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Top 7 South Africa SIP Trunk Providers

SIP trunking enables your business to add advanced cloud communication functionality to your phone system. And with the right provider, you can improve your business phone system reliably and cost-effectively.

But how do you choose the right SIP trunk service for your specific needs?

Here we list the top 7 South Africa SIP trunk providers with information on features and pricing.

Choose the Best South Africa Trunk Service

You will find many South Africa SIP trunk providers in the course of your research. Choosing the right SIP provider is crucial to ensure you have access to uninterrupted and high-quality voice service. To choose the best South Africa SIP trunk service, you must first determine your communication needs and budget. Then, research and compare different providers to find one that meets your requirements.

What to Look for in SIP Trunk Providers?

When researching for a new global SIP provider, look for:

  • Availability of cloud phone numbers and voice solutions in target regions
  • Range of features included within the plan as well as premium features and services
  • Different pricing and payment options (look for volume discounts and competitive pricing)
  • Long-term contract requirements and hidden fees (set up, one-time, cancellation, minimum, etc.)
  • Easy-to-use online control panel or dashboard
  • 24/7 responsive customer support

List of South Africa SIP Trunk Providers

Here’s a list of South Africa SIP trunk providers that offer SIP and voice solutions to businesses in the country and the rest of the world. We’ve listed down the features offered and pricing information.

*Note: Costs mentioned in this article are current at the time of publishing and may be subject to changes.

1. Global Call Forwarding

Global Call Forwarding is a leading global provider of local, toll-free, and international phone numbers. We offer cloud communication solutions to global businesses, with voice solutions for more than 160 countries. Our global SIP solutions comes with outbound calling and can be integrated with your existing PBX system—no need for extra equipment or installation.

Features Offered:

  • International DID numbers
  • Local, toll-free, and international phone numbers
  • Advanced call routing solutions
  • International call forwarding
  • Call recording
  • Call detail records
  • Outbound calling with local caller ID management
  • Call masking
  • IVR and call flow builder
  • Compatible with most PBX systems, including 3CX, Asterisk, etc.

Price:

Global Call Forwarding offers SIP trunking for different countries around the world. Our pricing includes the cost of a country phone number + a $25 outbound calling credit. So, our South Africa SIP trunks start at $37.95/month, whereas the cost of a South Africa number is $12.95/month. Each of our SIP trunks has 10 channels for concurrent calling.

An image showing SIP trunking in South Africa.

2. Kinetix Connect

Established in 2014, Kinetix Connect is part of the Kinetix group. The group offers business voice and data communications solutions. And Kinetix Connect offers a complete 3CX solution along with hosted voice solutions and SIP trunks for businesses in South Africa.

Their reliable phone and SIP service can easily integrate into a phone system. And they specialize in multi-branch deployment — all through 3CX’s platform.

Features Offered:

  • 3CX-compatible
  • IP-enabled voice
  • Inbound and outbound termination
  • Web conferencing integrations
  • CRM integrations
  • UC capabilities

Price:

Their pricing structure is pretty straightforward. They offer 3CX PBX extensions for R95.00 (USD $5.69) per extension per month.

3. Vox

Vox is one of the leading providers of internet, cellular, and telecommunications in South Africa. They offer a flexible SIP trunking solution for SMEs that is fully supported by 3CX.

Features Offered:

  • 3CX-compatible
  • Free video conferencing
  • Integrated call center capabilities
  • Instant messaging
  • Microsoft Teams integrations

Price:

For pricing information about their SIP trunking service, you’ll need to reach out to their sales team.

4. DataPhone

DataPhone is a hosted 3CX PBX platform provider in South Africa. They offer a variety of cloud telephony services including SIP trunking.

Features Offered:

  • Voice and phone coverage
  • 3CX PBX features
  • Call center features
  • Reporting
  • Live chat
  • Account management
  • Direct voice links to most South African cell phone providers and fixed-line providers

Price:

You can purchase South Africa SIP trunks directly from DataPhone’s website for R40.00 ($2.53) per month. Call rates are R0.59 ($0.03) for Mobile and R0.29 ($0.018) for National per minute.

5. Abacus Telecomm

Abacus Telecomm is a South Africa telecom provider offering VoIP, PABX, and SIP trunking services. They specialize in least-cost routing solutions to effectively reduce the cost of telecom in the country.

Features Offered:

  • SIP trunk numbers
  • Number porting
  • IVR and voicemail
  • Conference
  • Ring groups
  • Queue

Price:

Abacus Telecomm’s SIP trunks are free of charge. However, they charge R0.24 ($0.015) per minute or R0.004 ($0.00025) per second for SA landline calls and R0.50 ($0.031) per minute or R0.008 ($0.00050) per second for SA mobile calls.

6. ECN

ECN is a South African telecom provider with points of presence (PoPs) located in Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. With this, they can provide reliable carrier-grade voice and data services, including virtual PBX and SIP trunking. As part of their SIP trunking service, ENC provides SIP account details and registration for customers to input into their IP PBX systems.

Features Offered:

  • Geographical numbers
  • Call routing
  • Real-time call monitoring and reporting
  • 24/7 network operations helpdesk
  • Geographic number porting

Price:

You will need to contact ECN’s sales team to get a quote for their SIP trunking service.

7. Ecotel

Ecotel is one of the best hosted PBX providers in South Africa. They offer a hosted PBX solution with SIP trunking and call management features. This is a complete platform where businesses can manage, monitor, and control every aspect of their business communication system.

