This article originally appeared in the April 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY.
When you propose a 1.5mbps (T1) circuit for $400, some prospects will look at you like you are crazy. DSL is 3 mbps or 6 mbps. Cable modem is from 7 mbps to 50 mbps. FTTH offerings can be 25 mbps, 50 mbps or even 100 mbps. How can 1.5 mbps work for more?
One thing you must do in the sales process is point out that broadband is best effort without a service level agreement. T1 DIA is a hardy, reliable circuit that is dedicated bandwidth. No "up to" – but dedicated 1.5 mbps up and down. I don't think enough buyers understand that difference.
The other thing that most prospects haven't grasped is how pervasive the Internet has become to their businesses. Collaboration software, web conferencing, SaaS (News - Alert), CRM, office apps, e-mail, EMR, hosted PBX, UC and so much more are all housed in the cloud and can only be accessed via an Internet pipe.
The cloud is about the high availability of data. However, that means that the business needs a highly reliable pipe with a minimum bandwidth measure. You don't get that with broadband in many places.
When a business migrates applications to the cloud, it may not have increased the bandwidth coming into the office. There are studies that talk about the bandwidth flood due to social networks and video in offices. Have companies carefully calculated the amount of bandwidth that adding video conferencing or WebEx or Citrix or Google (News - Alert) Apps will require? One aspect of SaaS is that local traffic (software on your computer) becomes Internet traffic. The bandwidth requirements of a business keep increasing.
As agents, we have to improve our sales skills, including asking better questions of the prospects. One reason to ask better questions is to disqualify prospects fast to spend your valuable time with prospects who are interested – prospects that will allow you to ask questions about how they utilize applications and data and the Internet in their business.
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Edited by Stefania Viscusi