Day 2 for me at the Metaswitch Forum 2014 in New Orleans. Here are some of the notes and tips:
Bryan Grimm of Metaswitch says that NOW is the time for Hosted PBX sales. The Big Opportunity is now. larry Lisser of EMBRASE Consulting says that in the Crossing the Chasm, the market is in the tornado: HPBX has reached mainstream. However, it will take a good amount of education of the buyers about what you are selling. But first you have to train (re-train) your salespeople to stop selling products and start selling solutions!
Only 6% of the US very small businesses with 1-4 employees have HPBX.
How do we structure products operationally and for marketing?
One-third of the market content with their current situation. Your number 1 competitor is Status Quo!
Stop telecom-speak. No more acronyms!
The perception is that HPBX is cheap but not as good as TDM.
Sell service, not technology. Your buyers don't give a hoot about the tech.
Economics and Product as required. Economics means that your pricing has to be aligned with your marketplace. Product means that core features are required. [survey by Metaswitch of small business owners.]
Your Brand consists of your messaging, communications and your customer service.
Product + People + Process for Success. Hire A Players who will put processes in place (and follow them and document).
RingCentral, 8x8 and Vonage are reference points for buyers.
Salespeople never forget mistakes made. Ever. Tell tales about 2 years ago like it was 2 weeks ago.
Hosted PBX is a forklift upgrade for most customers.
Please note the Segway, a tech marvel, with not much use in a buyer's daily life. Don't build a Segway - some technological marvel that the engineers can point to. What you want is to make a McDonalds - a process-driven, cookie-cutter, repeatable operation that can scale despite B Players but deliver a great tasting meal to billions of customers 24/7. What will it take for you to make your operation like any franchise organization? It isn't about the tech - the tech is a given as long as it is stable and works - it is about repeatable delivery of a positive customer outcome.
Metaswitch is an Agile dev shop.
Stop selling Products.