How to Become a Successful
SIP Trunk Reseller
The infrastructure used for telecommunications throughout the world is changing rapidly. In fact, the days of the legacy PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) are nearing an end. SIP is rapidly becoming the dominant industry standard for signaling in support of voice calls over the internet (VoIP). Adoption of SIP trunks is growing at an astonishing clip and supporting the aging PSTN equipment is becoming more and more difficult and expensive. The move to an all-IP infrastructure is accelerating and will likely be complete in 8 to 10 years. The industry analyst, Infonectics reports that, in North America, 45% of businesses are already using SIP. They expect this to increase to 67% predicted by 2017.
Customers are going to buy SIP service from someone. Shouldn’t it be you?
The Advantages of Becoming a SIP Reseller
There are several compelling reasons why telco agents, dealers, and IT consultants are looking for SIP trunk reseller programs. The biggest advantages of SIP trunking for resellers include:
A Predictable, Recurring Monthly Revenue Stream
It is difficult to accurately forecast revenue projections for businesses founded on equipment sales. Such businesses often go through times of feast and famine. That’s why the SIP reseller model is so attractive to many entrepreneurs. Those that decide to resell SIP trunks have the opportunity to create a business model based on recurring monthly fees that grow over time. The best SIP trunking reseller programs offer commissions for each customer every month as long as they subscribe to the service. There is very little incremental cost or effort to adding a new client, so you can grow your business, and your income over time and always have a good idea of what to expect from one month to the next.
When we chat with people who resell SIP trunking service, one of the things they care most about is customer satisfaction. After all, they are usually selling to people they’ve done business with before and maintaining trust is a top priority. That’s why offering SIP services is such a good fit. You’ll get a bigger share of what customers spend on telecommunications, and they’ll be delighted by the cost savings and other advantages that they will enjoy.
The best SIP trunk reseller programs have value-added features and services that you can also sell to increase the profitability of every account. In addition to SIP trunking itself, you can offer:
- Inbound-toll free service
- International long distance
- Direct Inward Dial (DID) numbers
- Fax over IP
- FAX to eMail
Turn-key Deployments and Easy Administration
Most SIP trunking deployments are quick and painless. If you decide to become a SIP reseller, keep in mind that:
- There is none of the hassle and delay that comes with getting physical phone lines installed.
- Your client’s business-class ISP is probably sufficient for SIP trunking
- The customer’s PBX system is likely already IP-enabled, and if not, it is easy to add a device that converts an analog signal to digital. SIP also works with many of the free, open source PBX solutions that are so popular.
- SIP trunks can be ordered or canceled on-demand whenever your customer’s needs change
- Clients can keep their current phone numbers if they want
Features to Look for in a SIP Trunk Reseller Program
The most important thing you can do to ensure your success if you choose to resell SIP is to select a partner program that gives you the support and tools you need to accelerate your path to revenue. There are many SIP trunking reseller programs to choose from, so you’ll need to ask lots of questions and be vigilant to find the best fit. Here are some of the most important considerations.
Flexible Rate Plans
SIP trunking can be sold in a number of ways to meet the unique needs and challenges of very customer. Don’t settle for a SIP reseller program that tries to pigeonhole all businesses into the same type of service. Instead, look for a partner that offers all of the following ways of packaging the service:
Unlimited Minutes: With an unlimited minutes subscription, clients pay one monthly fee per channel. Local and long distance calls to most of the US and Canada are included. Clients can add or subtract channels whenever their business needs change.
Unlimited Channels: Under an unlimited channels service, customers pay for blocks of minutes that can be used across as many channels as they want. Clients can increase their monthly bundle of minutes if they find they need more.
Wholesale Trunks: Wholesale trunks offer extreme flexibility with a per minute rate and unlimited channels.
Simple, Online, Paperless Implementation and Administration
You want to spend your time supporting your customers and getting new ones, not filling out endless paperwork and waiting for responses from your vendor. Look for a SIP trunk reseller service that makes deployment, administration, and billing hassle-free. Make sure that the up-front set-up tasks like ordering DID’s and porting phone numbers are simple and quick.
Tier-1 Network Infrastructure
We mentioned before that customer satisfaction is a top priority for the SIP trunk resellers we service. Audio quality and system reliability are the keys to happy customers that stay on the service for the long haul. That’s why it is essential to only consider reselling SIP services that run on a Tier-1, SAE 16 Type II certified network with real-time replication and built-in redundancy. The best solutions also offer automated outage detection and instant failover to backup equipment. Don’t be fooled by low priced options that sacrifice quality to keep costs down.
PBX System Compatibility
Selling SIP services will be easiest if the solution you choose is compatible with a wide variety of PBX systems. That way, your client doesn’t necessarily need to make a hardware investment to benefit from SIP. There are many popular free or low-cost open source PBX platforms available, so look for a solution that supports solutions like Asterisk, FreePBX, and Elastix, as well as other common PBX equipment.
Hands-off Billing and Taxes
Do you want to become an expert in telecommunications-related taxes and fees? We didn’t think so. Luckily, if you choose the right SIP trunk reseller program, you don’t have to. Look for a partner that will take care of taxes and billing on your behalf.
Installing and managing SIP solutions for your customers should be pretty straightforward, but when you do have questions or need help troubleshooting, you want to be sure that your partner is there for you. Make sure you understand how support will be provided, and verify the qualifications of the agents who will assist.