Features Offered:

  • Unlimited calls
  • Call recording
  • Fax
  • Auto-attendant
  • Call back
  • Conference
  • Intercom
  • Music on hold
  • Skype
  • Mobile extensions

Price:

Ecotel’s Hosted PBX solution is priced at R32 ($1.98) per month and comes with free SIP trunks while calls start from R0.10 ($0.0062) per min. They also offer different plans based on the number of extensions required:

  • 5 extensions: R45 ($2.79) per extension, total price of R225 ($13.95), includes free SIP trunk and unlimited calls between extensions
  • 10 extensions: R39 ($2.42) per extension, total price of R390 ($24.18), includes free SIP trunk and unlimited calls between extensions
  • 25 extensions: R35 ($2.17) per extension, total price of R875 ($54.24), includes free SIP trunk and unlimited calls between extensions
  • 50 extensions: R32 ($1.98) per extension, total price of R1600 ($99.18), includes free SIP trunk and unlimited calls between extensions

SIP Trunking from Global Call Forwarding

Keep an open mind when browsing through different South Africa SIP trunk providers. After all, this service determines how well your business communicates with its clientele.

Want to learn more about our service? Global Call Forwarding is a South Africa SIP trunk provider offering global SIP to businesses across the world. Find out more by chatting with our experts or requesting a demo! Call us at +1 (561) 908-6171 or chat with us online!

What is Centralized Call Control and How to Set it Up?

With remote and hybrid work setups, your business needs to find effective and flexible call processing solutions. These types of solutions help teams answer calls without any issues, no matter where they are located. And you can manage key call features and functionality to enable voice continuity. How can you do this? You set up centralized call control.

Centralized Call Control for Distributed and Global Teams

Before we dive in, it’s important to understand that the terms call processing, call control, and call management are one and the same.

They all focus on managing your business’ inbound and outbound communication through one platform or hub.

In this post, we’ll run through the basics of centralized call processing. We’ll look at:

  • What is Centralized Call Control?
  • Different Types of Telephony Deployment Models
  • Single vs Centralized vs Distributed Call Processing

What is Centralized Call Control?

Centralized call control is the process of managing business communication solutions for multiple distributed teams from one platform or location.

Call processing refers to how calls are managed within a business’ communication system. Calls are processed through either a centralized or distributed model and all telephony endpoints register to a central IP PBX network. With IP PBX systems — instead of traditional PBX systems with wires connecting to individual phones — you can manage call control virtually and cost-effectively.

And with VoIP, telephony endpoints (phones and devices) don’t have to be in the same physical location as your IP PBX. This way, all your systems need is network connectivity to the call processing agent.

An image showing centralized call control in a multi-site environment.

What is centralized call processing for a multi-site telephony deployment?

A multi-site telephony deployment solution with call processing helps you manage calls for multiple locations through one central network. This enables your business to connect the main site and remote sites through IP telephony – all within one platform. When you set up a communication system this way, you spend less time and money on the administration and management of your business phone system.

Businesses typically choose this type of telephony deployment because it is cost-effective, offers centralized management, and is easy to set up.

Related: How Much Does an IP-PBX Cost?

Different Types of Telephony Deployment Models

Depending on your business size and communication needs, there are a few ways you can set up your system across different sites and locations. For instance, you may need to connect teams across regions through one centralized telephony solution. These teams will then share one network as well as crucial call features and functionality. In other cases, these locations may not need to depend on each other for call functionality and, instead, work independently.

It all comes down to what your business needs.

So, what are the different telephone deployment models?

1. Single-Site Model & Benefits

In a single-site model, call processing is managed and located at a single, self-contained site and a LAN (local area network). This call processing agent carries voice traffic throughout the site, powering different telephony devices. Calls beyond the LAN use the PSTN network to travel.

Benefits of single-site call control:

  • Ease of deployment
  • Suitable for small or mid-sized businesses
  • Can be integrated with PBX systems
  • Common infrastructure for a converged solution
  • Significant cost benefits
  • No dependency in case of IP WAN failure or insufficient bandwidth
  • IP telephony codecs like G.711 are used for all IP phone calls

2. Multi-Site Centralized Call Processing Model & Benefits

This type of centralized call control includes a single call processing agent which transmits voice traffic through an IP WAN for multiple sites. The IP WAN does this by carrying call signaling between the central and remote sites to establish connections within these endpoints. Based on your communication setup, you may send voice traffic between H.323 endpoints or an endpoint and a gatekeeper. In this telephony deployment method, remote sites depend on the centralized call processing agent for call management and control.

Benefits of multi-site centralized call processing:

  • Suitable for businesses with a main site and many smaller remote sites
  • Connect distributed and global teams
  • Access to call processing and contact center capabilities
  • Centralized call management (including applications like voicemail and IVR)
  • Reduced costs of administration and maintenance
  • Save on PSTN costs for intersite calls by using IP WAN
  • Maximum utilization of available bandwidth (voice traffic and data traffic)

3. Multi-Site Distributed Call Processing Model & Benefits

This type of call processing includes multiple independent sites, with each site having its own call processing agent. This agent is connected to an IP WAN that transmits voice traffic between the distributed sites. And in this model, the IP WAN does not carry call control signaling between sites.

