Growth is an important part of a business and something we’ve experienced and learnt from. From our roots as a small company in Belfast to a now nationally recognised business, we’ve been asked by industry experts – What is the key to this growth? The answer, partner channels. Our VoIP Partner Programme introduces companies, unable to provide and build their own hosted solutions, with the opportunity to offer their customers with an innovative cloud telephone system. One of the integral components in our growth has been the development of partner channels throughout the UK. We’ve experienced an almost weekly growth of these partnerships which have helped us extend the reach of our vision. But just how do you attract and maintain these relationships?
Who Was The System Built For?
The building and design process was an essential part of creating an overall cloud-based system that changed how companies communicate. To address this, we first have to look at what was currently out there, and how businesses used it. In doing this we wanted to find how traditional phone systems were failing people, and how this insight could be used to create the world’s most simple to use phone system; making it an easy sell for our channel partners. Through our investigation, we found three main stakeholders for handling and managing communications in a business:
- End Users
These three groups of audiences make up the design and layout of byphone’s hosted system; the platform was created for them. Let’s look more closely at each segment and their importance to the user experience of byphone.
We wanted to create a system that allowed sophisticated changes to be easily made. We achieved this through our drag and drop technology, enabling rapid control over the call flow and direction of routing. However, our goals were bigger than this. We wanted more. We realised the potential for saving partner engineering resources, by making the systems so easy that customers could direct their own call routes. When a partner was able to complete a user install for over 100 individuals with device provisions, in just 2 hours, we knew we’d got it right. By giving power to less tech-centric partners, we expanded our market and influence while providing a new option to a supplier’s services.
Managers are the lifeblood of a business. These are the people who inspire and implement change. We wanted to give them the tools to operate both their company’s communications, but also their staff. But just how could we do this?
Data & Analytics
We wanted to help management improve the efficiency and overall customer experience of the business by providing crucial insights into how they were communicating, and how they could do it better. Managers need access t0 powerful call data tools to assess how many calls were being made by individuals and how many calls were being missed. But tools like this are often very costly. Therefore, we integrated access to call data and executive analytic tools within our systems, creating a valuable and competitive package for our channel partners to offer. Managers simply log into our system, locate the call reporting tool and in an instant, endless call data is provided from every facet of the business. Valuable insights are provided at the moment they are recorded, presented in an easy-to-understand bar graph and can be used at will to improve a company’s communications.
The end-users are arguably the most important people to consider when designing a product. Although we’ve created a product that is easy to configure and provides powerful management and analytic tools, if it’s complicated to use and non-user-friendly, we’ve failed. We wanted to make communicating with their customers effortless. But how could we achieve this? We started by looking at how each person within a company uses their phone; from the receptionist to the engineers. We wanted to empower users to have more control and efficiency in how they did their jobs. Providing a simple ‘one-click-to-dial’ function, users avoided the unnecessary task of manually dialling numbers and could simply click the number via their browser or from their companies contact list on our system. If the user was making a call internally, they simply had checked who was available and click ‘call’. Simple.
Once we had created a product that met the needs of the three core groups in a business, we now needed to examine our customer proposition to provide our partners with a product to secure business. However, what product would suit their needs? A phone system with all the bells and whistles? Or, a simple setup that does what you needs to do? We went for the latter. Why? we wanted to increase our partner’s rate of sale, by providing them with a product they could sell more of, at a faster rate. Many businesses don’t operate at the type of tech comprehension of a silicon valley company, they’re much more straightforward than that. A lot of its employees will not be technology-driven and may even grow apprehensive at the thought of understanding new software. It’s important that when tools such as these are introduced to the business, that staff can grasp the functionalities quickly and easily. How staff use the platform entirely depends upon the company’s requirements, that’s why we created two versions of our software.
Only pay for the features you need. No IVR? Then don’t pay. Don’t need voicemail? We won’t add it on. You build the system based on the functionalities of the company’s communications. For businesses with a small workforce, call reporting won’t be a necessity. What is important to them is an easy to use, cost-efficient cloud-based phone solution; that’s what they get.
This is where the real magic happens. Our whole suite of features comes as standard; all call reporting, data and analytics included. If a business wants to improve efficiency, this is the solution for them. Guage the output of your workforce, how many calls your business is missing and most importantly, at what times. Enterprise provided seasoned players with an established platform to take their communications to the next level and turn near-misses into hits.
Now we had the right software and commercial offering, it was time to start thinking outside the box. Voice is the most important component of our system, and to protect its integrity, we need to ensure that it cannot be affected by surges of data on the network. It became apparent that voice had to have a separate WAN on the network. Introducing, byroute.
