By: Jonathan Hartman
The opportunity to sell SIP trunking is wide open. While the uptake has been growing, market penetration is still low – around 38 percent of businesses are using it today, according to a 2013 report from Infonetics.
The service has appeal and application across businesses large and small and particular benefits to call centers. Its cost savings and feature-enablement hit both hot buttons for customers, making it a great door-opener for new accounts.
Among the major selling points for SIP trunking is that its savings can be great enough to subsidize an infrastructure upgrade to an IP-based PBX or UC system. This is especially attractive to customers that are capital constrained and also to channel partners that sell hardware along with carrier services.
And, while there are some objections to SIP trunking, they are readily overcome or managed by savvy channel partners.
Here are some common objections and/or sales impediments and possible solutions:
SIP does not always work well for faxing despite some providers’ claims. Most partners get around this by recommending customers keep a POTS line for their fax line and alarm monitoring systems.
Because SIP is running over the data network on an open channel, it is vulnerable to hackers, which wasn’t an issue with legacy dedicated circuits. Anti-intrusion measures must be implemented at the service provider and LAN level.
Existing service contract.
If a customer is on contract for a legacy service, they may not be able to switch to SIP. Most companies implement SIP trunking for only some of their communications, so it’s possible to implement new connections and then add as the legacy agreements expire.
Similarly, if a customer is using or considering a hosted communications service, they will not require SIP trunking. If they have a need for a hybrid environment — on premises at HQ and hosted at branches —SIP trunking may still be in order to tie it together. SIP trunks with a premises system also may be more cost effective than a hosted solution in that a SIP trunk can serve the needs of three to four employees (depending on oversubscription policies) while a hosted seat is needed for each employee.
Falling legacy prices.
Because the prices for T1s and PRIs are now very low, customers may not be as strongly incented to move to SIP for cost savings. For those customers, turn the discussion to productivity-enablement features made possible with SIP trunking.
Despite following the SIP standard, not all SIP trunking services are the same. Implementation of the SIP standard can vary so interoperability with vendor gear is not always assured. Look for SIP trunking providers that have pre-certified interoperability with the major IP PBX suppliers.