Integrator’s Role in Advanced Enterprise Business Tools
A contact center is much more than a VoIP system, learn your vertical and business applications before selling
Time after time I see how business executives need help in planning and deployment of their digital workflow. I am not talking about the latest cloud migration (or virtualization move) and how to use it in business communication. Or even the most basic integration of VoIP systems with CRM and BI applications as it is used by pioneering companies. I am talking about listening to business executives and tailoring a complete solution with other software applications like CRM and BI. Yet, time after time I see VoIP integrators show business customers what they do and leave the business solution to the software application companies. Here the VoIP integrator is “leaving money on the table” as they say in the gambling parlors. Partly we, the VoIP integrators and resellers, are to blame. We take a position of “experts” in our small domain and try to show how good we are at integration or deployment. Partly we are to blame because we do not look beyond our own work into what we are actually INTEGRATING. Be it a call center integrated with a CRM system, or a PBX integrated with BI. We simply do not take the time to show business executives the big picture.
Here, as integrators, we have an opportunity to explain how VoIP systems from call centers to smart PBX fit into the big IT picture. Actually show how leading edge businesses and managers really use a complete integrated solution together with the leading IT software apps. VoIP and IT integrators are well equipped to modernize their corporate market. Voice communication, integrated with CRM and BI tools, can demonstrate results quickly. In businesses where voice communication is useful, features like: call recording, customer call tracking and target list management give tangible results. VoIP system integration with business tools also give workers and contact center employees powerful tools they did not have. Together with management tools featuring statistics, tracking and real-time configuration, it is really the VoIP integrator which have great business tools to offer. Business managers know what they need and they usually know their own domain expertly. They do not know what others are doing and often are kept away from what their key competitors are doing. I am not talking about giving away one company’s secret formula to their competitors. I am talking about showing best practices and general everyday industry practices which any three sales people could do together, simply without the need to get the CRM and BI piece into your presentation the first day. Once you show a potential customer what integration can do, then you can call your favorite Microsoft CRM or Salesforce.com sale guy (get a promise for a drink first )
Why have VoIP integrators selling themselves short? I don’t think it’s the case of “selling themselves short” at all. It’s the case of the benefits being “on top of your small piece of the machine”. Complete business solutions are made up of really large pieces. This is a trend that started out a decade ago and is continuing to grow. There is not much we can do about it except learn more about the world surrounding us (business applications, communication frameworks and enterprise platforms.) Essentially VoIP integrators are really good at getting their piece configured and integrated. But once they connect a call center or PBX to anything else, that’s the end of their work. That is not what the end customer sees. They see the VoIP system and everything that they connect with. So how will VoIP integrator master CRM, BI or any other system connected to their piece? Well, that’s a matter of either mastering certain function (i.e. Microsoft and Oracle CRM) or working in a specific vertical (insurance, retail, services.) It may be a limiting factor in the beginning, but once you have your environment well understood you will gain much more than a happy customer. You will have an ability to sell a more complete business solution and here you have an advantage over most competitors. You may have an advantage over the big software application sellers as well. After all, today’s business is about communication, and you got that one covered.