For value-added resellers in the ProAV space, now is the time to make your move into the video collaboration market. With 88 percent of businesses planning to add video to their unified communications architecture by next year, it’s clear that a growing number of customers will be seeking vendors who are familiar with video collaboration technology – and who already have multiple successful installs behind them.
Like any new business venture, the trick is knowing where to get started and, over time, where to invest the majority of your efforts. Considering the rapid growth of the video collaboration market, be sure to focus on the following five strategies when getting started:
1. Research technology manufacturers.
More often than not, the best video collaboration solution for a given customer will include both hardware and software from several different vendors. Do some research online to identify some of the leading providers of collaboration software, cameras, projectors and other equipment. Be sure to look at reviews from other VARs and from customers to determine whether each device will fill your customers’ needs. Consider also attending industry tradeshows to meet with manufacturers, see a demo of their technology in person and familiarize yourself with the industry.
2. Market to the right people.
Not every business will have a need for video collaboration. It’s important that you understand exactly what the technology can offer so that you can market to those companies that are the most likely to invest. Get started by researching local hospitals, corporate headquarters and educational facilities that would benefit from video collaboration with remote employees, patients or students. For these types of larger companies, you may need to be persistent to get your foot in the door. Be sure to have plenty of customer testimonials and examples of your previous proAV work to illustrate your system design, installation and support skills.
3. Get the word out.
Start marketing yourself as a provider of video collaboration solutions. Add a collaboration tab to your website, and explain your services on your social media pages. Consider blogging about the growing use of collaboration to establish your company as a thought leader in the field – and to drive traffic to your company website.
4. Sell the benefits of collaboration.
Video collaboration is a unique technology, and it’s still new to many businesses. Hone your skills for introducing and selling it to customers from all types of different companies. To get started, see our blog post “5 Critical Skills to Grow Your Collaboration Practice.”
5. Stay up-to-date.
Video collaboration is a rapidly-growing, evolving industry. As more businesses see the value of video collaboration, demand increases. Over the years, supply will also increase as more manufacturers enter the vertical. All the while, innovation will continue and new capabilities and features will come on the scene. In the face of such a dynamic market, it’s important to stay informed on new technology, innovative uses of video collaboration, customer trends and more. Industry organizations like InfoComm and the IMCCA can help you stay in-the-know.
What other advice would you have for a VAR who is looking to break into a new market? What challenges have you encountered with selling video collaboration, and how did you overcome them?