Refocus! The opportunity is five times bigger than you realise!

Selling Unified Communications is easy, so don’t make hard work for yourself when you are looking for business. Learn how to do it the easy way. You’ll make more sales, and more money by following the simple steps in this series on How to Sell UC to Small and Medium-sized Businesses.

When a customer is looking for a new phone system, it’s tempting to view the opportunity as simply supplying an IP-based alternative. Broadly speaking, this is “Dial-tone replacement”. OK, it’s a large market worth, say, about £1bn per year in the UK. However, the issue is that this market is saturated with competitors offering low prices, leaving you with a simple choice: give a discount or give up. This is the Red Ocean of Unified Communications, coloured by the blood of too many resellers competing for too little business!

What if you could plot a course to a new *Blue Ocean? One that is FIVE TIMES BIGGER with plenty of open water, where there are fewer competitors and where customers will pay a higher price. The good news is that for every £1 spent on “Dial-tone replacement” today about £5 is spent on business improvement solutions. After all, Unified Communications is about convergence and business enablement, not just dial-tone replacement. I’ll show you how to find this ocean by following some simple steps.

Step one is to “Refocus on the Blue Ocean”. How? It’s easy but it takes conscious effort to get started, so:

a. Stop being an expert in technologies and start being an expert in how to apply technology to your customer’s business. Make sure you use the same business language as your customer.

b. Stop talking about VoIP and start talking about your customer’s sales effectiveness, customer loyalty, time to process orders, approve credit ratings or insurance claims.

c. Work out, ideally with them, how they can do things faster and with fewer people using your solution.

d. Find out how they measure performance and about inefficiencies in the way their business works.

e. Set up a meeting with the customer to talk about them, not your product.

This is not about new products and solutions. It is all about how you sell, not what you sell.

If you think this sounds too complicated, keep working on “Dial-tone replacement” opportunities. Go ahead; bore the pants off your customer with your knowledge of SIP trunking or QoS deployment. You’ll know who’s to blame if you don’t make any money. Instead, why not give this a try, even if it’s just with one customer? Get refocused and I’ll guarantee you’ll soon be swimming in that clear blue ocean!

Next time I’ll show you how to get straight to the decision-maker and how to improve your chances of snatching a deal from your toughest competitor. *(Read “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne)

Mike Willshare

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