2 Reasons It is Hard to Sell UC

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

2 Reasons It is Hard to Sell UC

Despite the numerous UC providers crowding the marketplace, the actual sales of UC seats is not skyrocketing. Companies with 25% growth like 8x8, number in the dozens, not in the hundreds.

For some, it is a focus-message mess. They want to appeal to everyone - and that market is already taken.

Others think it is a price thing, which it is NOT. (see here, because at $4.99 per seat, if price was the component to grease sales, these guys would be cleaning up.) We have had free services before (Skype, NetZero). It doesn't mean that it will own the market.

Besides messaging, pricing, targeting and value, the foundation of a marketing strategy, there are 2 reasons that it is hard to sell UC (or HPBX or UC&C).

The first problem with selling UC or UC&C is that users don't want to change! I have tried to explain this before but Seth Godin does a great job here: " (*the bulk of the market doesn't ever truly want change, because change brings risk and risk brings fear. Give people a chance to avoid change, and they'll likely take it)."

So while you are selling change, most people don't want to change. You have to tell a powerful story about what happens if they do change. (OUTCOME)

This explains both SIP Trunking and Key System Emulation.

The other problem is the Signal-to-Noise Ratio - or the Attention Deficit Problem. This week there were a ton of press releases in VoIP/UC. Some of that volume was due to the EC16 show. Here is a smattering sample.

AT&T Launches Cloud-Based Collaborate. I think it is their version of a Broadsoft powered product. (I might be wrong, because it was a small press release and vaguely worded - as is the website.)

VoicePulse, Cytracom, Votacall and SolveForce all had press releases to make noise. Not saying much but just putting something out there to get in front of people. No idea who the PR firms are that do this, but it is for all intents and purposes worthless.

Work a little harder at sharpening your message. Target better. Do a case study or a customer story. At least try to be a little more tangible to the nameless, faceless businesses you seem to being throwing spaghetti at.

Telecom is just above a root canal on what people want to think about. Maybe going car shopping is the closest pain in the butt to buying telecom.

Jon Arnold explains that the Economic advantage of VoIP has declined and the business value of telephony has weakened. This makes people procrastinate more on a buying decision until a trigger event - like a rate hike or the PBX breaks.

What all those press releases do say is that there are a large number of providers doing anything to make noise, to get noticed. There are ways to do that without wasting money or looking hopeless. Give me a call and we can talk about it because you have to sell Change and Explain Value.


Amidst the noise there was a merger: Diverse Technology Solutions Inc. acquires cloud hosted Unified Communications VOIP telephony provider 'Voitual' of Delray Beach, Florida. This was about as big as Miami-based IPFone winning the bid for Intelacloud from bankruptcy court.

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