You want your customer’s experience with SIP to be seamless, so it is smart to choose a SIP reseller platform that lets you add your logo and brand identity to the online control panel as well as system notifications and invoices. That way, your customer will associate their great communications experience with your business. Some providers even offer a branded landing page to boost your sales and marketing efforts.
Why Your Customers will Love SIP Trunking
As you can see, there are many advantages of becoming a SIP trunk reseller, and programs that give you all of the tools you need to create a booming business, but what’s in it for your customers? Here are the top reasons customers get excited about SIP.
Significant Cost Savings
Tech.co estimates that small businesses that switch to SIP save 40% off their overall communications costs and 90% on international calls. We’ve seen clients with even bigger savings. Not only do customers enjoy spending less, they also love that their monthly costs become much more predictable under a SIP subscription. Unlike PRI lines, which are sold only in groups of 23, SIP can be sold based on exactly the number of channels or minutes the customer requires. They pay for only what they need right now and can grow at any time.
Excellent Voice Quality
As we mentioned, quality and reliability are essential to happy customers. Because you will only offer SIP trunking services from a partner that uses a Tier-1 carrier network, your customers can expect call quality that is indistinguishable from calls made over traditional land lines. Business quality VoIP service should not suffer from jitter or lag.
SIP trunking is really all about flexibility, so it makes sense to choose a SIP reseller program that doesn’t require you or your customers to enter into long-term agreements. They should be free to add, adjust, or cancel services without any obligation beyond the current month. Customers who are used to multi-year agreements with traditional telco carriers will be delighted by this more agile approach.
Low Initial Investment
There are some set-up fees associated with getting a SIP solution in place, but they are usually negligible, especially in comparison to the expense of setting up an old-fashioned telephone system. If you’ve chosen the program carefully, the SIP service will be compatible with the PBX hardware your customers already have, so there is little or no need to invest in expensive new hardware.
Unified Communications Capabilities
One big selling point of SIP is that it eliminates the need for clients to maintain both a telephone and data network. In addition, SIP is the perfect support for a bunch of handy unified communications features like video, screen sharing, instant messaging, presence, on-demand conference calling and more.
Selling Guide for SIP Resellers
After reading about the advantages of SIP trunking, you may think that SIP trunks sell themselves. In some ways that is the case, but you can help accelerate your client’s decision with a few easy steps.
Understand Your Client’s Communications Challenges and Needs
When reselling SIP trunks, the headline will almost always be how much your customers can save versus traditional telephone lines, but the conversation should not end there. Moving to a SIP trunking infrastructure can make a difference in your client’s business in other ways as well.
The call data records that are available with SIP, for example, can help customers make smarter staffing decisions and improve personnel management. If your customer has a seasonal business, you can emphasize the flexibility to adjust services based on current needs. Your customers may have disaster recovery and business continuity concerns that can be addressed by the ability of a SIP solution to easily re-route calls to other offices or mobile devices.
Add Up the Savings
Once you’ve had a meaningful conversation about the customer’s communications needs, you can tally up their current spend and show them how much they will save by moving to SIP. This is the fun part. Most customers know that there is a cost savings involved, but many are shocked when they find out how big it is. Even with the initial fees, proving a rapid return on investment for SIP trunking is very easy.
Answer Questions and Address Common Concerns
There are a lot of misconceptions about SIP and VoIP in the market, so make sure you take a moment to address likely concerns and answer any questions. For example, some people have had bad experiences with consumer applications like Skype and Vonage and fear that SIP calls will sound bad. Take the opportunity to explain that you’ve selected a business-grade, Tier-1 network that is both clear and reliable. Customers may also worry about the security of a digital voice system. You can assure them that the SIP service you resell is equipped with toll fraud detection systems to prevent any unauthorized access.
SIP Reseller Program Business Terms
One final consideration before you become a SIP trunking reseller is the business terms of the program. Each potential partner will have a different set of requirements and obligations, so be sure to consider all of your options and look for one that sets you up for success. The best programs offer:
No Obligations or Upfront Costs
Your customers don’t want to be locked into a long-term agreement and neither should you. You can find a SIP reseller program without any obligations or up-front investment requirements. You grow your business on your own terms.
There are some SIP trunk providers in the market that insist on becoming the customer’s ISP. We suggest looking for one that is bandwidth agnostic so that your clients can choose the ISP that offers the best service and price in their area. This is better for the customer and will speed the sale because an ISP switch is not involved.
Large DID Footprint
You will get your clients up and running more quickly if you choose a SIP reseller partner with a large DID footprint. They should have telephone numbers across rate centers in the United States and other countries as well.
Intrusion Detection and Toll Fraud Protection
We mentioned earlier that customers may have security concerns about moving to an internet-based phone system. This is not unfounded, unfortunately, phone systems of all types are attractive targets for criminals. To combat this problem, choose a partner that has systems in place to constantly monitor for unauthorized intrusions. They should be able to detect and stop any suspicious activity immediately.
Becoming a SIP trunking reseller is a win-win proposition for you and your clients. You build a monthly recurring revenue stream, while they enjoy cost savings, flexibility, and new communications features. It is essential to pick the right program, but if you do, reselling SIP is a straightforward way to boost your bottom line.