Wholesale SIP Trunks:
Your Complete Guide
Over the last ten years, there has been a major shift in the telecommunications industry. The old days of business PBX systems connecting to the Public Switched Telephone network through traditional PRI lines are coming swiftly to an end. Now SIP trunking, which uses the internet to connect to the telephone network is the option of choice for more than half of businesses. In fact, according to Frost & Sullivan, the market for SIP trunks will reach $10.29 billion by 2020.
Offering wholesale SIP trunks is one way that telco dealers, agents, and IT consultants are capitalizing on this trend. By offering low-cost SIP services, they can stay relevant in this new digital environment. What’s more, there is a huge opportunity to profit from the market’s move.
Why Wholesale VoIP and Wholesale SIP Trunking is So Popular
There are a variety of reasons why people in telecommunications businesses are so excited about offering both wholesale VoIP and SIP products. The biggest advantages for resellers include:
Recurring, Predictable Monthly Revenue
Businesses of all types and sizes covet a predictable, recurring monthly revenue stream. Offering SIP trunking wholesale is an innovative way to begin to accumulate a monthly income that grows over time with very little incremental costs. If you select the right partner program, once you add a customer, you earn commission each month over the life of the subscription. There is some initial setup work involved and perhaps some technical support from time to time, but beyond that, you keep earning month after month with very little work. This model gets you away from relying on big ticket hardware deals that can be difficult to predict or lost to competition.
You have already earned the trust of your customers who come to you for expertise and advice. Introducing them to SIP and VoIP is an effective way to strengthen your relationship and provide cost savings and other value. You’ll earn a bigger portion of the money they spend on telecommunications each month, and they’ll thank you for it.
There are a host of other services you can sell along with wholesale SIP that will make each account even more profitable. Some of the value-added services you can offer are:
- Direct Inward Dial (DID) numbers
- Inbound toll-free services
- Fax over IP of Fax to eMail
- International Long Distance
Painless Deployments and Easy Administration
SIP trunking does not involve all of the difficulty and delay involved in getting a traditional telephone system deployed. You don’t need to wait for physical phone lines to get ordered and installed. SIP trunks and channels can be provisioned in real-time and configured on-demand. An online control panel makes it easy to get customers up and running in a hurry.
Questions for Your Wholesale SIP Provider
When it comes to finding a wholesale SIP trunking provider, you have multiple choices. It can be a challenge to pick the partnership program that will help you achieve the most success. Here are some questions to ask that will help you sort out all of your options.
Is the rate plan flexible enough to meet the needs of all of my customers?
Each of your customers will have unique needs and wants. That’s why you want to look for a wholesale SIP trunking service that lets you offer multiple ways of paying for SIP. The most flexible providers offer:
Unlimited Minutes: Trunks with unlimited minutes per channel
Unlimited Channels: Trunks with an unlimited number of channels, but a set number of minutes
Wholesale Trunks: Unlimited number of channels with a per minute rate
How easy is it to provision customers and administer my SIP business?
Provisioning, taxing, and billing should all be easy and worry-free. Look for a wholesale SIP partner that makes it easy to tackle the up-front setup tasks like porting phone numbers and ordering DIDs. You want to be able to spend as much time selling and servicing your customers as possible and let the SIP service provider handle the administrative details.
Does it use a Tier-1 Network?
Your wholesale SIP business will not be successful if you can’t offer your customers high-quality, reliable service. That’s why you should only consider a wholesale SIP provider that leverages a Tier-1, SAE 16 Type II certified network with real-time replication and total redundancy. It is also smart to ask about automated outage detection and immediate failover to backup gateway servers.
Will it work with the PBX platforms that my customers are likely to have?
The wholesale SIP trunk platform you select should be compatible with a variety of PBX solutions so that you can serve customers across many platforms. Don’t forget about the free, open source PBX platforms that are so popular with modern businesses. Look for a solution that is compatible with the most common including Asterisk, Elastix, and FreePBX.
Is the solution brandable?
White labeling, or the ability to add your logo to the wholesale SIP system you offer is an excellent way to reinforce your brand. It should be consistent across the application, email notifications, and invoices. The best vendors also offer a branded landing page to help with your sales and marketing efforts.
What kind of support can I expect?
The level of support offered by wholesale SIP trunking platform providers varies widely. It is important to understand exactly how you will get support and whether the company’s agents are truly qualified to help you tackle any tricky problems that may come up.
Do you offer hands-off billing and taxes?
We’re not going to lie, correctly calculating telecommunications-related taxes and fees is a pain. If you don’t want to bother with that and monthly invoicing, we can’t blame you. Fortunately, there are wholesale SIP partners out there who will take all of that off your hands and handle that part of the dirty work for you.
