Whether traditional PBX is your core offer or just an add-on to your catalog, you can’t ignore an important fact. Your customers are now ready to fully benefit from the cloud. They’re looking for simple, flexible, easily scalable, and cheaper options with good quality service. Many of them are already considering hosted or cloud PBX. So either you start offering these solutions, or they’ll leave you for another provider. If you allow your customers to make the switch for one service, be prepared for higher churn. It’ll be easier for them to transfer all their services to someone else.
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So, it’s definitely time to start offering hosted VoIP/Cloud PBX. And to do this well, you have to work with a trusted cloud provider. Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice.
1. Reselling Traditional PBX is Tough
As an MSP, you might have been providing traditional PBX as a managed service. Maybe you’ve been a certified reseller for a PBX manufacturer and have been offering the solution to a bunch of satisfied customers.
This also means you’ve had to go to your customer’s site for the initial setup and provide them support on a regular basis. This might include deploying network cables and switches, setting the IP Phones, setting functionalities, or upgrading the PBX system.
At the end of the day, you’ve invested a lot of time and effort and you can’t be sure you’ll be compensated for all your work. And if you are, your customers will pay dearly for your services!
2. The Cloud is a Better Deal
Why are your customers running to the cloud? Because it’s cheaper.
They’d rather pay monthly recurring fees instead of a large fee upfront.
However, if you’ve been making money on traditional PBX contracts that involve big, one-time payments, you might not see the cloud as a lucrative option.
But sooner or later, your customers will adopt the cloud, so you should be ready.
3. You’ll Make Money Reselling Cloud PBX
Cloud PBX offers don’t require you to deal with a PBX manufacturer. You’re free from the heavy load of managing contracts for hardware.
But just because Cloud PBX is hosted in the cloud doesn’t mean you can’t make money.
In fact, Cloud PBX gives you more time to focus on delivering quality services to your customers and mastering the solution.
To begin with, it takes only minutes to deploy Cloud PBX, not hours, weeks or months required for a traditional solution.
You can now sell to more customers with less headaches, because you don’t have to dedicate a person to travel from one site to the other for an initial setup.
4. Add More Value to Your Cloud PBX Offers to Increase Margins
With the cloud, you’ll earn a commission on the recurring payments your customers make. You can then refocus your efforts on more important activities:
a. Making more sales to increase your revenue.
b. Retaining customers to guarantee recurring revenue.
But that’s not all. There’s still room to generate more money with Cloud PBX.
Just create more value around the services you sell.
- For instance, some of your clients will have to migrate from their traditional PBX system to the Cloud PBX, or require assistance to move services from their current carrier. You can bill as much as your want for this service.
- You can offer training with your Cloud PBX offer.
- You can bill your customers for service activation and configuration.
- Although system updates are automatic with Cloud PBX, your customers need you to configure their Auto Receptionist/Auto Attendant functions.
5. Choose the Right Partner Program
One of your keys to success in the cloud is choosing the right partner program with a good margin structure.
That rule doesn’t change when it comes to Cloud PBX providers. You want to know that you’ll be rewarded for your efforts. Generally speaking, there are three types of partner programs.
a. Advisor and Referral:
- a kind of a “sell-it-and-forget-it” option. You just refer the customer to the Cloud PBX provider, and that’s it. You make a commission on the client’s recurring payments.
- you can offer great Cloud PBX services and build your value around them. This requires you to do more, but in the end you earn more money because you make a higher margin.
c. White-label Reseller:
- Rebrand the provider’s services and create a presence on the market. This allows you to create a brand that lasts, provided you choose the right provider.
Depending on the program you choose, you can make margins as high as 43%.
6. Choose a Partner with Flexible Plans and Prices
Depending on your target market, you can choose between different Cloud PBX plans and prices.
Look for plans that match your customers’ profile.
Some Cloud PBX providers will include offers with IP Phones. If it’s better for you to sell both the solution and the IP Phones, make sure you get what you want from your partner.
Each MSP has a different business model. Some MSPs rely on their partner to provide end-user support, while others prefer to offer the service and support under their own brand.
There are different partnership models out there, so look for one that fits your Cloud PBX strategy.
7. Look for a Reliable Cloud PBX Solution
It’s true that the cloud has opened up new possibilities for both resellers and customers.
You can work with a Cloud PBX provider from anywhere in the world and get services during your customers’ business hours or even 24/7.
Focus on providers who have a reliable reputation.
It’s better to include certified and renowned Cloud PBX providers in your shortlist to ensure you get a higher level of service. Redundancy and stability have to be at the core of their platform.
When you’re communicating with customers, face-to-face interactions always win over email. This is why telephony is still relevant in this highly-connected world.
So when a customer trusts you with their business telephone system, you better provide the best one available.
8. Make Sure Your Cloud PBX Provider Offers the Right Features
Your customers are looking for more than a product. They want a solution that responds to their needs. You can have the best prices and the best support, but if you’re not meeting your customers’ needs, you won’t be successful.
Does your provider offer all the Cloud PBX functionalities your customers want?
- IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
- Phone Directory with “Dial by Name” or “Dial by Extension” options
- Call Forwarding
- Call Recording
A majority of providers will deliver some of these options in different plans.
9. Work with a Knowledgeable Support Team
You might be a PBX expert with years of experience, but when it comes to the cloud, you’ll have to let go. Aside from IP Phones (and local networks), there’s no physical equipment to deploy. Everything is hosted in the provider’s datacenter, so your efforts will be focused on configuring the functionalities. This is usually done through a web console.
It might take you some time to figure out what to do, so it’s important you get support when you need it. Look for a Cloud PBX provider with a customer service team that is knowledgeable and available 24/7. You’re still facing the customer, so the more professional you appear, the better.
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