Research and analyst groups have nothing but positive things to say about the growth of unified communications as a service (UCaaS). But you don’t need analysts to tell you UCaaS is hot. New vendors have hit the market with cloud-based solutions sold as a monthly subscription, while incumbent vendors are changing their solutions to address this shift. Most importantly, your customers are now asking for monthly payments rather than costly CapEx projects.
Despite the benefit to customers and unmistakable evidence that the industry is shifting in this direction, not all solution providers are ready to make the transition. Consider these three ways you might need to adjust your business to succeed with UCaaS.
Switching from sweet five- and six-figure deals to a steady stream of small monthly recurring revenue (MRR) can be challenging for established solution providers who have considerable expenses to cover. Unless you’re sitting on a pile of cash, you’ll probably need financial assistance, so your first step should be to contact Ingram Micro Financial Services for help. Alternatively, you may opt to build recurring revenue slowly, rather than all at once. By keeping some traditional sales, you can cover your expenses until your book of recurring revenue is big enough to make the switch completely.
You won’t be able to pay your sales team for UCaaS business the same way they get paid for traditional projects. With customers paying in monthly increments, you’ll have to develop a compensation model that allows your salespeople to feed their families and stay motivated to sell. However, you also need to make sure that your comp plan doesn’t allow the sales team to build up a book of their own recurring revenue that enables them to take months off.
Selling UCaaS is less about technology than it is about a solution, and about giving customers peace of mind that their investments are covered. Some salespeople who grew up on the old model have difficulty making the transition to solution selling. You’ll have to do a significant amount of training to give your sales team the tools they need to succeed. Even then, it’s possible that you might need to hire someone to focus on this new way of selling.
The above tips merely scratch the surface. Luckily, there are numerous resources available on the topics of financing the switch to MRR, compensation models and training. While this revolution is just now taking place in the UCC market, other industries have already completed their transition. With so much information available from those markets, there’s no need to wonder how you can make this shift to UCaaS. Others who’ve gone before you have all the answers.
If you’re struggling with this transition, contact Ingram Micro’s UCC experts, Curt Vurpillat or Chad Simon for help.