How Your Customers Benefit
We talked a bit about what you have to gain by offering SIP trunking wholesale, but what about your customers? The good news is that there’s a lot to love about SIP for your customers, so SIP trunks are not a hard sell. Here are some of the most important advantages:
Dramatically Lower Communications Costs
Customers who choose SIP can save as much as 60% of their communications costs by eliminating expensive PRI lines and most long distance charges. They enjoy a predictable monthly cost and pay for only what they need now.
No Need for Physical Cables
The use of PRI lines requires that each circuit be physically connected to the PSTN via cables and expensive termination hardware. SIP trunk connections, on the other hand, are digital and virtual. Increasing the number of SIP channels does not require an expensive and time-consuming process to add cables.
Outstanding Voice Quality
Because you are only going to consider a wholesale SIP trunk provider that uses a Tier-1 carrier network, your customers can look forward to high-quality calls that are indistinguishable from calls made over traditional land lines. There’s no need to worry about the jitter and lag problems common with unmanaged internet VoIP products like Skype.
Each SIP trunking wholesale services has its own terms, so you need to pay attention, but you absolutely can find one that doesn’t require your customers to enter into long-germ commitments. This is a welcome change from traditional telco carriers that asked for multi-year agreements.
Low Up-font Costs
Your clients will pay some initial set-up fees, but they are typically low and pale in comparison to the expense of installing a less modern solution. Often the system can work with the PBX hardware the customer already has in place, so additional capital expense is not required.
Unlike a traditional phone system that requires pre-planning for future capacity needs, SIP trunks can be added on-demand when additional needs arise. Customers can add channels, trunks or minutes on the fly whenever their needs change.
SIP trunking eliminates the redundancy of maintaining both a telephone and data network by combining them both into one. It also opens up a host of unified communications features including instant messaging, video, presence, screen sharing, conferencing and more.
How to Sell Wholesale SIP Trunks
But if you are new to the SIP trunking wholesale world, you might not be sure how to go about starting the conversation with potential clients. Here is an easy path to success.
Talk About Your Customer’s Current Challenges
Cost is the clearest advantage of SIP trunks over traditional telephone lines, so that will certainly be something you discuss, but moving to a digital communications framework can also impact your customer’s business in other ways. It is smart to take a big picture look at your client’s overall communications needs.
Customers with seasonal businesses, for example, will be happy to learn that SIP channels, trunks or minutes can be added or eliminated on-demand. This means that your clients get, and pay for, only what they need, even if those needs are not steady across the year.
Clients in areas where bad weather makes it difficult for employees to get into the office will appreciate the ability to easily transfer calls to other offices, mobile devices, or home phone. Customers who find getting just the right staffing levels to meet the needs of the business will want to learn more about how call data records can help them make smart adjustments to keep costs down while still providing excellent customer service.
Show Them the Money
Most customers have some sense that SIP trunking is less than traditional telephone lines, but many are shocked by how much they can actually save. They are also pleasantly surprised when the low initial investment is revealed. If you know, or can get your clients to share what they are paying for their existing communications services, the ROI for SIP is very easy to prove.
Address Likely Concerns
Until recently, few people knew much about SIP trunking and it was much more difficult to gain a potential customer’s trust. But now days, people are much more familiar with VoIP and SIP and are aware that it is a growing trend in business communications. That doesn’t mean they won’t have some concerns about performance and reliability, so it is essential to explain the difference between the business-grade wholesale SIP trunks you offer over a Tier-1 network and the consumer grade services they may have used in the past.
Once you understand your customer needs, calculate the cost savings, and overcome common objections, you are on your way to adding a new client to your books.
Wholesale SIP Trunk Program Business Terms
Now that you know what joining a SIP trunk wholesale program potentially means for you and your customers, you should think about maximizing your success by evaluating the business terms of each potential partner. Here are a few things to look for:
No Contracts or Upfront Costs
When you evaluate wholesale SIP trunking providers, look for one that requires neither you nor your customers to enter into any long-term contracts or make large up-front investments.
Bring Your Own Bandwidth
Some wholesale SIP trunk providers require that your customer get internet bandwidth from them. This type of solution should be avoided in favor of one that lets your client choose the highest-quality and most affordable ISP in their area.
Widespread DID Coverage
You should look for a partner that has a large database of telephone numbers across rate centers in the United States and other countries. This means most DID requests get provisioned immediately getting your clients up and running faster.
Toll Fraud Protection
Sadly, phone systems of all types are attractive targets for those who would commit international toll fraud. Make sure you choose a wholesale VoIP trunk provider that constantly monitors systems for unauthorized calling and automatically kills any suspicious activity immediately.
If you ask the right questions and take these business terms into consideration, you can be confident that you’ve selected a wholesale sip trunking provider that will help you maximize success. The benefits of joining a program are compelling for both you and your clients. Selling SIP is easy, and there is little up-front work to be done. Why not get started on your journey today?