Call Management Boundaries
Posted on 05/03/2012
Call management has become a much more universal reseller sales tool, as standard functionality is now integrated into many of today’s feature-packed platforms.
But blurring the boundaries between in-built and standalone applications has created a ‘catch 22’ situation for some resellers, according to Paul Burn, Head of System Sales at Nimans, who says the rise of so-called informal call centres has also shaped the market.
“Call management is now being deployed on a far wider basis than ever before, but in some ways the in-built functions can make it harder to sell standalone solutions.”
Paul explained: “Most systems have basic levels of traditional call management functionality built-in, based on how many calls have been made and how many have been received.
“Today’s dedicated call management applications have to be more powerful and sophisticated, often more bespoke to an end user’s requirements. Report scheduling, statistical averages and system analysis - not just the back end but the front end, such as utilisation of lines and extensions so that businesses can assess peak traffic capacity – all come into play.”
Paul added: “There’s no doubt that the goal posts have moved. Customer expectations have changed. Manufacturers have changed and this in turn has seen resellers adopt and in many cases embrace call management on a much more universal basis.
“Resellers are selling call management because it’s now built-into so many systems. It’s part of their day to day conversations rather than a standalone solution. In a lot of cases, systems are being sold very much on their additional capabilities, as a front end pitch, rather than their standard telephone functions.”
Paul added: “General costs have come down which has also increased reseller opportunities. But there’s been a lot of industry ‘noise’ and awareness about informal call centres. In the past dealers would sell call management and call centre software into a specific environment. Now the message has become much more generic where lots more sites are being classed as an informal call centre, requiring some form of call management analysis. So the market has opened-up and created a much wider playing field. The growth of informal call centres has opened more doors. It does mean the opportunity is there with almost every sale whereas before call management was pigeon holed into specific industry environments.”
He concluded: “With so much call management technology self contained within today’s systems, the real challenge for resellers is to get their customers to exploit its full potential. It can be difficult to assess how much statistical call information is actually being utilised, making its overall impact tricky to identify.”