If you thought selling cloud-based unified communications (UC) was easy before, imagine the deals you’ll close now that the UC industry has hit its stride.  A new Frost & Sullivan study states that “the UCC industry is finally moving in earnest toward software, services and cloud architectures.” 

If you haven’t found UC sales easy, you may soon; Migration to the cloud is taking place slowly but surely. For example, Frost & Sullivan predicts that the hosted video conferencing services segment will experience 22 percent revenue growth globally through 2019 and reports that the global hosted IP telephony user base is expanding at about 30 percent per year.

Trends driving the demand for UC include mobility, social, and "bring your own device" (BYOD), which are all influenced by America's large Millennial population that was raised in the digital age. Born between 1982 and 2000, Millennials now number 83.1 million and represent more than one quarter of the nation’s population. Not only are they the largest age group demographic in the U.S., they will comprise 50 percent of the global workforce by 2020. 

Over the years, another major driver has been UC vendors themselves and their initiatives to deliver greater return on investment (ROI) by pushing UC integration with business applications. Yet, many organizations have deployed just a sampling of UC elements, not full solutions. This means a large, untapped market exists for UC products and services, especially in the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) channel. Research bears this out; SMBs are adopting IP communications, and the majority (60 percent) of these adoptions are for hosted services. 

The market is ripe for selling bundled cloud-based IP and UC communications. SMBs already using cloud services for paging and voice, for example, might very well be primed for instant messaging, video conferencing, or presence management upsells. A key selling point is the reduced costs from purchasing multiple services from the same provider.

You can also inspire buyers who are watching their pennies (and who isn’t?) to adopt cloud-based UC services because they offer all the technical advantages of on-premises UC applications without the large capital investment. Furthermore, cloud-based UC services enable users to take advantage of redundancy and backup that is costly to maintain on site.

Benefits of UC that should be stated to potential customers include:

  • Increased employee productivity
  • Greater mobility and flexibility
  • Faster response time
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Higher employee satisfaction
  • Reduced business costs

You’ve got all these benefits to showcase, so take care not to sabotage your pitch by putting forth the following rookie mistakes:

  1. Failure to educate: Many businesses still aren’t sure how UC will benefit their companies. Don’t let lack of knowledge keep consumers from developing a stronger bottom line.
  2. Use of confusing jargon: When talking to clients about UC services, avoid jargon or define it so the benefits of each service can be clearly understood.
  3. Ignoring top concerns: Be upfront about perceived drawbacks of the technology, such as security, and show how a best-in-class provider like Star2Star overcomes them so you can assuage fears and expand your pool of potential customers.
  4. Too much focus on the cloud: While the cloud provides proven benefits to businesses, focus more on the business functionality that the cloud provides and less on the cloud itself. Marketing the unique benefits of cloud communications will help you engage a wider breadth of clients.

Successful partners will choose a provider that offers solutions for implementation, integration, customization, migration, and training. For all that, you need a UC vendor like Star2Star that can provide ongoing resources and knowledge to support your sales efforts.

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