Does Your Customer Need An All-IP Phone System?
If you’re still trying to sell VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) by leading with products, you’re missing the mark. Instead, consider taking Expert Technology Associates’ approach. Expert Technology recently beat out seven competitors to win a $300,000 VoIP install with a supply house for electrical contractors and construction companies.
The customer, which has nine locations spread throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey, was reaching the end of its PBX (private branch exchange) phone system’s life. In addition to being concerned about being able to find parts for its legacy system, it wanted to bring its facilities under a single voice mail platform and implement various call center technologies to achieve a better call flow for its customers.
During the nine-month sales cycle, Expert Technology set up two sessions with the customer. The meetings included high-level conversations between a couple of Expert Technology’s SMEs (subject matter experts) and 15 senior VPs and other business leaders from the electrical supply company. “We brainstormed with the customer about how they would like the new system to work,” recalls Craig Marowitz, VP of technology strategy at Expert Technology. “Only after we understood a few of the features they were looking for did we talk to them about applications such as presence management that could solve their problem.”
Shortly after winning the deal, Expert Technology upgraded the customer’s network from frame relay to MPLS (multiprotocol label switching), which supports QoS (quality of service). The VAR also sold the customer an IP telephony solution that included multiple SIP (session initiation protocol)-based Inter-Tel 5000 IP PBXs networked to the company hub, Adtran routers, switches, and firewalls, and a combination of digital, analog, and Inter-Tel IP phones. “Allowing the customer to have a mixed phone environment was another selling point that gave us a competitive edge,” recalls Marowitz. “Some of our competitors insisted the customer purchase an all-IP phone system, which would have required spending $50,000 more to replace the existing cabling infrastructure at its headquarters. With our solution, the IP PBXs take care of any voice packet translation and give every user the same benefits such as unified communication, three-digit dialing among branches, and call presence.”