Promotional products professionals today face numerous challenges: a global pandemic, the effects on the economy, and how businesses are scrambling to catch up. Missing calls from clients and prospects shouldn’t be one of the challenges.

As further digital innovation and increased automation continues to transform the industry, plenty of business is still done by phone. Yet there is still room for positive change to the way many distributors and suppliers make and receive calls.

Many promotional products professionals have switched to voice over internet protocol (VoIP) systems from traditional landlines or cell phones to run their offices/businesses more efficiently for a variety of reasons: significant cost savings; ability to work remotely; and the numerous features VoIP provides.

This article is intended to help both distributors and suppliers understand VoIP and determine if switching to a VoIP system is right for your business. For a deeper dive on VoIP, download the free VoIP Guidebook.

Understanding VoIP

Voice over internet protocol phones use the internet to make and receive calls using analog phones or internet protocol phones plugged into ethernet jacks. Once connected, you can easily make and receive calls. Using a web portal and login, you can easily customize numerous features.

The biggest difference between VoIP and landline phones is technology. Landlines haven’t changed much, requiring wiring and hardware infrastructure and allowing users to only make and receive voice calls.

VoIP has literally changed how companies communicate thanks to innovation and faster internet speeds. Unlike landline phones,which require add-ons for features at additional costs, VoIP systems come with popular communication features built in.

Transforming Communications

As businesses grows, having a phone system that aligns with the public’s expectations is critical. Different than traditional landlines, VoIP systems come with powerful features to help businesses make big impressions.

Virtual Receptionist - Missing important calls because your phone is busy, or greeting is unprofessional, is resolved by a virtual receptionist. Instead of hearing a busy signal or being put on hold, callers listen to a message and receive several options on how best to proceed.
Ring Groups - To ensure every caller has a positive experience, users can program ring groups to ring simultaneously so everyone in a department, like sales or customer care, receives the call, or to ring sequentially—person to person—until someone picks up.
Mobility - Staying connected when employees are working remotely is critical today. It’s not practical or professional for employees to use their personal number for business. VoIP systems, unlike landlines, support working remotely through mobile and desktop apps, and voice messages forwarded as email attachments—allowing employees to make and receive calls from anywhere.
Virtual Fax - Faxing remains important for many businesses. With VoIP, you can still send traditional faxes from your phone to a fax machine. Virtual Fax removes the need for fax equipment.
Existing Number - Keeping your business number, your lifeline, makes the VoIP system transition seamless. The moment you plug in your phones, you can make and receive calls, meaning there’s no need to change your business cards, letterhead and website information.

VoIP’s Key Advantages

Impression - How clients and prospects view your business often depends on their initial phone interaction. Do they hear a welcome message with easy directions or put on hold immediately? Whether your business has two, 20 or 100s of employees, your business will sound professional with a VoIP system.
Call Quality–Through technology advances and increased internet speeds, VoIP phones provide quality call experiences.
Reduced Costs–Savings is one of the most appealing benefits for switching to VoIP. Those with landlines understand the significant expense involved in setup, monthly costs, per-line fees, and so on. To calculate how much, you could save by switching to VoIP, try the VoIP Savings Calculator.
Remote Teams - VoIP provides the tools to communicate with staff effortlessly, no matter where employees are, either in the office or working remotely.

Jim Gustke is vice president of marketing at Ooma and is responsible for all aspects of marketing and customer acquisition at the company. Jim is a marketing and internet veteran with a wealth of experience at the intersection of consumer and technology marketing. During his career, he has spearheaded marketing initiatives at Intuit, Lexar Media, Ofoto, America Online and Polaroid Corporation. For more information, visit: