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Best Practices / Recommendations in getting Virtual Phone Systems for Distributed Sales team?

Hey everyone, excited to join the group!

Was hoping for any thoughts you'd be willing to share on an online phone
system for a 3 person sales team (catering business)...they're distributed
across North America (home office) ...thought was triggered
by http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/is-it-really-this-hard-to-bu...

Didn't know if there were significant differences in experience or
requirements if any of you have tried services like:

   - Onebox
   - Grasshopper
   - RingCentral
   - VirtualPBX
   - etc

We currently are just sending VM (transcribed + file) from main line to a
shared email address...this is not ideal as we can't conference, call
forward, utilize automated logic, selectively ring different numbers by
coverage or next available, etc.  Somewhat agnostic to cell phone vs
softphone vs VOIP phone.

We're using Nutshell as our CRM because I like the ability to track lead
flow through a pre-defined set of steps...so we don't need salesforce
integration.

Team spends 2-4 hours/ day on the phone, so looking for something more than
a virtual receptionist (with a couple hundred minutes).

Would appreciate your thoughts!

Thanks!
Vijay

3 Replies

Alasdair Clements
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Alasdair Clements Entrepreneur
Co-Founder, GoCAR GPS-Guided Tours

Hi  Vijay - we use grasshopper to handle our customer calls coming into our
3 US locations.  They host our 1-800 number ([removed to protect privacy]) then we
configure  the phone tree menu in the back-end and upload music on hold in
mp3 that sells our product while it routes calls based on customer inputs.
It also supports directory by name which is more for an office setting with
staff on the road with cell phones.

We like it since we can fully control by using routing rules based on time
of day, or number or rings, call prompt when answered and then send calls
to different people or to Voice mail if you wish. We can change those rules
and routing very quickly in a heartbeat. It sends VM to email inbox or an
SMS with mp3 file attached

We did have their server crashed a couple of times.  But its been reliable
since then. I think they have grown pretty quickly causing overload back in
2010. They seem to have gotten their act together.

reporting is good, as it lets me see how well my franchisees are responding
to calls, who is calling, call volume comparisons  etc.

I do not think it handles phone queuing like some more complex PBX
software. (we now have VOIP phone system for our internal phone calls
between our 4 sf location)  It simply sends the call to the next number in
the routing rule. If no-one gets to it then to voicemail

for simple, cheap, easy to use and configurable - grasshopper fits our bill

good luck!

alasdair

Dominic Coryell
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Dominic Coryell Entrepreneur • Advisor
Helping world's most promising startups grow faster... #500Distro

+1 for grasshopper (it will do everything except for conference calls).  I
think just using skype for that makes most sense. You can also rig a
skype-in # linked to grasshopper or google voice so your computer rings
instead of cell phone #.

I use grasshopper now and love it.  Used it in my last company too until we
needed to further automate. Then, we built our own system with Twillio API.
 That's another awesome (better) option if you have in-house development
talent who likes to tinker.

--
*Dominic **Coryell* <http://www.about.me/coryell> | [removed to protect privacy]

Michael Sattler
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Michael Sattler Entrepreneur • Advisor
President, Splitzee

Grasshopper all the way.

On Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 12:06 AM, Dominic Coryell <niquecory...@gmail.com>wrote:

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