Benefits of multi-site distributed call processing:

  • PSTN works as a backup in case IP-WAN fails
  • No loss of functionality since there is a call processing agent at each site
  • Best suited for enterprises with multiple sites in different regions
  • Scalable to hundreds of sites
  • Maximum utilization of bandwidth (voice traffic and data traffic)
  • Ability to use multiple gatekeepers for network redundancy

Single vs Centralized Call Processing vs Distributed Call Processing: A Comparison

Single Site Model Multi-Site Centralized Call Processing Model Multi-Site Distributed Call Processing Model
How it Works Isolated and self-contained Connects remote, distributed, and global teams Connects remote, distributed, and global teams
Business Suitability Small or mid-sized businesses Businesses with a main site and many smaller remote sites Enterprises with multiple sites in different regions
Administration Centralized Centralized Distributed
Dial Plan Easy configuration and maintenance Easy configuration and maintenance Complex
Dependency Not dependent on IP-WAN failure Dependent on IP WAN No dependency since each site is independent
Bandwidth Utilization Lack of maximum utilization Maximum utilization (voice traffic and data traffic) Maximum utilization (voice traffic and data traffic)
Cost Savings Significant Significant Significant
Scalability Low scalability Can add multiple sites, but difficult to scale Add hundreds of sites
Reliability Self-contained reliability Single point-of-failure vulnerability Self-contained reliability
Redundancy & Network Failures Low redundant, self-dependent Requires additional redundancy. Difficult to provide resiliency over network failures High availability and network redundancy. Resilient over network failures

Centralized Call Control for Distributed and Global Teams

There are many ways to support local, remote, and global teams through one centralized call processing solution. You can either set this up through on-premise or cloud telephony services. Global Call Forwarding offers a variety of centralized business solutions for companies with teams spread across multiple locations. You can use our service within your existing PBX setup or build a new phone system with our call management features.

To learn more, speak with our telecom experts or chat with us online!

A Complete Guide to Business Voice Redundancy

Customer service expectations have increased in the past decade, with more and more businesses being “forever accessible.” Many companies offer 24/7 support, while others are reachable via multiple communication channels. And some use customer service automation like chatbots and AI support to be ever-present when customers need them.

Because of these expectations and thanks to technological advancement — it is easier than ever to be there for your customers. Businesses like yours rely on having a constant stream of data and connectivity. So, what happens if your systems fail?

Specifically, what will happen if your business phone system fails and customers cannot contact their account managers? Or, interested prospects are not able to finalize purchases? They will simply go to a competitor who is easy to contact and more reliable. This is where building a fully redundant communication infrastructure becomes important.

In this guide to incoming business voice redundancy, we will look at why and how you must prepare your business to succeed and remain accessible at all times.

Using Voice Redundancy to Create a Seamless Caller Experience

Even with the growth of new support channels, conversations via email and phone account for about 81% of inbound communications. This means that most customers try to contact your company via phone.

Many businesses have redundancy and backup systems in place for different applications. But few make their voice or phone system redundant as well. It is essential to incorporate redundancy within your VoIP and network infrastructure to secure communication continuity in the event of disaster or outages. This ensures your employees continue communicating with each other and customers, even in a crisis.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

What is Voice Redundancy?

Voice redundancy is the process of implementing failover and redundancy by including backup systems within your network.

In other words, you integrate additional or alternate instances of devices, equipment, communication channels, routing strategies, and more within your VoIP infrastructure.

The purpose of redundancy in VoIP networks is to provide an alternative when your original network setup fails. So if your main phone system goes down, you automatically switch to the backup. This way, your business does not have to worry about downtime.

Most telephony providers offer increased reliability and new capabilities with their PBXs, VoIP systems, and call center software. These capabilities are often customizable – allowing you to create failover solutions that work best for your business.

Voice redundancy is also known as VoIP redundancy, failover redundancy, and VoIP failover, among other terms.

Understanding Voice Failover and Redundancy

One thing to understand is that failover and redundancy work alongside each other. And you can use different forms of redundancy to achieve VoIP failover in your phone system. But what does all this really mean? Let’s break it down.

Failover is the backup operation that activates your secondary setup when the primary system fails. Cloud phone service providers offer VoIP failover options customizable to each user’s needs. Failover is achieved by having redundancy built into your phone system.

Example of a failover solution — If your main SIP or PSTN devices cannot receive incoming calls, you can route calls to another destination.

What is incoming voice redunancy?

Redundancy is how you set up your secondary system. Redundancy improves your phone system’s reliability by providing alternative, independent paths through which calls reroute. This works best when your provider has redundancy built into their systems as well. And providers achieve this by having multiple data centers in different locations and working with other carriers.

Example of redundancy — Your VoIP provider works with a global network of local and regional carriers across different service areas.

A comparison of a network with voice redundancy and without voice redunancy.

Together, failover and redundancy ensure

  • Access to a resilient proxy for 24/7 accessibility
  • Seamless caller experience
  • Fewer interruptions for your business and your customers.

Types of VoIP Networks Redundancy

There are a few types of voice redundancy and different ways to implement it within your network. Let’s look at the top methods — high-availability vs fault-tolerant redundant systems:

High-availability works by using clusters of servers that monitor each other. These servers have failover protocols in place. If one server fails or stops working, backup servers activate and restart applications running on the failed server. This strategy does not need extravagant infrastructure, but may experience little downtime as the backup server starts up.

Fault-tolerant redundant systems utilize full hardware redundancy, where multiple physical systems mirror applications simultaneously. If one system fails, the other systems take over with no downtime. However, these systems are more complex and expensive.

High-availability network with redundancy versus fault tolerance.

Choosing between high-availability and fault-tolerant systems depends on a few factors:

  • Business communication infrastructure,
  • Communication and IT budget, and
  • How much downtime you can afford.

Why is Incoming Voice Redundancy So Important?

In the early days of SIP and VoIP, technology was not developed enough for reliability and redundancy. Voice quality was relatively low and failover options weren’t easily accessible. So when a crisis struck, systems would go down and stay down. Needless to say, uptime was a major concern

It is no secret that businesses need to ensure that the phones are working and available at all times. In the time it takes to get your systems back up and running, you may miss out on calls from customers and prospects. And as a business, you know the costs that come with losing out on opportunities and not being able to support your customers.