It became evident, that to protect voice, you had to protect the network it passed through. byroute is software created entirely around the protection of voice on a network. Many times, routers will allow a network to be throttled by websites fighting for the biggest share of data on your network. Most notably, streaming sites such as YouTube are notorious for throttling a network during streaming, leaving other applications fighting for data. As voice is the most sensitive component on cloud telephony, having it operate on a separate WAN, mitigating the stress your network is under could result in a clear and clean connection, every time.
Our byroute system only works with high-speed commercial lines, providing separation in data and voice using layer 3 switches. We supply four models, depending on the number of ports required and the number of users on the system; all routers are configured to run two circuits: one for voice and one for data. For larger companies making many outbound calls (recruitment agencies, telemarketers), we’ve provided the perfect solution to protecting voice on a stressed network.
When talking to a business, become an advisor rather than a salesperson. When competitors are focusing on selling a phone system, our partners are engaged in a conversation to ensure their network is up to the job, providing technical knowledge and credibility, unlike any other business.
Our partners connect the byroute router & software to their client’s network, and instantly, can separate a WAN for voice, while assessing the activity of their network and where it has spiked. In the instance of reoccurring spikes, partners can detail to their customers what user (device) connected to the router was causing the stress on the network. If necessary, devices such as mobiles can be removed from the network, leaving only the essential devices linked to the network. Leave it for a few days, allowing them to return and collect and discuss the results. Customers can now feel reassured that byphone will be working at optimum efficiency with voice being strongly protected on their network.
Going The Extra Mile – Marketing, Sales & Technical Support
We understand that many of our partners are busy running their own business, managing staff and promoting other services. We can’t expect those partners to be as knowledgable about the product as we are, thus, we support their salesforce wherever we can. Having a problem articulating a certain feature or benefit? Brush up on your knowledge with our marketing collateral via our partner newsletter and sales workshops. We can provide telesales resources to our partners, with their given GDPR permissions. Furthermore, we can make the call as the partner and book an appointment for them to go out and sell.
Providing Marketing Collateral
Interested to learn more about the product? Our byphone blog provides multiple articles including product guides, VoIP know-how and reasons to switch to a hosted phone system. Partners are encouraged to access this collateral as much as they want to top up their knowledge and gain insight into a different sales and marketing position. However, using this content and rewording it to fit your company’s tone of voice (do not copy & paste!) can be valuable in providing information to existing customers who frequently access your website or social pages. Sometimes, a new pitch is all you need to transform your sales ROI.
Not sure how to pitch the product? We’ll attend customer sites and present byphone on our partners’ behalf. This can initially be to help partners train, or as on-going support to help them secure business. Our expert knowledge in the telecoms market is inforced by our wealth of experienced business development managers. The major benefit lies in our plethora of partners and the industries they operate in. We understand that a pitch to a business within hospitality will be completely different from that in telesales, and thus, we approach our positioning as such. Pitching to countless companies from various industries has resulted in a tailored approach, specific to the background of the business. Furthermore, partners can gain valuable insight into how to position a pitch to their customers, resulting in a higher close rate. It’s all about knowing your customer and their needs, we do not adopt a blanket approach.
Our expert technical team is always at hand to help with any issue or query relating to the problem. Our help desk caters for round-the-clock issues, and because our engineers and developers are in-house, you’ll never be left waiting for a third-party response. Better yet, any bugs or problems that occur with the software are immediately addressed at our HQ in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Your ticket is raised to the help desk who will deal with the issue and if necessary, can relay any further information on to your account manager. We pride ourselves on not only providing a holistic hosted communications solution but also, dealing with issues and queries in a unified manner. We don’t like to share; our problems are dealt with by our technical teams and no one else.
The ‘Everything’ VoIP Partner Programme
It’s no longer enough to simply provide a hosted phone solution and expect our partners to sell at will. We understand that business is a lot more complicated than that; things always get in the way. That’s why we pride ourselves on offering a holistic partner programme, where we not only provide you with an innovative VoIP phone system but provide the sales & marketing training to give you the best chance of selling the product to your customers. Furthermore, we want to see how you’re doing along the way. Is there something we could help with? Are you having problems pitching a specific feature or benefit to a client? Or, is there a technical issue that our in-house tech team can help with? We’re here for you through every step of the journey.
We’re currently partnering with IT and Telecoms businesses throughout the UK. Interested? Then we’d love to sit down over a coffee with you and see if our businesses can work together.
Want to find out more? Visit us here.