability of IP PBX solution. For example, a provider may outline the amount of time it would take to install and configure an onsite system for the client’s needs. This could take weeks on end. However, a hosted system is ready to use so the customer’s new solution could be ready in mere hours.Another point to demonstrate is increased scalability. If the customer is planning to grow or expecting any change in the future, a hosted solution will make those changes much more easily.An on-site solution offers more flexibility and control which appeals to some end users and will convince them of the superiority of an onsite solution.

Security Finally, the security of hosted IP PBX solutions is a common concern among end users. The idea of a dedicated, on-site system sounds much more secure than a remote or virtual one.Providers must explain the enhanced security options that they offer. Solution providers should have security technology in place that is superior to that of companies with on-site solutions. This will prevent SIP attacks and hacking.

Other posts in this series:

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: IP PBX System Options

Part 3: Example Scenarios

Part 4: Selling an IP PBX System

Part 5: Conclusion

ippbx-whitepaper-header

IP PBX System Part 3: Example Scenarios

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Hosted PBX, IP PBX whitepaper, IP Phone, PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Company, Phone Systems, Telephone Systems, Whitepapers

ip pbx

This is part of a series of posts from our newest whitepaper on IP PBX System. Click here to view all posts in series.

A Bicom Systems Whitepaper examining On-Site and Hosted IP PBX Systems November 2012 www.bicomsystems.com

PART THREE

EXAMPLE SCENARIOS

The difference between hosted and on-site solutions is not black and white; there is no absolute rule to dictate which type of IPPBX solution is superior. The following scenarios illustrate the differing needs and situations of end users and their appropriate solutions. Read these examples to understand when to use hosted, on-site, or combination solutions.

Scenario 1 A company including 50 local workers that speak to each other on the telephone extensively. However, the company has limited bandwidth that only supports five concurrent calls.ip pbx systemSolution: an on-site system that will route internal calls locally, freeing up the bandwidth to support incoming and outgoing non-local calls.

Scenario 2

A large national provider has branches in many different cities, several of which are in remote locations.ip phone systemSolution: a large hosted infrastructure with dual location redundancy for the headquarters and many of the branches, in addition to on-site PBXes for the remote locations that do not have bandwidth, preferably with the same software as to provide continuity and minimize training efforts.

     

Scenario 3 A manufacturing plant of 200 staff members with 100 pre-existing cabled analog handsets already patched. The company does not wish to lose their investment in the 100 handsets and cabling.ip pbx systemSolution: an on-site hybrid system linking the existing handsets and adding new IP possibilities.

Scenario 4

A small business that employs four home workers, none of whom take responsibility for IT matters.ip pbxSolution: a hosted solution that gives users communication abilities without any need for maintenance or installation.

Other posts in this series:

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: IP PBX System Options

Part 3: Example Scenarios

Part 4: Selling an IP PBX System

Part 5: Conclusion

ippbx-whitepaper-header

IP PBX System Part 2: IP PBX System Options

Written by Stephen Wingfield on . Posted in Hosted PBX, IP PBX whitepaper, IP Phone, PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Systems, Whitepapers

ip pbx system

This is part of a series of posts from our newest whitepaper on IP PBX System. Click here to view all posts in series.

A Bicom Systems Whitepaper examining On-Site and Hosted IP PBX Systems November 2012 www.bicomsystems.com

PART TWO

IPPBX SYSTEM OPTIONS

On-site SystemsOn-site PBX systems are owned or leased and maintained by the end user with the physical equipment installed at their location.ip phone systemOn-site systems involve a higher up-front cost and more maintenance than hosted systems, but offer certain advantages that appeal to some end users. For example, on-site systems give the owner complete control, allowing more customization and updates or upgrades at will. They are also integrable via API/network. End users with a large number of extensions probably have better access to competent internal resource and, as such, may find on-site solutions to be worth the extra initial cost and maintenance for the additional flexibility and control. On-site systems will not involve monthly commitments or supplier risk and can be added to balance sheets.Advantages ●  More control ●  Customizable ●  Direct access ●  Compatible with PSTNDisadvantages ●  Responsibility for maintenance and updates ●  Higher up-front cost Hosted SystemsHosted IP PBX systems are ideal for end users that need reliable service without the higher costs and responsibility of an on-site system. Hosted systems do not require any hardware purchase or installation, creating a less expensive and more streamlined solution for end users. The service provider will be responsible for backups, upgrades, etc., freeing the end user to focus on his business.ip pbx systemThe service provider is able to offer bundles to end users with more features and flexibility than they would be able to obtain by their own means. Adding or removing extensions is simple and easy.Advantages ●  Inexpensive setup ●  Maintenance and support from host ●  More features available ●  Costs are more flexible to requirement.Disadvantages ●  Less control over the system ●  Upgrades depend on the host

Other posts in this series: Part 1: Introduction Part 2: IP PBX System Options Part 3: Example Scenarios Part 4: Selling an IP PBX System Part 5: Conclusion

ippbx-whitepaper-header

IP PBX System Part 1: Introduction

Written by Laura Espinosa on . Posted in Cloud Services, Hosted PBX, IP PBX whitepaper, IP Phone, PBX, PBX System, PBXware, Phone Systems, Virtual PBX, VoIP, VoIP Phone, VoIP Phone System, Whitepapers

ip pbx

This is part of a series of posts from our newest whitepaper on IP PBX System.

Click here to view all posts in series.

 

A Bicom Systems Whitepaper examining On-Site and Hosted IP PBX Systems November 2012 www.bicomsystems.com

PART ONE

INTRODUCTION

As the IP PBX market has evolved in the past ten years, it has grown to include more ‘virtual’, ‘internet-based’, and ‘in the cloud’ solutions. IP PBX support infrastructure has become increasingly reliable and hosted options have become a real option. Today, more than ever before, end users are able to choose the exact features and services they want at an afforded price.

In the past, hosted solutions were typically limited to Centrex – they were based on a central system that was controlled by the local incumbent service provider. Remote extensions or branch offices had to be linked to the central system by the service provider using their copper lines. However, IPPBX systems based on VoIP and using Internet as the transport have caused a paradigm shift in the telecommunications industry both on-site and hosted.

The following paragraphs will outline the different types of IP PBX systems available for end users today and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. While hosted systems are a new and exciting option with many advantages, there still remains a significant need for onsite systems. Given the increasingly varied end user setups, requirements, and often unique requests, any solutions provider needs to be able to offer all possibilities if they are to remain in business; you simply do not know what your next customer will want.

Other posts in this series:

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: IP PBX System Options

Part 3: Example Scenarios

Part 4: Selling an IP PBX System

Part 5: Conclusion