Integration Sales – Are You Meeting the Online Resources Challenge?
How do we define the proper way to do business in this era of rapid technological advancement? Where business was once all about the cold-call dials and networking events, with marketing materials present in his or her briefcase as one went out on the sales call, the new age of technology and media has added a whole dimension to the sales-driven dial the phone/get the appointment model.
In my last blog Gaining New Customers – Strategic Social Media and Marketing Focus For Integrators, I went over numerous ways to strategically enhance a company’s online business profile and gave examples of certain industry manufacturers and integrators who have done so. As opposed to when I began in AV integration sales in the 1990’s, there is no comparison to what we have at our disposal now in terms of online technologies and tools. Is everyone out there who reads this publication leveraging them, or even half of them at this point?
I have worked in sales in AV and IT for almost 25 years and some of what I do today results from my years of experience. I talk with CEO’s, CTO’s, CIO’s, Marketing and PR execs and other high level people to get a story, set up an interview, meetings for trade shows and more. Is this because I write for rAVe? Possibly in one sense, however there still is the notion that you have to pick up the phone, send the e-mail, and interact in some way including via LinkedIn and Twitter (which I do both) to achieve your goal of getting that meeting. First and foremost I know that I need to be prepared when I talk with them which includes knowledge base that I presently have, proper research on the company and the individual as well as the technologies to be discussed. I can use numerous avenues for research to include social media like LinkedIn and Twitter to your basic Google search.
As a sales person, you do need to arm yourself with a certain level of knowledge and not go out with the “sales is sales” mentality. Are you selling videoconferencing? Digital signage solutions? Is audio a main solution sell for your company? Whatever it might be, you as the sales person are as always responsible as the front-line for the company to continue to flourish and grow, and you will need to continue to develop knowledge base, do research and communicate the proper messages. Just where do you find these materials to do all of that?
Let’s take videoconferencing, as we know most out there sell these, or should we say UCC solutions. Many as we know are Cisco Collaboration partners and know full well about their hardware offerings and Spark for Slack-type collaboration (along with Acano who was purchased earlier this year by the company), however let’s say that you have also partnered with a cloud services provider like Videxio. First, here is their website. I would say most of the information you need on the company and their offerings are right there, as well as links to their social media sites to find further information. You’ll see that Videxio is a Video Conferencing as a Service (VCaaS) provider which is explained here. The Videxio “meeting experience” is outlined here. One option as a Videxio partner is to be able to co-brand or white label the service as your own as you’d notice on their Partners page.
You’ll also notice something that I alluded to in my previous blog and that’s their News page.
One news item published on May 31 Videxio enables Cisco Telepresence DX70 and DX80 to register to its Cloud Service can be of great help for sales people who have clients that are Cisco DX70 and DX80 customers as Videxio announced fully automated support for these desktop telepresence video systems – targeting small huddle rooms, those who work from their desks as well as in home offices. We know full well that the huddle room and work from office and remote concepts are front and center in today’s world of business collaboration.
There is a comment in the article from a CTO of a well-known industry integrator:
“The Cisco DX series provide an excellent all-in-one Desktop Collaboration and HD video experience, however the cost of upgrading or deploying the necessary infrastructure has been something of an impediment to rapid adoption,” commented Chris Bottger, CTO of IVCi. “Our customers have been asking for a secure way of deploying and managing these devices with a cloud service. Videxio has now made this possible and this will help us to accelerate sales and respond to customer demand.”
There is also a comment from Videxio CEO Tom-Erik Lia:
“With our smart roaming, it is possible to deploy these units anywhere in the world and our one-button-to-push app ensures anyone can do it, “says Tom-Erik Lia, CEO of Videxio. “Through our cloud service we ensure an always up-to-date video directory and native interoperability with all standards based systems on SIP and H323. This makes our service a perfect match for any organization that wants to deploy standards based video endpoints like the DX-series.”
Next step, as much research as you can possibly do – here is Videxio’s Resources page with their brand manual that “details the basic elements which make up Videxio’s visual identity,” numerous short informational videos, product brochures, white papers and case studies – all that can make you better informed as a sales person as well as give you materials to bring to clients as well. Want to explain Videxio interoperability? Here’s one way:
Then there’s the Blog – here is Videxio’s page where you will also see their Twitter feed. For a sales person, there are two blogs in particular I like here for selling a cloud videoconferencing solution like Videxio – one is Who Needs Infrastructure? The Advantages of a True Cloud Video Solution (which also includes commentary from known UCC expert and analyst David Maldow) detailing the advantages of a true cloud solution vs. traditional infrastructure, and the other is Four Ways Video Collaboration Drives Innovation although while this one speaks directly to R&D and manufacturing, can you the sales person relate it to any market you are dealing directly with?
As the sales person you have resources for video conferencing sales to develop knowledge base, do research – where much of it, at least to begin with, can exist on a single provider’s website. Other examples of course include known industry providers Polycom, Pexip, Vidyo, Blue Jeans, StarLeaf – if you partner with them examine their websites, the resources, news, blogs, social media feeds and more. Do you feel that this can arm you with a level of information more than which you have at present and provide more tools for sales success?
Your company might have their own online resources (as certain companies that were highlighted in my previous blog do), if you’re not yet aware I’d advise you check into it as they may already have online tools available that you can use to enhance sales.
Next I’ll explore selling Digital Signage in the AV industry.
(Note: Reach out if you have any questions or need further information pertaining to this blog, my e-mail is below).