Comms Business Magazine asked distributor Nimans and headset vendor Sennheiser their advice for resellers wanting to sell more headsets.
Tom Maxwell, Head of Dealer Sales, Nimans.
Building sales can be a slow burner requiring a fair amount of patience. Resellers need to be aware that when they put a device such as a UC headset into an environment for the first time – and the people who wear it instantly appreciate the advantages such as increased productivity – other people will want one too. It’s a snowball effect.
Headsets are technology gadgets with so many inbuilt features, so it’s only by getting people to use them that they will fully understand just how much it can enhance their daily lives.
It will tell you who is ringing you, announcing the caller’s name from your address book and even send out a signal if you are not sure where it is. The best way is to seed or trial headsets, getting them through the door with as many installs as possible.
There are some really smart pieces of kit, especially for MD’s who don’t even know they are wearing a device. The audio quality and comfort is great. In terms of making margin it’s about highlighting the benefits. If there are 10 people using headsets and another 10 who are not, one team will be much more productive, getting through their calls and generating more sales. The key is to sell the features and how they will enhance business performance.
In the old days, the most popular headsets were corded devices just used for calls. But now people can break free from their desk and multi-task with much more agility. Headsets are becoming part of a worker’s set of clothes. You don’t just walk away from your desk and leave it there, it goes with you. In many ways the traditional desk is being used less, with calls and communication taking place elsewhere. Resellers need to sell the concept, place a couple of headsets into an office, and watch the momentum build.
Jane Craven, Director of Sales at Sennheiser Communications
It’s very important to adequately profile companies so that you can deliver the most suitable product for their needs. Though cheaper products may inevitably be more popular, selling in an entry-level solution without properly assessing its suitability to the environment could be false economy if a company and its employees would benefit from a slightly higher-end model.
This can be done at the point of first contact but it’s also important to address information from previous sales. For example, there might be a good opportunity to revisit a Lync roll-out from a year ago that perhaps involved a series of entry-level headsets to see if needs have changed, if this headset is still the correct profile or if an upgrade could be offered to better fulfil their requirements.
Similarly for headset-reliant companies such as call centres who may be using traditional telephony, it’s important to revisit these opportunities and talk to them about their targets and whether the performances of their headsets can be improved – perhaps by introducing wireless technology for improved flexibility or selling the benefits of a more feature-rich model.
Of course all of this is a lot easier if the relationship between the reseller and the client is a good one. At Sennheiser we put a lot of time and resources into establishing and maintaining very strong direct relationships to help ensure everything from initial budget expectations and delivery requirements to maintenance and roll-out is handled smoothly, and that we react quickly to customer requests and enquiries as and when they arrive.
Finally it’s important to effectively pitch the benefits of both UC and headsets as an effective combination – there is no need for these to be delivered in separate approaches. Headsets need to be introduced to customers from the start of a project, as part of the UC solution rather than as an afterthought. It’s important that headsets are considered from the beginning so that there is time for in depth user profiling and testing of the headsets with the users. This ensures that the correct headset is purchased and can be rolled out on time with the rest of the UC project. When the headset is left until the end of a project there is often a rush to get something rolled out which might not be fit for purpose and there is often little budget left. Moving over to UC represents a huge investment, so it would be disappointing to see the system fall down at the last hurdle – the headset, the most physical, tangible part of the set up.