Back in 2003, Broadsoft’s second customer signed me up as its agent. It did not go well.
The service provider was focused on the tech; it didn’t have a sales machine in place at all. This was really early for hosted PBX (News - Alert), but I see the same mistakes today that I did more than 10 years ago.
At the least you need talking points that explain why you (and not the other 2,000-plus hosted VoIP companies or Lync or premises-based PBX or Cisco (News - Alert) solutions) are their best option. There are a number of choices for the buyer today. You need a method to stay in front of prospects until they are ready to buy. That method will have to be all about the prospect and delivering value, and less about you and your stuff.
You need a process for tracking leads, prospects, quotes, and orders. There is usually a trigger to a hosted VoIP sale, like the PBX breaks. At that moment, your process to stay top of mind and show value will give you the opportunity to win (or lose) that business.
You need a written, repeatable process to deploy. And you need to be able to explain it clearly to the prospect to put him at ease. The final component is that you need to deploy this system to the satisfaction of the customer. That usually means a month of tweaks to get the call flow working to the comfort of the users.
Sales is already tough because of the hyper-competition. In addition, the funnel is flipping to where outbound sales are becoming less effective as the combination of inbound marketing and inside sales (peppered with some social). Once your salespeople close those sales, the second act of the hard work begins. And when the implementation fails, salespeople lose confidence, which makes selling harder. See the cycle?
Peter Radizeski is president of RAD-INFO (News - Alert) INC. (www.rad-info.net).
Edited by Dominick Sorrentino