Business owners are actively pursuing strategies to reduce costs by utilizing contact center as a service (CCaaS) solutions. The global CCaaS market size was estimated at $3.48 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $10.8 billion by 2028.
According to Deloitte Digital’s 2021 Global Contact Center Survey, by the end of 2020, 32 percent of companies were using cloud contact center technologies. But 75 percent expect to make the move within the next two years.
Does a 210 percent marketplace gain sound appealing? Do you know where to start? Need help nurturing those leads or closing the deal?
Buckle up. We’ve convened the experts — Michael Del Signore, national contact center expert, Andy Rustad, solutions engineer, and Tom Legare, director, solutions engineering — to provide you with an exclusive deep dive into CCaaS solutions and best prepare you for selling them so that you can build your practice.
What do Partners need to know about CCaaS today?
Michael Del Signore:
The capabilities, technologies and features that can help with their client’s opportunities.
The market opportunity. The stats above show there’s a 24 month window for considerable growth. Customer service (“CX”) is a key differentiator for businesses. A company’s CX experience determines whether a client will do business with them again or turn to a competitor in the future.
Almost every client you meet with, whether it’s a prospective new client or an existing client, can benefit from a CX conversation.
Even though I’m deeply familiar with this industry, I’m still amazed by the dollar amount I’m seeing companies invest in contact center platforms to improve customer service. In many cases, the agents working within those platforms are the first contact a customer has with the company. Whether it’s by voice, webchat, email, a web form, text — whatever that experience might be.
CX isn’t only about providing the customer with instant information and having that information at your fingertips on a single screen. It’s about improving the agent experience. Agent turnover is one of the biggest challenges that businesses face. Turnover averages between 30 and 45 percent in the call center industry and shows no sign of slowing down.
Providing agents with the right tools and data boosts agent satisfaction, which in turn affects customer satisfaction. And higher agent satisfaction also improves attrition.
Tom brings up a great point. All organizations have priorities focused on reducing operational expenses. CCaaS solutions can help companies achieve that outcome. Through those discussions, you can trigger more opportunities with customers, helping them achieve cost efficiencies, improving the bottom line and generating more revenue.
What are some of the key gateways to CCaaS deals?
Identifying, establishing and nurturing a relationship with the right contact to introduce, showcase and ultimately sell CCaaS solutions. For example, many Partners may have IT resources as their main contacts. You may have been selling circuits for years with the client and the IT resource is your only contact with the business.
But to sell more CCaaS you need to think differently and identify more appropriate contacts, typically on the business side. Consider senior-level managers in customer service, marketing and operations. These roles within a business will all have a deep appreciation and focus on improving the overall customer experience. Identify those that CCaaS solutions pull on their heartstrings and strengthen their functions.
These contacts are a gateway to fresh conversations about the benefits of CCaaS.
Before meeting with a prospect, I’d encourage you to dig into their website and social media to gather these insights:
- What does the company’s communication look like?
- How are they communicating with clients?
- How are clients interacting with the business?
- Do they have webchat?
- Do they have web forms?
- Does the company have toll-free numbers?
- Is there an option for customers to opt-in to marketing offerings by entering their mobile device number?
- Is the client on social media platforms?
- Is social media a two-way interaction? Or are the clients interacting with the company but the business doesn’t engage?
- Is the business providing customer support over social media?
The gateway piece to the conversation happens in a few ways. It’s important to ask the client how they communicate with their customers today.
You can do a lot to open the door to an in-depth conversation about how a business provides service to its customers.
What are the benefits customers can realize with CCaaS?
CCaaS delivers significant benefits to customers. To name a few:
- Improved customer experience, customer satisfaction score and net promoter score.
- Increased customer loyalty and reduced customer churn.
- Added customer service channels and resources
Reduced operational expense and reduced total cost of ownership.
- Minimized risk and managed change.
- Increased revenue and productivity.
Here’s the good news. There are a million different ways you can help clients get there. I’ll insert myself here as an example. I love it when it’s simple, quick, and served self-service style and I don’t have to speak live with a human. That’s a win for me and trends show I’m in the majority.
But, oftentimes, this is also a win on the business side because it’s less expensive for businesses to handle the type of transaction if it’s handled correctly.
What is the most common question you receive about CCaaS?
The question that comes up most frequently is, “Who is the best contact center Supplier in your portfolio?” And the answer is, there isn’t a single Supplier who is the perfect fit for every deal.
With our extensive Supplier Portfolio, we can have in-depth business conversations with you and your clients about key business drivers, critical business issues and, most importantly, what the desired business outcomes look like.
