Infotech Lead Asia: As small business phone systems have evolved, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems have helped improve productivity and efficiency, all while lowering costs.
What most people don’t realize is that a good VoIP phone system can directly improve a business’ top line revenues as well.
Here are six simple ways to make more money with your small business phone system:
Use Unique Phone Numbers
Using unique phone numbers in your marketing materials and sales promotions can help you track media investments. Assign unique numbers for each campaign, region or media type (billboards, online, radio, etc.). With simple phone system reports, you will know where and when you get the best results. This will help you to identify underperforming areas where you shouldn’t be investing and double down where you are having success.
Make Your Business Feel More Local
Take the unique phone numbers a step further and use ones in the same cities and area codes where your prospects live. Everyone likes to do businesses with a local company—it makes them feel like they can walk down the street and talk to you in person, if necessary.
Setting up a local phone number is easy, and with a good small business phone system you can determine how those calls are routed inside your organization.
Invest in Sales People, Not Overhead
While you may have money freed up to open a new sales office, the fact is real estate and the overhead of a new office are expensive and often under-utilized.
A small business phone system will allow you to test new markets before you make final expansion decisions. You can hire contract sales people and extend your phone system to them by giving them a phone at home, a PC softphone, or by sending calls to their mobile phone automatically.
A virtual office set-up gives you the flexibility to test new people and new markets without any significant investment or overhead.
Make Sure Revenue Stays with Your Company
Even if turnover in your organization is low, it is still an issue, as it costs real money to replace employees. When sales people leave an organization, not only do you have replacement costs, but they usually stay in the same industry and some percentage of your customer base will follow them.
Make sure sales people never publish their cell phone numbers while doing work for your organization. With features like mobile twinning and softphones, sales people can still get calls on the road, but the calls will come into your business first and then be routed to their cell phones. So, when sales people do leave, and some inevitably will, you can redirect those calls to other sales staff. This will help you avoid the pitfall of having callers reaching out to you and finding your competition instead.
Start a New Sales Channel Without Any New People
A famous PC company once claimed that it makes 90 percent of revenue through non-sales channels—meaning that customer service, repair and support calls all went through an upsell process and accounted for the majority of the business’ cash flow. It makes sense – who better to recommend products than the people who talk to your customers on a regular basis and solve their problems?
Jeff Mowatt, author and customer service strategist, says you need to look out for three big mistakes:
1. No attempt is made to upsell.
2. The salesperson comes across as pushy.
3. The upselling is done in an unconvincing manner and the customer refuses.
So, how do you make sure non-sales employees are doing a good job selling when their primary job is something different? Your small business phone system should be able to record calls and provide you with tools to help you evaluate employee performance in real-time.
While most small companies would not consider themselves as having a “call center,” the fact is, how incoming calls are handled is important to virtually every business and having tools to ensure the quality of those customer interactions is a great source of new revenue.
Never Miss a Sale
The “consumerization” of IT (information technology) has changed our business model from a “next-day” world into an “always-on” world. Customers expect and demand that they are able to talk to a live person every time they call your company.
The fact is staffing for our always-on business market is expensive if you don’t have the right tools. When employees can have 24/7 access to systems and messages, regardless of location and time, they perform better and connect with customers more often. Features like mobile twinning and voicemail-to-email ensure that your employees never miss a call, never miss a sale and never miss a chance to impress your customers.
Generating new revenue is simple if you have an easy-to-use small business phone system. While many companies offer basic features, make sure your phone system has advanced features that will help you generate new revenue. Look for a service provider that offers everything in an affordable monthly price, but doesn’t require any capital investment or new IT resources.
By Russ Fordyce, managing director of Marketing for Broadview Networks, creators of the small business phone system, OfficeSuite