This is what makes VoIP geo-redundancy important. And thanks to advancements in telecommunications, cloud telephony providers today have multiple layers of redundancy and offer various failover solutions.

Consequences of Business Phone System Failure

Every large enterprise or small business should aim for call continuity along with other business continuity strategies. System architects and operations managers know the importance of managing internal and external communications.

If your phone stops working and you experience significant downtime, you stand to lose valuable business opportunities. Communication is entirely halted. Employees are unable to complete their responsibilities. Customers cannot contact your business for assistance. Sales slow down. And using private phones to call customers may further damage your business’s professional image.

Recovery can take longer depending on your disaster and backup plans. This is why planning and preparing in advance helps your business navigate crises more effectively.

Business voice redundancy provides fail-safe solutions on different levels such as backup servers, multiple phone lines, automated and advanced call routing, and more.

Benefits of a Fully Redundant Phone System

When you set up VoIP redundancy and failover, you get

  • Reliable phone service with high uptime
  • Ability to failover to any internet connection and device
  • Uninterrupted service and business continuity
  • Protection against network disruptions and disasters
  • Managed voice continuity (MVC)
  • A fully redundant architecture

You can also enjoy these benefits when using a high-availability phone service provider.

Voice Redundancy Solutions & Best Practices

Redundancy is the key to failover and keeping your systems functioning at all times. Here are the 3 most important redundancy best practices and solutions to help you build a reliable phone system:

  • Prevent
  • Monitor
  • Recover

Let’s look at them individually.

1. Prevention: How to Add Voice Redundancy

You can include business voice redundancy within your phone network on two levels:

1. Provider-level: Find a provider with high-availability or multiple layers of redundancy built into their systems. Ask about their network and how they provide reliability. Do they have multiple points of presence (POPs) and data centers? What failover capabilities do they offer with their service and can you customize them? How do they prevent network interruptions? Does their voice traffic automatically failover to another carrier if one carrier or route goes down? And so on.

2. Features-level: Use failover capabilities to create custom backup solutions for your network. Use your IT and operation teams to create and manage backup systems in-house. This might include setting up additional hardware and equipment. You can also organize teams and call groups to function as backups.

Then, create automated routing strategies with your phone service provider’s failover features. Use advanced routing features so calls forward or ring on other devices or numbers if the first destination is inactive. Top features include VoIP failover, sequential ring, and simultaneous ring.

2. Monitoring: Keep an Eye on Your Systems and Services

Next, proactively monitor your network, phone numbers, service lines, and call quality. When you monitor, you’ll know if a number or service line stops working. Then, you can troubleshoot and implement failover options such as

  • Changing the destination
  • Switching to a backup phone number
  • Investigating the routing path

Your provider should be able to monitor their service and network, including your numbers. When finding a provider, it’s good to ask how they safeguard their network and call quality. Additionally, you want a provider who is responsive and easy to contact when you need support or troubleshooting help.

You can also monitor call quality on your own with a voice assurance solution like Spearline’s. This way, you are alerted to potential problems before they get out of hand and affect your business.

3. Disaster Recovery: How to Get Your System Back Up and Running

The last step is to recover when disaster strikes. And of course, this depends on the type of crises you face: natural disasters, network outages, data breaches, and so on. Create a disaster recovery plan beforehand that you can implement when the time comes.

With a natural disaster, your options may be limited and safety should be the top priority. If you have failover set up already, calls can route through different paths to different devices and locations.

With network or internet outages, you may need to change locations or devices. For example, you can access the Global Call Forwarding control panel online from any device. This way, if your primary phone setup fails, login to your account from your smartphone and make the necessary changes.

Add a new message to your IVR indicating slow service. Or, forward incoming calls to employees’ private devices. You can even enable employees to make outbound calls from their personal phones using the business phone number as the caller ID. This way, you maintain call continuity even if your primary setup stops working. Alternatively, you can outsource calls to a call center listed in your recovery plan.

If your phone system was hacked, leverage your incident response team to reduce the cost of a data breach. Once you have identified the threat, inform users on your network. Disconnect any devices and systems on the network. Contact your VoIP provider for support and crisis assistance.

Depending on the extent of the breach, you may be able to send calls to a different location. Otherwise, it may be better to halt service to ensure that customer and company data are not further compromised. When the time is right, inform customers about the breach so that they can take the proper steps to protect themselves.

How Does Global Call Forwarding Offer Business Voice Redundancy?

We know that outages and downtime can hurt your business. So, our voice redundancy solutions are designed to keep your business running smoothly.

Global Call Forwarding has a wide global network of reliable Tier-1 carriers with multiple POPs across the Americas and APAC. This enables us to provide high-availability solutions with multiple layers of redundancy as well as hard-to-reach phone service across the globe.

We also have an in-house-built secure voice communication app working on all platforms. And our control panel is accessible online through web and mobile devices. This way, you can stay connected from any part of the world and through any device.

More importantly, we utilize the highest quality voice termination to give you high quality and value.

All this lets us offer you reliable service with 99.999% uptime. Work closely with our dedicated account managers to find the right solution for your business phone system.

Call us today at +1 (561) 908-6171 or chat with us online!

Want to see our service in action? Read about how we helped EaseMyTrip provide uninterrupted support to international clients.

UCaaS vs CPaaS: What’s the Difference?

