Qualifying Your SIP Trunking Customer
If you’re relatively new to the world of reselling SIP trunks, you may be wondering how to properly qualify a potential customer. Many times, a business looking at a VoIP solution can be so focused on the savings to their bottom line that they fail to see obstacles in the way of them deploying SIP. While this is certainly understandable, it’s on you to make sure you properly qualify the customer and suss out any issues before potentially wasting both your time and theirs.
There are a number of things to consider beforehand. With the right knowledge, you can help prevent the customer from paying for services they don’t need, or provisioning too many trunks. The following tips will help you figure out how to determine the best SIP trunking plan to maximize your customer’s satisfaction and savings. That way, they will know they can trust you to keep their best interests in mind and will be more comfortable doing business with you for a long time.
What do they have / What do they need?
First, find out what telecom hardware and software already exists in the location. You’ll also want to know roughly how many calls will be made at any given time, including during peak hours.
It’s not uncommon for a large company to desire an unlimited plan, but small companies making few phone calls per month may only need 1000 minutes/month or less. The needs of a small and a large business can vary widely. Properly researching the business before suggesting a SIP trunking solution is essential.
Check that the internet connection is adequate
For enterprise SIP trunking to work properly, a high-speed, broadband internet connection is a necessity. When a business, trying to pinch pennies, tries to run VoIP phones over a slow internet pipe that is already strained by computers and all the mobile devices of the employees, the result is a choppy connection. Once it reaches this point, the customer will likely be placing the blame on you, unfairly.
With the necessary bandwidth on the premises, however, VoIP calls come in crystal-clear. VoIP calls will not bog down the internet by any appreciable amount, but they do need access to a dedicated portion of the network.
Hosted PBX or on-site PBX?
A Private Branch Exchange (PBX) comes one of two ways- on-site, or hosted. An on-site PBX is located within the office, whereas a hosted PBX is located off-site with the VoIP provider. In either case, its job is the same; connect and manage multiple phone lines with multiple extensions. When a call comes in, the PBX is home of the automated attendant that escorts the caller through to the correct department. Outbound calls are also managed through the PBX also manages outgoing calls so they get matched up with open phone lines. This arrangement accomplishes what is high on the list of importance for a lot of businesses- that their customers don’t have to encounter busy signals. A PBX installation is very costly and time-consuming, and needs in-house IT crew for proper maintenance, so unless a business already has one installed, going hosted is usually the better option for your customer.
Hardware cost considerations
When you’ve added up all the cost savings your customer will enjoy for years to come by switching to SIP trunking, one could hardly blame them if they figured they’d have to spend a lot upfront on new hardware. But it’s often the case that they’ll be able to use the technology they already have by using an analog-to-digital converter on the handsets to translate the data from them to a digital signal that is usable by a VoIP program. There are also PBX converters for a customer with existing PBX hardware, making for an easy transition into VoIP.
By going over these factors early on with a prospective customer, you will enable them to make the right decisions for their needs. This fosters good relationships that will ultimately reward you in the form of recurring commissions. Now that’s what we call “win-win!”