The lower end of the PBX market offers resellers perhaps the greatest sales potential to capitalise on, with the year ahead generating lots of new impetus and opportunities. Phil Adams, Systems Sales Director at Nimans and Rocom, says dealers operating in the sub-24 user market should get on the front foot – inspired by new technology developed specifically for this sector combined with signs that the economy is slowly starting to move forward.
“There’s little doubt that 2009 was a tough year for everyone, particularly concerning smaller PBX sales as a combination of factors hit the market. But I think the doom and gloom days are coming to an end, with 2010 representing great potential for pro-active resellers,” he pointed out.
Adams says there is evidence of more positive thinking in the market, from manufacturers, distributors, resellers and end users.
“Manufacturers continue to place great emphasis on this sector because in terms of volume this is the where the largest proportion of businesses can be found,” Phil highlighted. “Everybody wants to dominate the sub-50 extension and sub-24 market because it’s a huge sector of business. That’s why the manufacturers are driving their applications down into this market place. Years ago the more sophisticated solutions were reserved for the bigger market sectors, but that’s not the case anymore.”
Adams continued: “It doesn’t really matter how many people make up a company. You could have just 10 or 15 people in an office but they could be running a very pro active contact centre, or a business with home workers, out in the field for example. The chances are that the senior managers and directors will also be very hands-on, trying to run the business away from the office at times. Their need for open integrated communications and IP technologies is in some instances greater and having more impact than some companies in the wider corporate sector. Technology can make a huge difference to their business performance, especially on the bottom line.”
Adams says many small businesses have been reluctant to invest in new system technology due to concerns about the economy, and a lack of cash flow. But he feels times may be changing.
“It’s still the largest market opportunity. Resellers just need to put some emphasis on showing customers a return on investment. Leasing is another growing area for us as this overcomes any problems in cash outlay.”
Adams concluded: “There’s considerable opportunity at the smaller end of the market. The economy is starting to loosen up which is helping. In the last 12months there have been less entrepreneurial start-ups which has had a negative impact. There’s also been the reluctance of banks to offer loans and overdrafts which has also slowed down growth. But the potential is great and now that the economy is beginning to improve, this will only accelerate sales performance.
“There are resellers out there who do focus specifically in the sub-25 market and they have maintained their business very well. They have taken a hit, but they have survived and they are coming back even stronger. They’ve learned the importance of understanding their customers and showing them how by investing in modern communication systems, it can impact positively on their bottom line. That’s the route to success.”