For value-added resellers (VARs) looking to diversify their business, offering both UCC and pro AV technologies is a fantastic place to start. Not only are both areas experiencing a period of rapid growth; they are enable you to break into a wide range of new markets, from education and healthcare to corporate offices, retail and even houses of worship.
But like most technologies, UCC and pro AV systems don’t sell themselves. It’s important for you to understand the unique nature of these markets, as well as how the two technologies will work together for your customers. When you’re ready to get started selling UCC and pro AV, keep these five tips in mind:
1. Emphasize communication and collaboration.
More often than not, your UCC and pro AV customers are going to be interested in ways to improve communication and collaboration. Be sure to really emphasize how your solutions will benefit each user and the company as a whole.
For example, video conferencing customers may be interested to hear that the systems can help improve collaboration among on-site employees, as well as with remote workers. And when used with desktop and data sharing, live chat and interactive whiteboard capabilities, collaboration is even further improved.
2. Prove that ROI is within reach.
Luckily, it will be relatively easy to demonstrate a strong return on investment (ROI) for many of your UCC and pro AV customers. This is especially true for those who see a direct impact to the efficiency or effectiveness of employees, such as in a healthcare or corporate environment. Certain devices have a very clear-cut case for ROI; for example, video conferencing and desktop sharing can supplant a business’ travel budget, providing ROI in a few short years.
In other cases, ROI will be a bit more difficult to prove. (For example, how do you demonstrate the monetary value of better collaboration?) In these cases, it’s important that you highlight the long-term benefits to help your customer see that, over time, the technology will provide significant value in another way.
3. Know your IT.
As we’ve discussed before, it’s so important to familiarize yourself with IT infrastructure for both UCC and pro AV jobs. Increasingly, these types of systems are falling under IT jurisdiction, so you may find yourself pitching to IT management or even executives.
Leverage your former experience with other similar technologies to demonstrate your knowledge of networking, cabling and other IT infrastructure. And for your most complex UC and pro AV jobs, consider partnering with an IT integrator to take care of the back-end work.
4. Demonstrate interoperability.
If you’re selling both UCC and pro AV systems, your customers are going to want to rest assured that their various devices will all work together seamlessly.
For example, does your video conferencing system work well with your desktop and data sharing solution? If a customer uses social-media enabled digital signage, does the data also seamlessly link to an Active Directory database? Here’s where your knowledge of networking will really come in handy.
5. Stay up to speed on the industry.
Both UCC and pro AV are rapidly-evolving markets. Be sure to stay up to date on the latest trends, new products and customer expectations. That way, you’ll be well-informed and confident at every sales meeting.
If you’re new to UCC and pro AV, consider partnering with a technology distributor to help you learn the ropes and stay abreast of the industry. And be sure to join industry organizations and subscribe to VAR publications to hear the latest.
What are your top tips for selling UCC and pro AV systems? What obstacles or challenges have you encountered so far that you weren’t expecting?