The evolution of communication software has brought us countless cloud-based business communication tools — such as UCaaS, CPaaS, CCaaS, and the list goes on. While they differ in purpose and deliverability, all these tools improve business communication and productivity.

Here, we explain the differences between UCaaS and CPaaS, two cloud-based communication solutions, so that you can make the right choice for your business.

Understanding UCaaS and CPaaS

Both UCaaS and CPaaS bring advanced communication functionality to your business. You can use these services to improve internal/external communication and team efficiency by adding automation and integrations to your phone system.

Let’s look at how UCaaS and CPaaS solutions work, along with their features and benefits. This will help you decide which route to go when building your communication stack.

Don’t want to read? Check out our video comparing UCaaS, CPaaS, and CCaaS.

Similarities Between UCaaS and CPaaS

Both UCaaS and CPaaS are cloud solutions intended to add functionality to your communication stack. So before we dive in, here are a few similarities between the two services:

  • Cloud-based communication services
  • Easy low-code/no-code setup
  • No hardware required
  • Low-cost phone system
  • Access to advanced features
  • Scalable solutions

What is UCaaS? Definition, Features, and Benefits

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) combines relevant communication tools into one cloud-based solution. Think of UCaaS as a unified business phone system — without the cost of hardware and maintenance.

UCaaS Features

UCaaS Benefits

So, what do you get with a UCaaS solution?

  • One-stop platform with built-in communication functionalities
  • UC capabilities with instant access to
  • Highly scalable solutions to support your business’ growth
  • No additional hardware or maintenance

In other words, UCaaS is a streamlined, single platform that is good to go right out of the box.

What is CPaaS? Definition, Features, and Benefits

Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) is an open cloud-based platform that lets you upgrade your phone system. Developers can use CPaaS tools and APIs to integrate real-time communications features directly into existing applications.

CPaaS Features

CPaaS Benefits

So, what do you get with CPaaS?

  • Pick and choose different APIs to add to your existing system
  • Create a customized communications model to meet your specific needs
  • Quick and easy integration
  • Upgrade a legacy phone system that is already in place
  • No need to build backend voice infrastructure
  • Affordable and scalable
  • Apt for digital transformation

This is a good solution for companies looking to migrate their communications to the cloud — but don’t want to change too much.

UCaaS vs CPaaS: Choosing the Right Communication Model for Your Business

So, what model should you choose?

When choosing a model for your business, consider your communication needs and goals. Do you want a brand-new system or simply upgrade your existing one? Do you need a solution for internal collaboration, improving caller experience, or both?

With UCaaS, you get an all-in-one platform with multiple functionalities.

And with CPaaS, you can customize by picking desired features.

Here’s an overview of the differences between UCaaS and CPaaS and how they support business communication systems:

UCaaS CPaaS
1. Software One-stop platform Customizable; pick and choose
2. Flexibility Complete software that makes customer handling fast and convenient Bring in different communication tools based on their needs
3. Compatibility Used as a whole; cannot be easily fragmented Easy to integrate and works with other services and applications

Choosing a solution for your business depends on your communication needs. Research different providers and cloud telephony solutions to determine what works best for your business.

To learn more, speak with telecom experts at Global Call Forwarding; call us at +1 (561) 908-6171 or chat with us online today!

Related: What’s the Difference Between CCaaS and CPaaS?

The Japan Phone Number Code Explained

Looking to expand your business to the broad APAC and Japanese market or establish a local presence quickly? With the right Japan phone number and service provider, you can easily achieve those goals. So, it’s important to know which phone numbers are available in Japan and how they meet different communication needs.

This article covers types of Japan phone numbers, format, benefits, and more to help you determine the best number for your business.

Telephone Numbers in Japan

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications regulates Japan’s telecommunications, including phone numbers. Japan’s numbering plan details specific telecom offerings like message dial, mass calling, fixed-line, and unified number services. Additionally, this plan lists various numbers available and their general formats.

You’ll need to dial the proper Japan phone number format to connect calls successfully. The country code (also called dial-in code) for Japan is (+81) and the trunk prefix is (0). Japan phone numbers are typically 9-10 digits and include:

  • Toll free prefix or area code (usually 2-3 digits in length)
  • Exchange number (2-4 digits)
  • Subscriber number (4 digits)

Japan phone number format.

If you’re calling Japan from outside the country, you’ll need to include an exit code. This is also referred to as a dial-out code or international number prefix. The international prefix depends on the country you’re calling Japan from.

Why Should You Get a Japan Phone Number?

With a phone number from your target countries, your company can tap into lucrative business opportunities and connect with a broader consumer base. And that’s not all! Let’s take a look at the top benefits of getting a Japan phone number:

  • Expand your business to Japan
  • Increase international sales rate and lead generation in Japan
  • Emerge into new markets with minimal risk or investment
  • Establish a local presence and business network
  • Access Japan’s large customer base
  • Offer customer support and sales services in the local language and time zone
  • Test the Japanese market without having to physically relocate
  • Improve your company’s professional image and global credibility
  • Connect your remote and international teams

Types of Phone Numbers Available in Japan

There are different phone numbers available within the Japan phone number code — including mobile, local, toll-free, and special numbers. Let’s take a look at each one individually.

Local Japan Phone Numbers

Local phone numbers, also known as geographic numbers, begin with a distinct code for specific cities or areas. These numbers allow you to establish a local presence, connect with customers in high-target areas, conduct local market research, and much more. You can get local phone numbers in many major cities such as:

  • Tokyo (03)
  • Osaka (06)
  • Kyoto (075)
  • Sapporo (011)
  • Hiroshima (082)

The digit length of Japan’s area codes depends on the size of the designated area — the bigger the city, the smaller the code. For example, Tokyo’s (Japan’s largest city) area code is (03). Whereas Yamaguchi’s (a smaller Japanese region in terms of population and area) area code is (0839).

