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UC Roundup: Brush Up on Your UC Sales Strategy

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UC Roundup

Demand for real-time communications and collaboration is at an all-time high, but channel partners without the right sales strategy will miss this opportunity.

The unified communications (UC) market is expected to exceed $143 billion by 2024 because organizations want to increase employee productivity and responsiveness across both office and remote workforces.

Meanwhile, the sector is plagued with an assortment of tools to meet a variety of collaboration needs. Therefore, selling UC solutions effectively has proven difficult for partners without the right sales strategy.

Channel partners need to reevaluate their loyalty and be consultants for their customers, says TetraVX’s Patrick Graves. They need to offer technology recommendations that address the client’s individual challenges.

Graves is vice president of channel sales at TetraVX, which provides an all-in-one platform for calling, collaboration and contact center.  He provides five tips for UC channel partners to improve their sales strategy and strengthen their client relationships:

  1. Empower your sales team with the right sales enablement content and UC training. Then they can act as subject matter experts and consult their customers effectively.
  2. Understand the client’s business goals, and provide guidance and expertise. Don’t simply push the product.
  3. Gauge the organization’s UC readiness. To ensure seamless adoption and optimal call quality, partners should help their customers upgrade their IT infrastructure to make systems compatible with any new communications platforms.
  4. Partner with the right UC provider. The right provider should work with partners to identify shared business goals and objectives. They should also provide the support to educate sales staff and drive UC sales initiatives.
  5. Look for ways to add value. Partners need to ask themselves how else they can help their clients improve their business operations and what other technologies may be beneficial for their long-term success.
TetraVX's Patrick Graves

TetraVX’s Patrick Graves

We spoke with Graves to find out more about forming the right UC sales strategy.

Channel Partners: What are some of the biggest roadblocks channel partners face when trying to sell UC?

Patrick Graves: There are many potential roadblocks. On the partner side, if they have historically sold legacy/on-premises solutions, and have a lot of revenue tied up in that. Thus, moving to new solutions such as UC may not benefit them financially. So there is incentive to keep customers right where they are, so to speak. As a follow-on to that, if the partner’s sellers are not accustomed to selling monthly recurring revenue (MRR)-based solutions, versus capex, that can present challenges, too, as they’ll be less interested in positioning them.

We recently compiled a list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.

Channel partner leadership would need to account for this because it’s not an insignificant shift. In some cases, they may need to retool their sales processes and compensation plans to specifically account for this sea change in their go-to-market. On the customer side, UC solutions lack a hard ROI. Most of the benefit is around soft cost savings, process improvement and enhanced collaboration. These are all worthwhile and important benefits, but may lose their luster when compared against projects that deliver hard ROI, particularly these days when there is uncertainty in the market.

CP: Why does what’s worked in the past not work today?

PG: In the early days of UC, vendors were eager to …

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