At Mitel we talk with our authorizedPARTNERS all the time about how to take their sales from the SMB space to the SME space and large enterprise space. Primarily these discussions revolve around changing the dialogue one has with the stake holders with whom you're meeting. A business manager in a law firm (SMB) who is handling all aspects of a technology sale and the CIO or CEO of a Fortune 1000 company really don't want to hear about the same things.
Although the business manager is (or should be) interested in the overall vision and direction of his organization, he is more likely to be interested in the specific applications and technology solutions you're selling and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and or Return On Investment (ROI). While a a CIO or CEOs job is to align their division with that vision.
The C-Level will have others she can turn to (an accounting department or CFO) to analyze the TCO and ROI of your solution. She is much more likely to be interested in how your solution aligns with the company's strategic direction and the overall goals of the company. That being said there is still a great deal of value in being able to develop "hard" ROI for your customer's solution, one that uses tangible cost savings rather than relying on the "soft" ROI of "business process improvement" or another hard to quantify metric. That is not to say that soft dollar savings don't have valuable place in your discussions with your customers, they do (I will talk about that in a future post).
One application that adds a tremendous amount of value to the day-to-day operational effectiveness of an employee and that is often overlooked is a desktop call control application (such as Mitel's MiCollab® Client). In developing a hard ROI such an application is particularly effective when it can provide a “screen pop” of information to a terminal or workstation as a call is delivered to the associated telephone. This reduces the amount of time needed to retrieve information, whether from a database (e.g. SQL or SAP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM, e.g. salesforce.com or Microsoft Dynamics® CRM) application or from a Personal Information Management (PIM, e.g. Goldmine® or ACT!®) application, saving on both labor and telecommunications costs.
Below, I have provided a simple spreadsheet calculator to help you better understand what I am talking about. With this calculator you can plug in your telecommunications and labor costs, as well as the cost of the screen pop application to see how quickly the application pays for itself. This calculator shows the ROI for both the inbound side of an operation and the outbound calling; using an application to dial outbound and pop information makes the ROI for the customer even more compelling.
Play around a little with this calculator and see how quickly a call control application pays for itself. In fact, if you add the cost of the communications server (IP PBX) and the cost of the application together, then put that figure in the "Application cost" field, you will get the ROI for the entire system.