Webinar Rewind – Resellers Helping Resellers: Telecom Advice for the SkySwitch Community

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This past Tuesday, the SkySwitch team hosted a very special webinar that was a first in a few areas — and based on the wonderful feedback we’ve received, it definitely won’t be the last. After tuning in, SkySwitch Reseller, Bill Smith from Ingenious Technology said, “The webinar yesterday was excellent. Thank you and the team for presenting this timely and valuable information. You can count on me to take in as many of your great webinars as possible.”

For starters, if you joined in live, we connected with the audience on camera, which was a nice change during this time of social distancing. Secondly, and most importantly, this webinar wasn’t focused on a service or product offering⁠ —  instead, a panel of SkySwitch Resellers that were eager and happy to help their fellow resellers were put in the spotlight.

We gathered our panel of SkySwitch Resellers from around the country to talk about what’s been working for their business and the advice they have for the SkySwitch Community. What inspired this new webinar series was all of the feedback from resellers who have attended our annual event, Vectors. Many resellers have praised the family-feel and collaborative environment at SkySwitch’s Vectors, so during unprecedented times like now, it’s more important than ever to recreate that — even in a virtual setting.

SkySwitch CMO, Andy Abramson, chatted with our panelists Dan Crabill of Intellivoice, Christopher O’Neill of Net Tel One Communications, Louis LeBlanc of Oregon Phone Systems and Dan Napolitano of Highbridge Communications. Make sure to listen to the full recording below to learn more about them and the amazing insight they had to offer, and read on for brief highlights from the webinar.

What is the one thing you would have done differently, or wish that you knew, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?

It was unanimously agreed that finding power supplies was akin to trying to find hand sanitizer or toilet paper during the initial COVID-19 outbreak. In response, Dan Napolitano of Highbridge Communications said, “I believe that whenever you experience a bump like that — what’s the learning opportunity?” 

Having learned from that experience, now Highbridge Communications’ process is to always sell a power supply with a phone no matter what, so in the case of something like this happening again, the customer is covered.

Dan Crabill of Intellivoice and Christopher O’Neill of Net Tel One spoke about SkySwitch’s Business SMS and Mobility offerings and how they wish they would have pushed these features earlier. Recently, Intellivoice has seen a lot of success with their Business SMS offering, specifically for their customers in the restaurant industry who benefit from utilizing the SMS bot and Appointment Reminder features to make curbside pick-up and carry-out orders much more seamless for their customers. Dan said, “We’ve actually locked in quite a few deals just by having the SMS feature. I wish we would have thought of that of that at the beginning of all this — I think we could have picked up some more clients.”

Similarly, Christopher O’Neill noted that with so many of his clients utilizing the ReachUC Mobile app to accommodate working from home, he wishes that he would have pushed the mobility aspect from the start of onboarding new customers to make times of crisis like this more seamless.

Louis LeBlanc of Oregon Phone Systems discovered that many of his customers were very open minded to owning multiple phones than he initially thought. Since the SkySwitch platform supports up to five devices per extension with no additional seat charges, Louis was able to be the hero for his clients by adding a new device to their home office easier and affordable. 

What kind of impact, negative or positive, did COVID-19 present to your business?

There’s no way to predict what to expect when a global pandemic occurs. Christopher O’Neill said, “My first thought was that it was going to be bad because we have a lot of small businesses, and if they take the hit, we take the hit with them. But it hasn’t turned out to be that way. It’s turned out to be an opportunity.”

Our panelists all discussed how impressed their customers have been with how quickly they can pivot, and the mobile features that the platform is capable of. Dan Crabill said that he predicts that SkySwitch Resellers will see a “gold rush” in the next few months, as people are realizing the benefits of cloud voice versus on-premise systems, especially for its ability to respond and adapt quickly during times of crisis.

Louis LeBlanc said, “I think like everybody, we had an increase in support tickets, which was expected. But, I looked at it as an opportunity. And that opportunity was to really show clients how flexible the system was and how fast we could implement change.”

Louis LeBlanc’s team was able to provide a client who specializes in fitness equipment great advice on how to best use the platform to take advantage of the surge in demand for at-home fitness equipment. After great success, his team was able to pass that knowledge onto other clients who were all extremely happy and grateful for the assistance.

“When you’re selling now, tout those success stories like that about not just how good this system is in terms of performance, but its flexibility, how fast you can turn features on and off, and really customize it for the customer,” Leblanc said.

Dan Napolitano also had great things to say about his client base, with one of the biggest positive things coming from this being the overwhelming pleasure that his customers expressed about Highbridge Communications. At Highbridge Communications, after Help Desk tickets are closed, a customer satisfaction survey is always sent out. In the past few months, the customer satisfaction surveys nearly doubled in quantity and remained high in quality, nearly all coming in with perfect 5’s. Highbridge Communications was able to leverage this by asking their customers for testimonials, which they’ll be able to use for future sales and marketing efforts.

How did you leverage your knowledge and expertise in working from home to help your customers?

Louis LeBlanc has always worked from home, and aside from providing his customers with the right technologies to efficiently work from home, he has been able to offer great consultative snippets of wisdom to his customers. On working from home, he said, “It requires a different mindset. It’s a certain discipline because it’s very easy when you work from home to put things off and work on other little things as they happen, and all of a sudden you’ve lost hours out of your day.” 

Being experienced in working from home, Louis is able to consult his customers on how to work efficiently and shift their mindset

During this pandemic, Dan Crabill has had clients who were worried about their employees not putting in their hours or slacking off while at home. Dan explained that his company is very results-driven, which means that if his employees can meet deadlines and produce amazing results, then it doesn’t matter when they do the work or how long it takes. In the webinar, Dan specifically recounts a story about one of his clients, who after listening to his advice about a results-driven approach, decided to permanently move to a work from home model because their employees’ productivity went through the roof when given the flexibility to work from home.

Our own VP of Support, Corey Stoker, also chimed in and explained that since nearly 50% of the SkySwitch works remotely, and has since the start of the company’s inception, our team has been able to offer tips and advice on proper work from home mindset to our resellers who want the help.

Watch the Full Webinar Rewind

Whether you’re a long-time SkySwitch Reseller, newly onboarded, or checking out SkySwitch, make sure to carve out some time to watch our sixty-minute webinar and take in all of the advice our panelists had to offer for their peers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and post-pandemic. 

If you want to learn more about SkySwitch and how our platform has made it easy for our resellers to pivot and see success during a global pandemic, you can schedule a demo below.