We have the Suppliers in our portfolio to meet those needs across the board. When you are ready to start researching Suppliers for your opportunity, you can use our SupplierScope tool in MyIntelisys to get a side-by-side comparison by product, technology and geographic services. You can also leverage Supplier Battlecards that are branded to your company to enable sales conversations.
I hear that question ad nauseam. And again, it’s important to understand the client’s requirements and that particular business vertical. Some Suppliers are better with certain verticals than others. Intelisys University offers vertical market education to help guide vertical-specific questions for more effective sales conversations.
It’s common to hear how many seats? What is the quantity? What is the scope? What is in the client’s budget? All great questions to start the conversation around CCaaS.
Another question we hear frequently — what’s the best size for a contact center deal? And, frankly, it could be any size opportunity. You could have a nice contact center opportunity that starts at two or three seats up into the tens of thousands.
Complexity is another area that is starting to emerge related to contact center opportunities. They can be one of the most complex sales in our portfolio. But a contact center opportunity can also start extremely basic, with some basic reporting.
We hear this question a lot — “Do I have to replace my existing contact center platform to gain the benefits and feature functionality of new technology that’s out on the market?”
You may have clients that might not need the full suite of features that come with a CCaaS seat. Maybe they need a certain feature, like artificial intelligence or analytics tools. We get those questions a lot.
Don’t sleep on our Virtual Sales Engineer tool. This is your guide for asking qualification questions about specific cloud technologies, including CCaaS. With this online cloud opportunity qualification and collaboration tool, you can work with our Solutions Engineering team to create optimal solutions.
Andy:Many of our Suppliers provide over-the-top offerings that can ride on top of cloud-based, premises-based and hybrid contact center platforms. You can access SupplierScope in MyIntelisys to quickly identify the right Supplier for your client’s needs.
Where are Partners seeing challenges around CCaaS?
Our Suppliers can meet almost any challenge the customers can come up with. You can run into challenges later on in the process if we don’t clearly identify all the integrations that are required.
For example, if a customer has a homegrown solution that might cause a challenge. They might need an integration that hasn’t existed in the past which will need to be built. Generally, the more thorough and complete the discovery process is, the smoother the project goes later in the life cycle.
That’s why with CCaaS it’s so important for discovery to go beyond the technology early in the process. How do agents do their work every day? What is the flow into other processes within the company? Besides a CRM tool, what other systems are out there that the contact center touches that we may not be aware of?
Don’t forget about timeline implementation. In some cases, you and your clients are unaware that the timeline doesn’t start until the contracts are signed. We’re going to keep you informed about timelines because we operate as an extension of your business and we’re here to help you build CCaaS solutions.
As Tom said, the biggest challenges that we run into are rarely from a technology perspective.
It’s important that you understand the CCaaS sales process. Specifically, all of the steps and all of the interactions.
A CCaaS sale is 10 percent technology, 90 percent business. So, it’s not dealing as much on the IT side of the house as it is on the business side of the house.
We know that many of you are successfully selling ISP connectivity and private IP connectivity, as well as basic UCaaS.
Those tend to be pretty easy conversations.
CCaaS can be a more complex sales cycle and process, involving a lot more people across the client side during discovery. From intro, to demo, all the way through to the end. It’s a different conversation and those of you that are new to the space may see it as a challenge. Plus, it’s going to be different for you to work the deal from a “transactional” mindset.
What is Intelisys doing that solves those challenges regarding CCaaS?
Matching you and your clients with the right Supplier from start to finish, to meet your needs and solve business challenges.
We’re building out the resources we have available to help you win these opportunities. The CCaaS Journey is available in iU today and that resource provides practical guidance for every step of the sales process.
We’re positioned to bring the pieces together in a consultative way. We’re not biased towards one solution over the other. Our focus is on providing the right solution based on that customer’s needs, whether they’re SMB or enterprise, domestic or global, whatever it might be.
Here’s what makes us unique. We deliver more than the cloud-based contact center — we deliver the entire process. You can count on us to help create a total contact center solution, including handsets and headsets, some of the devices, the project management and implementation, and some professional services.
You don’t have to walk away from a deal or leave any money on the table for someone else. We’ve got solutions for the entire marketplace ecosystem, from hardware to cloud, so that you are best prepared for comprehensive CCaaS opportunities.
Resources to Help You Sell More CCaaS
Businesses of all sizes and in all industries can benefit from CCaaS features. Gartner predicts that CCaaS will likely hit mainstream adoption in less than two years. The window of opportunity is open.
The expansion of the market will present new opportunities for those looking to expand into new markets and sell more CCaaS.
Ready to build and scale your business? Visit the CCaaS Journey page in iU for coaching, education and marketing resources that will support you through each phase of the sales cycle and get started today.