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The Keys to a Successful Contact Center Demonstration – Know Your Lines

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One of the most common questions we at ShoreTel get asked about Contact Center is how to successfully demonstrate the product.

Enterprise Contact Center (ECC) is still “Brilliantly Simple” and very feature rich. And if you know how to have the conversation and show the various parts of ECC, success will happen.

It’s a business discussion, not a technical discussion

The first step in understanding any contact center solution – ShoreTel or otherwise – is understanding the context in which a contact center is discussed.

Unlike telephony, contact centers tend to be a money making source for customers that allow them to service their customers, make sales and so forth. Understanding this the moment you walk in the door of a potential customer is critical. The first discussion with the customer should be around the business itself, not necessarily the technical bits-and-bobs.

Ask questions around the purpose of the customer’s contact center. This will help you shape the technical conversation later.

  • How does it function today within the organization?
  • What are the short and long term goals for this part of the business?

You should also understand just how much business the contact center is really doing on a given day, week or month. These seem like basic questions and they are but they are the most often missed questions.

  • How many calls are being taken in to the contact center?
  • How else are customers able to reach the contact center? Email? Web Chat?
  • What are the staffing levels on average?
  • What is the “busy season” for the customer?

Having the answers to these business related questions will naturally flow into the technical discussion of ECC. At that point you should be able to formulate with relative ease what the customer needs and how it should be configured.

More importantly however you have gained the customers trust. You are not selling them something. You are solving a business problem for them. It is how we approach business at ShoreTel in the PBX and it is the same way we should approach it in contact center or for that matter, ShoreTel Mobility as well.

Have a script – Live it. Learn it. Love it.

For those who are reading this blog and are badge-carrying ShoreTel employees, you’ve heard me say this a thousand times and will likely hear it a thousand times more: Everyone should be able to demonstrate contact center.

It is not that mysterious or nebulous. It is not something that requires a PhD, chicken bones and voodoo or any other strange concoction you received from Mount Olympus.

If you follow the outline I suggest above, then there should be few if any surprises when you get to the actual demonstration of the product. It should just flow. But that doesn’t mean you should go in without a plan.

Here at ShoreTel and at our top partners throughout the world, we have a demonstration script. It lays out step-by-step exactly what to demonstrate and how do demonstrate it. It helps you avoid the pitfalls and keeps you on track and on time during your presentation.

In fact, we have published our Laptop Simulator (LTS) Demonstration Guide on the Partner Portal so even if your organization doesn’t have ECC installed but you have the LTS on your computer, you can walk through an effective and successful demonstration.  If you are a ShoreTel partner and have ECC installed in your organization, you should have a similar guide for that solution as well.

But what if you get into that super complex, “hairy” situation where a customer is asking questions for which you do not know the answer.

Rule No. 1: Don’t Panic!

As good as a demonstration guide is, there are times where you run into a challenging scenario where you need a second level of help. Within your organization, have that go-to person. Make sure this person not only knows the business language as I discussed earlier but also has a deep technical understanding of ECC as well.

It is okay to tell a customer that you don’t know the answer but that you will find it. And if you do make such statements, find the answer! Don’t leave them hanging. Here at ShoreTel we have a team of contact center experts, the Contact Center Practice, which helps our own sales team and our partners with these situations. I encourage our partners to do the same.

In my next post later this week I’ll outline the differences between the ShoreTel Laptop Simulator and a live ECC on how you approach a demonstration and the benefits of each. They complement each other well but knowing when to use one versus the other is another key to success in selling ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center.