The cloud provides a lucrative opportunity for telecom agents to triple their income from existing customers and prospects when transitioning from traditional carrier services to cloud-based services. Likewise, IT solution providers can see a boost in revenues by offering hosted PBX (HPBX) services along with more traditional IT solutions.
Typically cloud services are concentrated around unified communications (HPBX, collaboration, and so on), which enable agents to sell similar services to current customers while adding value and increasing revenue. However, the most progressive agents are looking to expand their reach into cloud services.
The best way to explain the opportunity for telecom agents is to use a real-life scenario. Last year, a partner of ours met with a client's IT department to hammer out the details of a $1,500-a-month HPBX deal for 50 people. During discovery, the agent uncovered that the prospect had a new CRM system that would require integration with the HPBX. Typically, most agents would leave this opportunity unaddressed, as their focus is communications solutions.
The deal was complex since the client, a midsize organization with just three IT staffers, needed to buy servers, desktops, and licenses. It had to find and condition new space for the gear, increase bandwidth to its other locations, add new routers and switches, and determine a disaster recovery strategy.
Instead, the agent put all of the needed services into a unified, integrated cloud and got much more than a $1,500 HPBX order. The additional services generated $10,000 per month of cloud revenue. The client loved the solution, as all services were ready for it to consume immediately, and it had a single vendor to work with.
This is just one of many examples that demonstrate that while companies are tightening budgets, they'll pay for quality services that solve business challenges. The ability to triple your revenue is there; it's just a matter of tapping into it. Here are three tips to help:
- Add more than HPBX to your portfolio of cloud services. The same people buying hosted telephony products are buying additional cloud services. If you're only offering cloud-based PBX and telephony solutions, you're leaving money on the table. If you sell multiple cloud services you could easily triple your average deal size.
- Recognize the shift in who makes decisions about telephony services. Traditionally, the decision was made by the business owner, office manager, or telecom specialist. However, that responsibility has shifted to the data side of the house as the IT department has become involved with telecom decisions. When we researched our own customer base, we found 75 to 80 percent of decision makers were from the IT department.
- Cloud services generate more cloud services. When an organization successfully adopts a cloud-based model for one service, it will soon look to do more in the cloud. And, as we all know, it's easier to add new services to existing customers than it is to add new clients. This also feeds into your clients' wishes, as a March 2012 Microsoft survey found that 56 percent of organizations prefer a single source for cloud services.
TIM ALLEN is the chief sales officer at Evolve IP, The Cloud Services Company, in Wayne, Pa. Evolve IP provides agents with a single-source, unified, and integrated cloud platform for UC/HPBX, contact centers, virtual servers, virtual desktops, and more.