UCaaS Sales Snapshot for 1Q2023

UCaaS sales are slowing, especially to bigger businesses. The national average of 13 seats seems to be holding.

The free phone promotions are back.

The SPIFFs are getting bigger.

The only interesting announcement was from Broadvoice with integrations into Zapier and Webhooks. This is where the differentiation comes from: Integrations. This is where the efficiency comes from. This is where the hook comes from.  [Try to remember that UCaaS is just software; telephony is just one of the things it enables.]

There has to be a reason to make a move to cloud communications, beyond my PBX broke (the #1 reason).

I know you are tired of hearing me say this, but more marketing has to be like Weave. No talk about an acronym; just outcomes!

The ROI and TCO stories alongside the Use Cases of business outcomes is what is needed to get businesses to make the move to cloud comm.

The only reason a 9 seat deal fell in my lap was because buying 3CX had too many upfront costs. OPEX versus CAPEX – an old tale.

The CAPEX for the PBX is between $3K and $5K, but then there is maintenance, software assurance, telephony and installation charges. They don’t get all the bells and whistles that a cloud communications solution offers like mobility, softphones, voicemail-to-email, call flip, simul ring and more.

They don’t get the collaboration piece either. File sharing, Presence, chat/messaging, SMS and so much more.

But they don’t even know any of THAT is available unless you TELL them!

When they shop for a PBX, many buyers are still thinking about the buying experience 7 years ago when they last purchased a phone system. And they think it is still JUST a phone system. Educate them on what is available.

Remind them of the  business continuity and disaster recovery features of cloud comms.

Hey, even putting them on a SIP Trunk with all of their DIDs offers them some DR effect, as they are halfway to cloud comms at that point.

What do they do for conferencing? Audio, web and video? Do they use Slack? Zoom? MS Teams?

Discovery is about finding out. Not just let me see the phone bill. Let’s discuss all the ways that you communicate. Would you like that in a nice, neat single app?

Are they bouncing between apps? Would one solution that encompasses all of it make it more efficient? Easier to manage?

Who handles licensing? Who is checking to see if there are licenses being paid for (by employee credit cards) that pay for apps that could go towards a single platform for the whole business to run on. In a belt tightening, these subscriptions are part of the TCO calculation. The extra seats or circuits (like copper pairs from the mid-2000s) or fax or POTS lines are all payments being made needlessly.

We need to actually sell. That means Help, Educate, Discover and Impact Business Goals.

ADDED NOTE: “RingCentral: Notice of upcoming commission changes for multi-year RingCentral Office and RingCentral Contact Center rates that become effective March 1, 2023. Please review schedule for upcoming changes.” From a TSD: ” RingCentral will lower residual commissions by 1% across the entire industry for all Technology Services Distributors (TSDs)”.

Meanwhile they are dropping price by 25% in competitive situations and have so many promotions they look like AT&T. This commission drop isn’t a lot – just 1% – but it is the PRINCIPLE of the thing. And apparently those contracts that the TSDs have are so strong that they allow this.

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