Local Japan phone numbers are available to those located in Japan and businesses overseas. Businesses located outside of the country can purchase a local Japan number from a virtual number provider. Virtual local numbers enable your business to scale globally without relocating or opening new offices. So, your company avoids increased overhead costs — making it a more cost-effective solution than traditional landlines.

The format for Japan local phone numbers is: +81 (03) xxxx-xxxx *

*Tokyo area code (03)

Mobile Japan Numbers

Japan mobile numbers start with (090), (080), or (070) codes that include the country’s trunk prefix. Most of Japan’s large population own smartphones or mobile phones, which typically include SMS and instant messaging features among other capabilities.

Mobile Japan phone numbers help businesses create an omnichannel service by offering SMS contact methods as an alternative to calling. So, your business appeals to different consumer preferences, making your business more accessible and easy to reach.

The format for Japan mobile phone numbers is: (090) xxxx-xxxx

Japan Toll-Free Numbers

Toll-free numbers in Japan typically start with (0120), (0531), or (0088) prefixes. Japan toll-free phone numbers work identically to all other toll-free services. They are completely free for customers to call and easily recognizable. Additionally, these numbers allow you to expand to new markets and build an international business network cost-effectively.

Japan toll-free numbers are not accessible to customers in other countries since they are country-specific. However, your business doesn’t need to be located in Japan with a virtual toll-free number. You can simply forward your incoming toll-free calls to any of your global offices. This makes it easy for your business to connect with international customers and business contacts as well as offer 24/7 customer support services.

The format for Japan toll-free phone numbers is: (0120) xxx-xxxx

Special Numbers in Japan

Special numbers in Japan guide callers to emergency, operator, directory, and other phone services. These numbers are only 3 digits long, making them easy for callers to remember and dial quickly. Special numbers are usually created and managed by each country’s telecom regulator or governing entity.

Here are some examples of Japan’s special phone numbers:

Emergency Services Operator and Special Services
110 – Police 100 – NTT operator
118 – Maritime emergencies 115 – Telegram services
119 – Ambulance, Fire brigade 117 – Speaking clock
171 – Earthquake assistance 177 – Weather forecast

Ready to Get a Japan Phone Number?

If you’re ready to get a Japan phone number, start by looking for a reliable phone number provider that offers services in your target markets and price range.

Global Call Forwarding provides Japan virtual phone numbers with quick activation times and access to advanced communication features. Our long-term relationships with local and global Tier-1 carriers help us deliver virtual phone numbers with affordable pricing and high voice quality.

Looking for a phone number in a different country? We have numbers available in over 150 countries.

To get a Japan phone number or learn more about these services, speak with our dedicated representatives at +1 (561) 908-6171 or chat with us online today!

A Guide to Remote Working for Businesses

Work-from-home business models are on the rise now more than ever. While this is mainly due to the pandemic, it is not the only motive. Even before 2020, remote working for businesses was a growing trend, as it has benefits for both your business and employees. This remote working guide will help you seamlessly transition your business and teams to a remote work setting.

In this guide, we will cover:

Learn How to Successfully Manage a Work-From-Home Team

There isn’t one universal remote team management policy or approach that works for every business. In fact, there are many things to consider when switching to a work-from-home environment. In this remote work guide, you’ll learn how to create your own personalized remote work policy and management style.

What is Remote Work?

Remote work gives teams the freedom to work from anywhere except in the traditional office environment. Some businesses employ fully remote teams, a hybrid model, or a mix of in-office and work-from-home teams.

Is a Remote Work Model Right for Your Teams and Business?

Because of the pandemic, your business might be forced to work from home. However, if a choice is involved, it is essential to consider if remote team management is suitable for your company.

When deciding to transition to a remote work model, assess whether or not your company is eligible. Take into account the industry you’re in and the type of business you conduct. For example, a hospital could not operate on a work-from-home system, but a marketing firm could. Additionally, think about the jobs crucial to running your company and what they would look like in a remote setting. This will help you determine if it’s a good option for you and your team.

Pros and cons of remote work in 2022.

Evaluate the Pros and Cons

Remote working for businesses can be mutually beneficial in many ways. But, as with all things, it is crucial to consider the challenges as well. Let’s look at how some businesses can benefit from a work-from-home setup, along with the challenges.

Benefits of Remote Work for Business

Boosts Employee Retention – A flexible work environment with clear boundaries increases work-life balance and reduces burnout. The work-from-home model also improves employee health and wellness by allowing them to deal with physical and emotional needs as they arise.

Cost-Effective – A fully remote or hybrid team reduces business operating and overhead costs, such as real estate bills, janitorial fees, IT expenses, and more. Certain employees are even willing to take a pay cut if they can work from home.

Expanded Talent Pools – W hen hiring, you are no longer restricted to a certain area or location. With this newfound hiring freedom, go recruit an employee with the exact qualifications you’re looking for, even if they are not in the same city.

Challenges with Remote Working for Businesses

Isolation – The number one complaint with remote work is loneliness. Without the informal social interactions at the workplace, employees can lose a sense of belonging. Try to make time for individual employee check-ins or consider virtual team-building exercises.

MiscommunicationRemote team communication relies heavily on virtual methods like email and chat. This increases the chances for misinterpretations of jargon, tone, and words with similar spelling. To avoid this, try to write how you speak, ask for clarification, and refrain from too much self-editing.

