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Collaboration in the Workplace: Seven Dont's When Trying to Sell

April 09, 2017

Resellers have to spend a considerable amount of time positioning unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions in order to get a sale. They must speak to not only IT groups, but to C-level managers who control the budget. But unlike other business tools, when selling collaboration, it should be sold using a “solution selling” process and with collaborative content that will allow vendors to have the answers and credibility required to be successful. There are certain ways collaboration tools should be positioned with customers and there are things that should and should not be said. Below are some things to remember when selling an UCC solution:

  • Resellers need to take the time to understand the pain points in a business before trying to sell collaboration. If a vendor tries to sell based on ROI and the customer is not that concerned with their bottom line, the sale probably won’t happen. If a reseller finds that the bottom line is the customer’s most important buying criterion and can show good metrics, a sale is more likely.

  • Don’t talk about features and functionality; tell customers how collaboration solutions can solve their particular communication issues.

  • Don’t forget to tell customers about the collaboration solutions purchased by their competitors, how much it has helped their business and what problems were solved. Most businesses will also want the latest, greatest tools as well in order to keep up with their competition.

  • Remember to talk to the employees who will need – and be more likely to use – collaboration tools. Find out their issues and show them the benefits of the solution. Some vendors will even introduce solutions into smaller groups on a trial basis to allow them to get the feel of collaboration tools. Getting them on-board will make it easier to sell to management in the long run.

  • Don’t forget to learn about the customer’s mobility strategy and how collaboration will benefit mobile users. If a dealer ignores this issue then it crops up down the road, there may be interoperability problems, making for an unhappy customer. The same is true of contact center solutions.

  • Don’t say, “We can do that” if you are not sure. VARs can lose credibility quickly this way.

  • Once the sale is made, ensure that the solution is engineered properly and tested, but most of all, see to it that employees are trained thoroughly and know how to use their new tools and have documentation available. This will guarantee a successful implementation.

Solution selling is a way of thoroughly understanding a business and its requirements, needs and problems. Gathering that information carefully, along with dollar amounts for lost productivity, sales and time, as well as expenses for business trips and meetings, will give VARs the tools they need to successfully sell collaboration solutions. The key to vendor success is as follows: don’t sell UCC as a technology, but instead as a process-improver and problem-solver. Managers need to see the tangible benefits: ROI, process improvements and increased productivity. Employees need to see the benefits of easier and more successful teamwork.  Collaboration technology, when put into the context of a process with definitive roles and behaviors, can easily be seen as a benefit by many enterprises.

Are there other issues about selling UCC that should be discussed in this forum? Please feel free to comment below.