Based on current research, VoIP Supply represents 50 percent of online VoIP hardware sales with more than a dozen competitors making up the other 50 percent. Interestingly enough we also represent more than 50 percent of the total personnel involved in online VoIP hardware sales with 70 employees at the end of the first quarter of 2008.
While we have continued to grow our business over the past few years, enough to earn a variety of awards including the Inc. 500 last year, we have lost some of the market share we used to have to these new ecommerce start-ups. We also lost our largest competitor last year as a result of what I perceive to be a flawed business model; the model that all of our other competitors share today as well. Leading with price and leaving value out of the equation will only get you so far in business.
At VoIP Supply, we employ dozens of highly-trained technicians, engineers and sales executives, all of which are willing and able to help a customer pre-sale and post-delivery. Not one of our competitors can even go so far as to boast that they have a dozen employees. Our sales staff is trained daily on product information as well as selling value first and not being reduced to just another online retailer selling with the lowest price as their value proposition.
How else is price not the focus at VoIP Supply? We offer a live call center with 20 dedicated sales executives, nearly a dozen customer service professionals, our unparalleled go3™ warranty program, proactive outbound telephone calls to notify customers of shipping details, product back orders and firmware updates, provisioning and fulfillment services with real time access to inventory and shipping information, pre-sale technical expertise for complete PBX solution configurations, and dozens of internal initiatives to expand our service offerings and customer communications.
Price does matter and we recognize that. A lot of our customers have spent hours of their time invested in a series of pre-sale education and post sale technical support configuring their original deployments and have then gone to a “no value” ecommerce competitor when they need a bulk purchase; where price sensitivity is the leading factor. Growing our business foundation and infrastructure did not support being the lowest in the industry and often forced us to lose business or walk away from VoIP deals because of low profit margins. While our business model is still to lead with value and focus on what else we can provide to our customers before and after the sale, new tools and measures have been put in place as of this year that permit resellers of VoIP equipment to enjoy the benefits of VoIP Supply’s staff and their capabilities, while meeting their budgetary needs.
The really exciting stuff is yet to come and not far away. VoIP Supply will be launching a new version of its web site during the middle of 2008 and will be adding a lot of new tools, functionality and enhancements over the current version. Our internal teams of software developers, designers and marketing experts have been hard at work revamping and implementing these changes. We have also grown our sales department by more than 100 percent so far this year and are implementing several strategic partnerships to offer additional value to our new customers and the more than 50,000 existing VoIP hardware buyers. Great things are happening at VoIP Supply, so look for a lot of announcements throughout the remainder of the year!