The marketplace for hosted PBX is surely in a growth phase. Many businesses have entered the market while there are also many ready to give it a shot. To get the most from your investments, it’s important to have a strategic plan with clear objectives for implementation, service delivery, marketing and sales. Here is a 10-minute guide with 6 major factors to help you build a solid hosted PBX business from the ground up.
- Learn about the latest trend in the hosted PBX market
According to Eastern Management Group, hosted PBX sales exceeded 18% of the total PBX market and hit a new revenue of $5 billion worldwide in 2018. Customers are bullish about their continuing use of hosted PBX. It is necessary to learn more about the market trend to be well positioned in the marketplace. What are the basic market drivers, opportunities, challenges, and restraints? What features and technologies are gaining popularity? What are customer projections for continued adoption of hosted PBX seats? How do these affect hosted PBX providers business strategies? In our last blog, we talk about a rising trend in 2019, which is that more SMB are shifting to hosted PBX, analyze some key drivers, and share advice for hosted PBX providers.
- Target customers and identify their needs
From the perspective of company size, SMB and large enterprise are two broad hosted PBX market. Hosted PBX is particularly appealing to the SMB segment. For all hosted PBX the fastest adoption is 50 employees and less, according to Easter Management Group. As for large enterprise customers, while the market is relatively small now, it is growing rapidly and offers revenue potentials especially for services, system integration, and 3rd party applications. Besides, wealthy vertical markets are the hosted PBX industry’s future. Every vertical market has distinctive communications needs and hosted PBX providers often structure their offers with unique features and enhanced functionality to match industry needs. Top vertical markets for hosted PBX are professional services, healthcare, education and retail. Research your options and target the right customers before investing in marketing to them.
- Evaluate your infrastructure and technical strength
Businesses considering adding hosted PBX service into their portfolios must first assess their existing communications infrastructure and IT staff skill sets. Basically, there are two ways of providing hosted PBX services, depending on whether you take care of the infrastructure and where you manage the service. Yeastar also provides different deployment plans for Yeastar Management Plane (YMP). If you have few technical skills and experience in hosted PBX, but still want to use YMP to deliver hosted PBX services and realize fast time-to-market, the OpEx turnkey solution requires low upfront cost, no server investment, and no infrastructure to maintain. The other option is a CapEx solution where you bring your own infrastructure. You can reside YMP in public cloud service platforms or your local data center through virtualization and thus have complete control. Whether one solution is better than the other depends on your preference and technical strength, on how much importance you attach to easy entry and control.
- Calculate the return on investment of different business models
First, determine your objectives and try to anticipate your needs in the medium and long term to make your investments worth its while. Try to calculate the ROI from a macroscopic perspective. Besides the initial costs, it is necessary to take all the peripheral expenses and benefits into account when calculating the ROI. For example, if you decide to deploy the services in your data center, the cost associated with hosting the server needs to be taken into consideration. As well as those associated with the configuration, maintenance and updates. In addition to focusing on the issue of money, focus on issues of efficiency and performance. Do you have to reconfigure your corporate infrastructure? How much time and human resources are required? Yeastar has developed an ROI calculator to help you make an informed decision. You can schedule a free YMP demo or contact us directly, we will help you figure out the level of profitability based on your situation and requirements.
- Have a general understanding of your vendors’ roadmap
Before adopting a service, have an in-depth discussion with the vendor around their plans for evolving the capabilities, including new features, integrations, and more. Find out if the vendor’s roadmap matches your potential customer needs and the market trend so that you can better future-proof your hosted PBX business. For example, 84% of IT managers say mobility is important to them, in a recent Eastern Management Group survey. Business applications data integration continues to grow and customers want it connected to the phone system. Unified messaging, instant messaging chat and presence are those of the most important and popular UC features. See if these capabilities are included in your vendor’s offer, how effective they are, and if the vendor keeps improving them.
- Work out a comprehensive go-to-market strategy
Execution in sales and marketing is a crucial part of any go-to-market plan. Regarding sales and marketing, hosted PBX requires a different set of skills and a different mindset. Since most sales prospects self qualify, hosted PBX companies must get on the customer’s short list, which is driven off inbound marketing inquiries (Easter Management Group). A qualify website and rich content library could be the foundation of your inbound marketing plan and plays as the “anchor” for attracting more prospects. Align customers’ pain points with your unique value proposition in your content marketing. Free resources (datasheets, brochures), blogs, webinars, social media, search engine optimization, affiliates, paid ads, tradeshows and events all contribute to lead generation. To structure your ideal marketing mix, research where your target customers go to get information about your products and services.
Armed with a strategic business plan, your hosted PBX business will be on the right track from the very beginning. Yeastar offers fully-fledged solutions for selling, delivering and managing hosted PBX services. Become our partner and develop your hosted PBX business strategy today.