In 2012, Future Market Insights forecasted that the VoIP industry would experience a 9% CAGR year on year, until 2020. What we see today is an industry that has surpassed this prediction and is expected to hit $204 billion by 2020. In 2018, the VoIP market stood at $20 billion in North America. By 2025, VoIP is expected to grow to $55 billion according to The VoIP Market Size Forecast 2019-2025. This growth will be attributed to:
- Cost-effectiveness. VoIP is becoming the preferred communication service, in place of expensive broadband internet.
- No need for massive hardware, as compared to phone services that have been in use traditionally.
- Increased reliance on the internet and the need for communication platforms to support business growth has spurred reliance on business VoIPs.
- As businesses expand into different geographies, web-based application and IP phones have become instrumental in improving communication among remote teams. Teams can do voice or video calls and send instant messages efficiently and cost effectively.
In the past, VoIP connectivity was a major challenge, raising questions as to its reliability. But as the core VoIP infrastructure has stabilized, so has connectivity become increasingly reliable. But business VoIPs providers still need to differentiate their offering and focus on improving service delivery in order to generate more leads. VoIP marketers need to take a lead in this, by assessing current positioning requirements, and then creating fresh messaging to support those requirements.
This needs to happen throughout the sales funnel, although the biggest challenge will lie at the top-of-the funnel where:
- Identifying target customers need to be accurate as this translates to a larger number of qualified VOIP sales leads
- Your competitors are most aggressive at the top of the funnel hence your unique value proposition needs to shine through
Below, we’ll take a look at different strategies you can use to connect with more VoIP customers, sell more and remain competitive even as the VoIP landscape changes.
How to Generate High-Value VoIP Sales Leads
Review your approach for reaching VoIP Sales Leads
As earlier mentioned, VoIP technologies will continue to improve. The landscape has also become competitive as demand continues to rise. As such, you need to engage lead generation tactics that differentiate yourself from other sellers of VoIP services.
How can you do this?
By Re-Engaging Your Existing Clients
Tech experts predict that VoIP is well on its way to replacing phone lines. One of the reasons for this is that VoIP offers more features than phone systems that rely on TDM. As a systems integrator, your existing clients is the first place you should turn to for VoIP leads.
More so, for clients with a standard local area network (LAN), migrating to VoIP requires less infrastructure involvement, as VoIP sits on LAN. Instead of upgrading such clients’ existing TDM phone systems, recommend VoIP.
Further, offer unified communications (UC) solutions so that users can have the convenience and access of different media of communication. For instance, video capabilities will allow for video conferencing, while connecting fax to email will allow clients to access messages through outlook.
Your takeaway: Maximize on all your consultancy calls to find everything that is wrong with your clients’ network systems as such calls represent opportunities for recommending VoIP and your other solutions.
Focus on Scalability
A poll conducted among 350 businesses by Software Advice found that reliability and scalability are key concerns for buyers when considering VoIP solutions. The survey showed that while 42% of the respondents relied on VoIP, 45% still used phones for reasons such as “lack of reliability and scalability”, with 17% citing the need for telephony systems that are more reliable.
Figure 1: Reliability and scalability are key pain points for businesses
The survey also showed that businesses deal with scalability issues by opting for hosted VoIP as opposed to on-premises platforms.
Concern over scalability therefore means that you need to emphasize your services as the preferred option for businesses with changing needs. The 2019 state of IT report by Spice Works found that customers are opting for cloud-based services for reasons such as greater access to data, reduction in costs, increased flexibility of operations and disaster recovery.
Your takeaway: The takeaway for you as a VOIP service provider is that while selling points such as pricing of your service package are worth mentioning, they should not be the focal point. Scalability should be a KSP.
Consult First, Sell Later
The internet has changed buyer behavior. Today, buyers turn to search engines and technology forums on social media to learn more about the technology products they are interested in. That is not to say, however, that the vendor’s role as an educator is any less important. Research shows that companies that use content to educate their audience have an easier time converting.
But you also need to provide expertise beyond the content you publish. Business VoIP is a challenging ecosystem and customers will rely on you to figure out how and where VoIP fits into their everyday lives.
In the Software Advice poll mentioned above, only 6% of respondents had IT knowledge. Bear in mind that majority of your end users will not have any technical knowledge, therefore, as much as they will read your content, they will need your help to navigate the technicalities surrounding VoIP services.
Figure 2: Few VoIP buyers have an IT background
Your takeaway: It is always tempting to bombard your leads with sales messages but doing so could lead to higher attrition down the road due to increasing customer frustration. To reduce churn, you need to allocate enough time for consultation, to raise your leads’ confidence levels with your product. At the end of the day, satisfying the end user’s need for information until they are comfortable with using their service is what will lead to a sale.
Emphasize Hands on Experience and Dependable Product Demos
In addition to shoring up your information sources and offering one-on-one advice as discussed above, you should ensure your leads get enough hands-on experience early on in the sales funnel.
In 2018, Trust Radius surveyed over 678 tech buyers and vendors to establish what customers expect from technology vendors, and learn tactics that increase vendor trustworthiness. The survey revealed that although buyers will consult the vendor’s website and blog, they don’t always find these sources to be objective. On the other hand, hands-on-experience is the biggest influencer in a purchase decision made by tech buyers. Additionally, recommendations or referrals from other people who have used the product also carry a lot of weight.
Figure 3: Buyers trust information sources that are not influenced by vendors
Your take away: Customers expect your support to allow them to transition from their current services to your solution. Even after they become accustomed to the solution, provide ongoing customer service, remain reachable by phone or email and respond to any queries with urgency.
You should see yourself more as a strategic partner and less as a seller. This entails:
- Conducting on-site visits for demos, during free trial periods and for onboarding
- Offering extended trial periods
- Conducting demos that feature real data and that mimic real-life user scenarios
- Demonstrating benefits to the user, such as efficient communication, ease of use and positive ROI
As we have demonstrated, winning new leads for your VoIP services is all about responding to your prospects’ expectations. You need to increase your marketing bandwidth towards this end but if you lack the capability, you can still consult an outsource lead generation partner for advice on VoIP marketing strategies to help you generate more leads, increase customer engagement and increase long term customer loyalty.
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