IT resellers, have you considered how hosted voice might help you increase revenue in 2023?
Hosted voice is a simple cross-sell option for any customers who already take IT services from you. But if you’re new to hosted voice, it can seem like a complicated area to get into.
In this blog, you’ll learn more about the scale of the opportunity for hosted voice, along with 5 things to look for before partnering with a provider.
What’s the opportunity?
There’s a lot of movement in the telecom space right now, driven by BT Openreach’s UK-wide digital upgrade.
By 2025 BT Openreach will have switched off its old copper network, otherwise known as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN.)
Every single UK business that has a service on the copper network has to upgrade by 2025. This goes for residential users too. So, if your nanna still has a landline, she’ll be switching to digital.
In Q3 2022 Ofcom reported that there were still 30.5 million fixed exchange lines. Source: Telecommunications Market Data Update Q3 2022.
This number is mostly made up of PSTN and ISDN.
Progress to move customers to digital is much slower than expected, and the majority of customers are yet to upgrade.
The scale of the opportunity remains huge. But with 2025 fast approaching, now is the time for bold players to make their move.
So where do IT resellers fit in?
Customers no longer differentiate between IT and telecoms – they just want to connect.
If you’re already managing your customers’ Microsoft licences, security, or support; connectivity and hosted voice are natural cross-sell opportunities.
5 things to look for in a hosted voice provider
If you’re new to hosted voice and want to find a service provider that’s a good fit for your business, here are some things to look out for.
1. simplicity and speed
Telecoms has always had a bad rap in the IT space. It’s often viewed as complex, difficult to support and even more difficult to bill.
Hosted voice doesn’t come with the same complexities that its copper counterparts are burdened with. It’s a clean, subscription-based service.
Find a service provider who carries the simplicity of the product right through to how they support you. Ask how they onboard and train new partners, and what does day-to-day support look like?
Hosted voice is simple to sell, simple to support and simple to bill. A good service provider should have you selling voice in days, not weeks.
2. avoid tiered partner programs
Hosted voice delivers the holy grail – recurring revenue.
With average margins sitting at around 50%, voice revenues can quickly build to become a real difference maker.
But on day 1, it’s likely you’ll start with zero licences.
Find a provider that has a good entry-level program to help you get started.
Some service providers only offer value-adds like sales and marketing support to their big spenders.
A great provider does more than simply supply you with the product. They’ll work with you to close deals and help with solution design and quotations, regardless of your base size on day one.
3. industry experience
Because the scale of the opportunity is so large, a lot of new players have joined the market in the past few years. It can be tough to know who to partner with.
Finding a vendor who has solid experience in the telecoms sector can be a big difference-maker. Their familiarity of the market and the opportunity will influence your success.
An experienced vendor will have a track record in helping partners deliver solutions that meet evolving requirements.
Some service providers will offer you a dirt-cheap product with a shiny brand. Be cautious.
Things to look out for with cheap providers:
- Poor product development means some features are lacking.
- Poor infrastructure means more downtime.
- Poor consideration of user experience means a lack of user adoption.
All of this adds up to headaches for you in the form of support overheads. Ask your new provider about their network, their heritage and their reliability. Check user reviews.
Cost savings on knock-down licences always come back to bite.
5. help to talk to your customers about hosted voice
A good provider will be keen to talk to you about how they’ll help you to start selling. A great provider will put your customer at the heart of that.
Ask which tools and support they’ll provide to help you talk to your customers about hosted voice.
Ready to increase your revenue with hosted voice?
By partnering with Firstcom you access technical, marketing, and partner support, expert guidance, and sales training aligned to your individual needs.
Visit our partner page to find out more about how we can support you to achieve your goals.