*Originally published on CommercialIntegrator.com
What is holding you back from offering Voice over IP (VoIP) services to your clients?
With every opportunity that you skip offering VoIP, you are leaving a good chunk of Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) on the table.
To make matters worse, other providers are offering VoIP and more businesses are looking to find providers that are a single source for all their technology needs. Due to this, you may be losing deals on other aspects of your business simply because you aren’t offering everything that your potential client is looking for.
Stop leaving money on the table and losing deals and open your mind to bringing VoIP into your offerings. In addition to understanding the other reasons on why you should add VoIP to your portfolio, here are some of the biggest pieces to include to make sure they are a part of your business plan for migrating to VoIP.
Find a partner, not a vendor
The first hurdle in your business plan is finding the right VoIP offering that you can begin reselling. With thousands of providers in the marketplace, there are plenty to choose from that vary in size from large to small.
There is not a one size fits all and it will be important for you to learn about the various providers in the space and find the one that gives the best solutions to fit your stack and business practices.
Regardless of which provider you go with, you want to select a provider that will treat you as a partner. Offering VoIP is a major undertaking and going with a provider who simply sees themselves as a vendor will hurt you time and time again.
When you are just another number in their books, your success does not matter to them. Think about it, do you want to have a dedicated account manager who you can call on their cell phone when you are working a deal or have an issue or simply be provided a generic customer service number where you are stuck waiting on hold for the next representative.
When they see you as a partner, they understand that your success initially means their success as well, and they will do everything in their power to make sure you succeed in every deal you sell.
Also, when they see you as a partner, they want to invest in your business with many providers offering Marketing Development Funds (MDF) that you can use to host events and get the word on your VoIP offering out to the masses.
To white-label or not to white-label
This is a topic that comes up repeatedly at conferences, forums, Facebook groups, and in other VoIP conversations. As with all decisions, there are pros and cons of both, and only you will know what is right for your business.
With most white-label VoIP solutions, the burden to provide tech support to the end users falls on you rather than to the VoIP provider. This means you now have to have the proper staff in place and trained to provide all Tier 1 support for any VoIP issues, including call quality, registration issues, and Moves/Adds/Changes.
With most white-label providers, the client cannot call the provider tech support as the provider will send them right back to you; all communications must go through your organization.
You will make greater margins with a white label offering, but is the extra support that you must provide to the end users worth it? Your wallet may think so, but that will change on Christmas Day when you are dealing with phone issues rather than having your customers call directly to the provider.
Another huge thing about white labeling is that if you are billing the client directly, you are responsible for ensuring you are paying and billing for all regulatory and compliance taxes. VoIP taxes are no fun, and this is just another added burden for what you believed was a few extra dollars in your pocket.
As you can probably guess already, I have made the choice in my organization to not white-label and we are simply the registered partner on all deals. We still make a nice MRR, but without all the headaches and my clients have direct access to support, billing, and customer service for the provider.
You must eat your own pudding
Whichever route you decide to go, it is important that you are using the selected solution for your organization. Why would your clients trust your recommendations if you are not even using it at your organization? Hate to break it to you, but they will not.
Using the same service not only helps to build trust with your clients as you make suggestions, but it also allows for you and your team to get a full understanding of the solution, what is capable with the solution, and to learn it inside and out.
Learn every piece of the offering as it will help you to sell and to be passionate about it. I have won numerous deals because I was able to address concerns and answer questions on the initial meeting rather than other providers telling them they would have to get back to them. It shows that you know your offering and you will ultimately close more deals.
If you aren’t offering VoIP, you need to with these tips, and you can begin laying the groundwork to putting together a business plan to migrating to VoIP as an offering within your business.