The 'phone is undoubtably a critical business tool; it isn't going anywhere. So it makes little sense to have your 'phone system sitting out on a limb and not integrated with your other business systems. The shift to the cloud provides small and medium businesses with an affordable, simple way to fully integrate their suite of customer facing applications.
Cloud based telephony brings unquestionable benefits to small and medium sized organisations. But what should the sales, service and IT managers be looking for when they are on the hunt for a new system. This article provides a checklist for each role.
Cloud based 'phone systems increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your customer service and sales teams
- Integrating your call activity with your CRM, sales and customer support applications. The efficiencies of having a single centralised record of all your calls with a customer or prospect are self evident. Having the historical record of all your interactions at a rep's fingertips delivers much better outcomes for the customer and the rep.
- Improving performance. Real time coaching for the team. Calls are recorded so it's easy for a manager to listen, analyse and provide feedback on the call. Coaching the team's gaps helps get and keep people up to speed.
- In a constantly evolving work environment its makes your team's work location irrelevant, whether you working a hybrid, work-from-home and work-in-office model, or a fully remote or fully in the office model you can chop and change the team's location with no impact on the key customer facing applications you run.
- Much less (or no) need for IT to get involved in set up and maintenance
- Advanced call queuing and collaboration features are no longer only available in expensive high end systems for large businesses.
This means higher close rates for sales reps and happier customer satisfaction for the service team. It adds up to greater acquisition and retention ratios, which in turn leads to greater revenue growth.
Whilst everyone uses a 'phone for work there are three main roles that usually get involved in selecting, implementing and using a cloud based 'phone system, the sales manager, the service manager and IT. Here is a typical list of each of the three main role's requirements.
A typical list of sales manager's requirements
- A demonstrable way to enhance sales team productivity. The single best way to increase revenue for most firms.
- Management Analytics and reporting. Sales is a metrics driven business process. You need an understanding of overall process effectiveness as well as individual rep performance.
- Voice system integration with other key sales applications, most importantly your CRM, providing reps with seamless workflows and prospect information at their fingertips.
- Ability to improve collaboration amongst the team. Easy sharing of best practice sales calls for coaching and learning and shared inboxes are examples.
- Positive impact on sales culture. Keeping the best reps is a sales manager's number one priority. Cloud based telephony provides the reps with best practice tools that make them more successful and features such as "call whispering" where live coaching can be given on calls.
A typical list of customer support manager's requirements
- A platform that delivers a better experience for your customers. Less repetitive input required by the customer, intuitive and useful interactive voice response (IVR) capabilities and call tagging so that the calls get forwarded to the most appropriate rep.
- A 'phone system that is integrated with the core applications the customer service reps use. Integrating voice with your CRM, help desk and tracking systems improves efficiency, centralises information and simplifies workflows.
- Really straightforward reporting and analytics so managers can see where to optimise processes and can set and manage KPIs for the team.
- A tool that helps CSRs collaborate better. Capabilities such as a shared inbox, shareable recordings, skills based call routing.
A typical list of IT managers requirements
- A 'phone system that supports flexible and remote work securely, including the use of mobile phones.
- Straightforward and manageable integration wth other applications as the organisation go increasingly digital.
- A 'phone system that is easily scaleable as the business changes and one that frees them from getting involved in day to day operational minutiae.
- Is a cheaper alternative than an on premise solution.
So what are your next steps?
If you are curious enough to set up a free trial, use this link. It will take you to our cloud telephony partner, Aircall's site. There's no commitment - it's a good way to get your hands dirty.
But If you're not ready yet and would like to read around the subject a bit more first here is a good short read.
Of course if you'd prefer to talk through your challenges first, feel free to contact us or if using online diaries are your thing, set up a time that works for you here. We'd be happy to chat through your current challenges and objectives.