Potential Security Risks – The shift from in-office working to remote working for business increases the possibility of security risks. Communication and tasks are entirely online, leaving the data prone to leaks, hackers, and breaches. Consider implementing a BYOD policy or technology policy and setting up two-factor authentication for company documents and accounts.

Getting Started with Work-from-Home

So, how can you set up your business and employees to successfully work from home? There are a couple things to keep in mind, such as:

  • Creating a remote work policy
  • Investing in cloud-based technology
  • Implementing best practices for remote team management
  • Onboarding employees smoothly
  • Establishing a supportive work culture

Let’s dive in!

How to Set Up a Remote Work Policy

Creating a policy specifically for your work-from-home team can help your employees transition into the new work dynamic. It’s important to establish a basic remote work guide with a FAQ list for your staff. Make sure to include the following:

  1. Determine work schedules – Clearly identify a start and end time. Give employees a time frame or specific time they should be available for incoming emails, calls, and tasks. If your company opts for flexible scheduling, explain how your employees report their hours or completed projects. You might need a project management system to enable this.
  2. How you will measure productivity – If using time to measure productivity, think about how you will track your employee’s time. If you decide to use task completion as your measurement instead, are you looking for output quality or quantity? What does good or quality output look like? The clearer you are, the better your employees will understand what to aim for.
  3. Tools for tech support – Since remote work is done almost entirely online, give your team resources and tools for support and troubleshooting. Build a remote working guide that summarizes the basics of each platform you plan to use. In your guide, include things like when employees should use certain programs or how to keep their devices secure. Here is where your BYOD or tech policy will prove helpful. Some equipment or software might be completely new to your team–so make sure they feel supported as they adjust.
  4. General policy rules – You may already have general policy guidelines for your workforce. However, some policies might need clarification when remote working. For example, what do vacation days and sick days look like for your remote team? By updating your policy to accommodate remote teams, you set clear boundaries and create a seamless transition from the in-office environment.

How to Prepare with Remote Tech

Remote working for businesses is possible mainly due to cloud-based technology. You must provide the necessary equipment for your team to succeed. This, of course, includes hardware like desktop computers and a network connection. But, it also includes cloud-based software programs. With all the different platforms available for communicating, managing projects, etc.– you can find the perfect virtual business option for your work-from-home team.

remote work

Online Communication – Since remote teams interact entirely online, it’s a good idea to provide several different methods of business communication:

  • Email – Great for sharing files and keeping a record of written communication. The most popular email platforms for businesses include Gmail and Outlook.
  • Instant Messaging – Great for quick written responses. It also reflects in-person communication more than email does. Google Chat and Slack are just some options for professional instant messaging.
  • Audio and Video Conferencing – Great for team meetings, presentations, setting agendas, collaboration, individual check-ins, and more. Video calls mimic face-to-face interactions by transmitting video and audio. Zoom and Skype are among the most popular choices for video meetings.
  • Virtual Phone Systems – Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) or cloud calling uses the internet to deliver voice calls. Virtual telecom providers like Global Call Forwarding have VoIP products that make staying connected with coworkers and customers easy. For instance, our Softphone app allows you to contact co-workers or deliver customer service from anywhere in the world.

Related: What is Remote Call Forwarding?

  • Project Management PlatformsProject management tools help your virtual teams stay organized, brainstorm ideas, collaborate, plan tasks, execute projects, and track completed assignments. Popular platforms include Teamwork, Asana, Monday.com, and so on.
  • Time Tracking Solutions – If you plan on compensating and measuring productivity based on hours, a time tracking application is essential. This software allows you to pay your employees accurately, fosters accountability, and more. Most project management systems come with time tracking software.

Remote Team Management Best Practices

After you’ve developed a policy strategy and invested in the right tech, the next step is managing your remote workers. Here are some tips to get the ball rolling:

  • Adapt and Transition
    Remote work might be new to both you and your employees. So, give your team time to adjust to their new tools, processes, and work-from-home environment. During the first couple of weeks, try to gauge your employees’ productivity levels and assign tasks accordingly. Do not try to replicate your in-office environment. Instead, allow your business and teams time to transition and adapt. This is a great opportunity to re-evaluate your team’s goals and expectations.
  • Make Communication a Priority
    Make daily or weekly check-ins a priority, especially in the beginning weeks or months. Use your remote team meetings to discuss work-related goals, questions, and tasks. However, it is also important to set aside time to discuss your employees’ personal challenges in the new work-from-home environment. By showing empathy and offering support, you can address feelings of isolation and boost your team’s overall morale.
  • Create a Clear Agenda
    This applies to both in-office working and remote working for businesses. In your agenda, outline the goals and deadlines for the week or month. Also, include individual goals for each employee to keep them on track. Creating a clear, written, or visual agenda lets your team know what is expected and what deadlines are coming up. Your agenda should always be accessible to your employees, so they can reference it as needed. In general, keep the focus on your primary goal or outcome, so your employees know what to work towards.

Onboarding Remote Employees

Remote working for business continues to become more commonplace. As such, hiring new virtual workers is unavoidable. The onboarding and training period in the employee’s journey is a critical time. The way you approach their training can influence both their impression of the company and their decision to stay long-term. To establish a proper virtual onboarding process, consider the following:

  • Outline Expectations – Communicate the fundamental guidelines and expectations of the employee’s role. Go over their specific job responsibilities, company rules, and policies.
  • Prepare Resources and Checklists – Create a plan of action before your new team member starts. Gather all the documents and resources the new hire will need to get started and make them easily accessible. Set aside time to go through the resources together. Additionally, create checklists and tasks, so the team member has assignments to work through on their own.
  • Co-Worker Connection – Establish a connection with the new employee and introduce them to the rest of the team. Include them in relevant email threads and meetings, even if they just started. Remote workers must know who they can contact with any future questions.

