How are you painting the bigger picture of UC?

...these are selling points you should be including in every discussion you have so you are arming your contact with the information he or she needs when they pitch your solution to their higher-ups.

Agent Talk: A Different Approach to Selling Unified Communications

Date: March 5th, 2015
Author: Anton Loon
Tags: unified communications, UC, telecom agent, CFO, selling, sales pitch

“Agent Talk” is a recurring segment that offers new insight, ideas and strategy to our friends in the telecom agent community. Check back for a new post each month!

Overcoming pricing objections is part of every sale. Even if your prospect doesn’t outwardly express such an objection, they are still thinking it: “Does it have to cost that much?” “Could I save a few dollars buying from someone else?” And why shouldn’t they think those things? They’re looking out for their business just as you are yours.

But selling unified communications is a little different than selling a widget from the widget factory. You’re not so much pushing a physical product as you are an infrastructure and an idea. And while that may not be a tough sell to an IT or Operations manager, it can be when it comes to convincing the person who actually signs off on the check, whether that’s a CFO, CEO, President or whoever that gatekeeper happens to be at that organization.

I came across an article this week (from our friends across the pond at TechWeek Europe, written by Steve McCaskill) that discussed this challenge from an internal perspective: getting executive leadership (specifically the CFO) to buy into a unified communications project. While not exactly the same as pitching agent-to-prospect, these are selling points you should be including in every discussion you have so you are arming your contact with the information he or she needs when they pitch your solution to their higher-ups.

The article has quotes from six experts in the field of unified communications. A few of them stood out to me because they went beyond some of the conventional UC pitches, offering a twist to the argument that your prospects might find refreshing, enlightening and useful when they go to bat for you:

  • A convenient upgrade
    “The right collaborative solutions will save money because it is all about connecting the systems that a business already has in place and helping to make them work more efficiently together.” -Andrew Small, Vice President, Unified Communications, CRM and mobility, BT Global Services.

    Translation: You already have some pieces in place, my solution will just fill in the blanks and lift your system to another level.
     
  • A universal analogy
    “Just imagine trying to recommend to a CFO that they downgrade from their smartphone to an old Nokia because they don’t ‘need’ those modern features in a device created to make calls.” -Robert Keenan, head of portfolio management, Unify.

    Translation: You’re buying the business equivalent of a corporate smartphone; you don’t know you need it until you use it.
     
  • Look beyond the stat sheet
    “Reliability and dependability are major aspects of a business’ reputation, and whilst they don’t appear on a company’s balance sheet, they are an intangible asset which is fundamentally important to companies of all sizes.” -Jon Nowell, head of product management, TalkTalk Business.

    Translation: We’re losing money we don’t even know about. UC can help us plug those leaks.

Again, these are just a few different angles you can approach UC selling from that may help differentiate you from the standard sales pitch we find in our inboxes seemingly every day. They aren’t the whole argument, but they help you paint a bigger picture of the value UC can bring to the table for just about any organization.

You can read the full article referenced at TechWeek Europe here.