11 Aug Top 5 Things Contact Center BPO’s need to Consider When Making the Shift to Selling Software
Since we’ve been marketing to (and with) Contact Center Outsourcers, we’ve come across a common scenario. The Cliff’s Notes Version of what we hear is as follows: We’re a Contact Center that uses software>We’ve developed our own platform to use with our clients>We’ve modified it to the point where we think it is a fantastic, game changing product>It’s good enough to take to market as a standalone product>We will become a provider of technology, as well as a call center outsourcer.
We have heard this from at least 10 different companies in the call center space and the trend continues to grow. Why? Because the executives of these businesses want to expand their revenue models beyond selling call time and conversions. The one-to-many recurring revenue model is too attractive to pass up. However, it’s a very different business, requiring a different set of skills and operational capabilities.
Therefore, since we’ve been on both sides of the fence, we decided to list the top 5 things to consider when making the shift. Here goes!
- Don’t give up your day job. Your business as an outsourced contact center is a good one, and continues to grow. Consider expanding the technology play as a seperate entity in case it doesn’t succeed.
- Consider the competition. The agent desktop is a highly valuable piece of real estate. There are many companies that fight every day for that parcel of land. Even though your product is great, know that there are giants out there that already have it figured out. Getting your piece of the action requires a significant pursuit and effort.
- Overcoming the inherent conflict of interest may be too Steep. Your target market is not only the enterprise call centers, but the other outsourcers. There is a potential conflict of interest and uphill battle selling to your competitors. They may not be too keen on the idea of buying your software.
- It’s a different selling process. Selling software is not like selling outsourcing services. It’s very different and may require a seperate sales team and process to land deals. Asking your current sales team to make the shift, or add another arrow to their quiver may not work out the way you expect. A completely independent sales team will likely get you the best results.
- Prepare to support what you build. The operational, R&D, and support costs will add up. Throwing a product over the fence could lead to trouble and failure. There has to be a team behind the product that will ensure success throughout the relationship. Don’t forget to stay on top of the customer interaction trends, making certain to modify your technology to stay ahead of the curve.
If you plan on making the move, you must be up for a big challenge. For more information on how to make this work, contact us to get a free overview on how to get your customers to come to you.
Kevin O’Brien is a Co-Founder and Partner at echogravity. Kevin’s credentials include being a top recruiter for a international Big 8 consulting firm, top business development rep for a global consulting and staffing firm, and consulting with over 100 companies across North America.