A lot of time when discussing Skype for Business with a potential client, I focus on how the solution will transform the way the business communicates across departments, but specifically how it will improve the IT team’s communication/collaboration, as well as the executives. One prospect recently asked me “how will this make my sales team more effective”, which made me reflect on all of the ways it’s transformed the way I sell compared to previous solutions I’ve used.
- Minimizing Internal Communication Delays – As a technology salesperson, I NEVER know everything I need to know when clients go deep technologically with me while discussing a solution. Skype for Business allows me to still conduct my meetings with clients solo as needed, and shoot IM’s to my technical team members during a meeting to gather the information I need. I can also ask my billing team invoice questions during the meeting, contact my support team about tickets, all without needing to setup a new time to circle back with the client.
- Maximizing touches with clients – As more and more clients transition to Office 365, finding my clients and prospects on Skype for Business becomes easier and easier. Instead of leaving voicemail after voicemail that get forgotten about, I know who is available based on their presence, and shoot a personal IM that gets the conversation rolling quickly. Also, knowing how busy schedules are with many clients, I can track my clients for “status change”, alerting me when they become available, so I can be the first person that contacts them before they jump into the next task.
- Speeding up the sales cycle – One of the most difficult parts of my sales process is after having an initial discussion with a client, finding time to review and present the solution to the decision makers with their hectic schedules. It can often take weeks to get a client to find a time to dedicate to a solution presentation, and even then it often gets cancelled last minute. With Skype for Business, I often will just shoot an IM to a client asking if they’re free for a couple minutes, then initiate a voice call and screen share to dive right into presenting instead of waiting weeks to find a “good time”, which allows me to drive the opportunity forward while it’s still on the client’s mind.
- Always available – I’m constantly on the road as a salesperson, and therefore can have a lot of work build up while on the move or in meetings. Being responsive to my clients is a big priority for me, so having the ability to access my information and clients quickly from anywhere is paramount. With Skype for Business, I can change my call forwarding on a moment’s notice based on my schedule that day (forward all calls to my cell phone, simultaneous ring to my cell and business line, have calls forward after a certain number of rings, etc.). The mobile client also allows me to communicate from the road as if I’m at my desk, reducing downtime and letting me get the most out of my travel time.
- Integration across tools – Before I had Skype for Business, in many ways I was using my email as a form of Instant Messaging. I would end up sending 5-10 emails in a day on the same email chain, but the response times were so long that a simple conversation would take hours as opposed to minutes. Now that I use Skype for Business to gather information quickly, I need to be able to find those key answers at a later point. With the full Office integration with Skype for Business, Outlook saves my “conversation history”, making each IM searchable at a given moment. I can also see an email and respond via IM, giving my team member the title of the email as the subject topic, informing them exactly what the conversation is about before it even starts.
I could list another dozen ways Skype for Business has made me a more effective salesperson, and if you’re considering implementing Skype for your organization, I’d be happy to go deeper into how it can transform the way your business operates.
Martin Feehan, PEI