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Hosted PBX - The Ace Up An Agent's Sleeve

Jim Moorman on May 19, 2014 1:02:00 PM

As phone system dealers, your objective is to sell business phone systems, right? In the old days, you’d walk into a prospective client’s office, learn their needs, and craft a proposal to meet and often exceed them. You’d know what the competition was bringing to the table and you’d know how to overcome those objections.

HPBX_Ace_2

Then along comes Hosted PBX. Competitors who had traditionally only sold carrier services (the phone and cable companies) are suddenly competing against you (and winning) in opportunities that you used to win. They pitched the client on the value and benefit of Hosted PBX as opposed to your expensive premise-based system that would depreciate, require maintenance, upgrades, and eventually need to be replaced – again. Why bother? Why not eliminate the up-front capital expense of a phone system purchase and go with a Hosted PBX?

Customers heard their pitch and started saying yes. As a result, years of hard work and customers you thought were loyal lifelong clients started fleeing like rats on a sinking ship. What happened? The cloud happened and has been happening for some time.

More importantly, how has the change of landscape affected dealers? Many dealers have given up spending time on opportunities that would be considered “entry-level.” Dealers have now had to move up-market and focus more attention on enterprise clients who still want premise-based systems.

System manufacturers have had to respond by offering their products branded HPBX to dealers as a way to help stem the bleeding, but most HPBX offerings from the manufacturer have been some form of an individual PBX hosted in the cloud. The ROI is stretched out for the dealer, and the install is still as demanding (if not more) than a local install would have been with a premise-based system.

So what is a dealer to do, especially a smaller dealer who counts on small business systems and service to survive?

My answer is this – lead with your system. See if you can overcome objections from the client based on what your competition is offering. Your margins are still in the system sale, so try and sell the system!

If, however, the client still wants to go Hosted PBX, have something up your sleeve to offer them as an alternative to whatever the competition is proposing. Yes, you lose points on the system sale, but you keep the client. Additionally, you can still make up some of those lost points on hardware with handsets and a QoS gateway. You can also sell them a monthly maintenance contract on top of their monthly cost for the seats and usage. You’ll increase your MRR and maintain margin until the client grows big enough to warrant a premise-based system or you can just keep them on the HPBX solution.

Here at N2Net, we give our Agents the option to not only sell SIP carrier services, but HPBX solutions as well. Our Agent Portal offers options to quote both! Other benefits of the N2Net HPBX service dealers love is that:

  • We don’t force you buy hardware from us. We’ll tell you what the system supports, and then if you want to buy from your regular distributor, no problem!
  • We don’t care if you sell a maintenance contract on top of our service. Of course, in that scenario, we’d expect you to actually take care of the MAC’s, but it doesn’t affect or void your support with us.
  • We work with you to quote and propose. We don’t interact with the client directly until you tell us to do so.
  • We pay you commission (no commit in year 1) on HPBX the same as we would with SIP.

HPBX is an alternative that may or may not make sense for your clients. It’s up to you to decide when and how to use it, but isn’t it nice knowing you have a partner who will offer you the option?

For more information on becoming an N2Net agent, click below and schedule a call today!

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