Simple Applications – the key to selling UC

Unified Communications is a set of tools and technologies designed to speed and streamline communications activities. Isn’t it therefore ironic that selling Unified Communications often becomes an extremely complex and extended process. There are so many things to talk about – feature-rich technical components, mobility, collaboration, unified this and that, presence, audio-conferencing, video-conferencing, web conferencing, hardware-based and software-based solutions (and plenty more where that came from) – that the poor customer is often left with his head spinning…

When asked what will persuade them to invest, customers typically give similar answers, “Show me where it saves me costs from my budget or where it makes me money”. Now we all intuitively know that being able to see peoples’ presence status should make communications processes more efficient. We know that unified messaging should allow employees to spend less time checking their messages, freeing them up to do something more important. However, providing a compelling demonstration of how this translates into real cost savings from an individual’s budget or additional revenues for his company can be a real challenge.

The reality is, if your customer thinks it is too complicated, too risky or the Return on Investment (RoI) isn’t clear and compelling they’ll either postpone making a decision or they won’t buy at all, neither of which will help you in making your targets. So, if the challenge for salespeople is to simplify the move to UC, minimise risks and demonstrate a compelling RoI… how can we help you to achieve this?

I believe that focusing on simple applications, capabilities and improvements is key to selling a complex proposition such as UC – that way everything becomes much more straightforward. Ask a lawyer what it would mean to him to be able to charge accurately every client call he makes, and he’ll tell you. Ask the owner of a fast-food outlet what its worth to him to be able to find cover automatically when staff don’t arrive for work, and he’ll know. In both cases, the benefits of these simple UC capabilities are extremely clear, and demonstrating Return on Investment becomes very easy. Not only that; the Payback Period can often be very short – another vital consideration in today’s economic climate.

Focusing in this way gives you an easy way to engage with the customer and demonstrate your involvement with their problems and business issues, as well as enabling you to offer simple solutions that deliver rapid RoI. These applications can then be the gateway to further business opportunities as you start to introduce mobility, conferencing and some of UC’s more advanced capabilities once the trust has been built.

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