Establish a Supportive Remote Work Culture

It’s also essential to incorporate the fun and supportive side of the workplace into your remote team management plan. A strong and supportive remote work culture can boost your remote team’s morale and prevent feelings of isolation. You can do this by:

  • Scheduling Team Building Exercises – Without the typical in-office chats and informal communication, team members begin to drift apart. Team building exercises allow teams to bond and establish a connection. These activities boost team morale, encourage creativity, act as positive reinforcement, and improve team communication. The possibilities are endless when it comes to team-building exercises, but here are some examples:
    • Remote Bing
    • Pet of the Month (because everyone loves pets, even if they don’t have one)
    • Trivia (could be about the company, workplace traditions, or something random)
  • Promoting Collaboration – By encouraging your remote employees to collaborate, you motivate your team to connect and stay in touch. Team collaborations — such as working together on projects, asking for feedback, and brainstorming — often produce unique ideas and practical solutions.
  • Empowering Your Team – It’s easy to routinely assign tasks to your virtual team and unintentionally micromanage. However, empowering your employee to take control of a project or asking them for their opinion will go a long way. They will gain confidence, hands-on experience, and develop fresh insight.
  • Recognizing Achievements – Don’t forget to remind your work-from-home team that each of their roles is important. Make each member feel seen, heard, valued, and appreciated. This will increase their motivation, team morale, friendly competition, and more.

The Secret to a Successful Remote Team Management

It’s no secret at all–it’s communication! You will notice that business communication is given importance in almost every section of this remote working guide. Of course, it’s essential in in-office settings, but it is absolutely critical to remote work. Remote communication influences team member productivity, mentality, and, especially, success.

Want to learn how Global Call Forwarding can support your remote team communication needs? Speak with our experts today; call us at +1 (561) 908-6171 or chat online!

What is a Call Group? (Benefits, Strategies, Use Cases)

An effective call flow creates a domino effect for your business. Your caller’s experience and satisfaction, first call resolution rates, and distribution methods all improve. Meanwhile, your hold times, abandonment rates, and missed calls decrease.

But, how do you achieve an effective call management system? Enter: call groups.

Understanding Call Groups and How They Work

A call group is a management feature that routes incoming calls to a specific “group” of phone lines based on your preset rules.

This is also referred to as a ring group. You can configure this feature to include particular agents, departments, or multiple teams.

So, how does this feature work? Call groups typically trigger when callers dial a specific number or select a particular IVR menu option. Group members receive inbound calls based on the ringing strategy you set up (more on that later).

If no one is available or the call goes unanswered, you can direct the call from there. Possible end destinations include your voicemail, a backup team, or even rerouting back to your IVR menu.

Call Groups vs. Hunt Groups

The term “hunt group” also comes up when talking about ring and call groups. However, this strategy differs from the others as it “hunts” for an available agent by ringing lines one after another.

On the other hand, ring and call groups offer multiple ringing strategies. So, you can customize it to fit your team’s needs.

Why Are Call Groups Important to Your Business?

Call groups streamline your business phone system by effectively distributing incoming calls across your teams. So, your customers get support faster and reach the agent most qualified to help them – even during a call volume surge. Additionally, your employees experience a balanced workload and equal opportunity at high-quality leads. And that’s not all!

Let’s look at 9 major benefits of using ring groups:

  1. Reduce call abandonment rates
  2. Better call distribution and even workload among agents
  3. Lower hold times
  4. Eliminate the chance of missed calls
  5. Improve call management, especially for high call volumes
  6. Enhance customer satisfaction
  7. Increase first call resolution rates
  8. Ensure calls are prioritized equally
  9. Boost employee productivity

Call Group Ringing Strategies

Ringing strategies determine the order in which call group members receive incoming calls. In most cases, these methods help lower wait times, avoid missed calls, and distribute calls effectively among your teams. There are 4 types of ringing categories available.

Let’s take a look:

• Simultaneous Ringing – When a call comes in, this strategy rings all grouped agents at the same time. The ringing stops once the call is answered. Simultaneous ringing allows staff to address calls as they arrive.

• Sequential Ringing – Known as sequential forwarding, this strategy rings grouped lines one right after another. So, if Agent A doesn’t answer or is helping another caller, the call moves to the next agent (Agent B) in your predetermined sequence. You can decide how much time the call rings for each agent before moving on to the next.

• Cyclic Ring Pattern – Also called round-robin routing or rollover ringing, cyclic ringing distributes calls equally across your groups. This strategy starts by ringing Agent A and moves on to Agent B if this rep is busy. The cyclic pattern will continue down your list and then cycle back to Agent A until the call is answered. This guarantees that workload distribution is proportionate since each member receives the same amount of calls.

• Random Ring Pattern – As the name suggests, this strategy randomly rings lines within a call group. With this method, you don’t have to worry about creating preset ringing rules or agent hierarchies. You just input your call group phone lines and you’re ready to go.

5 Call Group Use Cases

Most businesses create ring groups for their sales, support, IT, or accounting teams to serve customers better. Since this is a highly customizable call management solution, your setup may look different. It all depends on your business communication needs. Here are some ways your teams can use call groups:

1. Connect your teams – Whether you manage local, global, or remote teams, use this feature to connect teams and agents across multiple locations.

2. Establish backup teams – In case of high call volumes, create a backup team for overflow management. This ensures that no call goes unanswered, even if all other agents are unavailable.

3. Distribute based on experience – Consider delivering calls to the most experienced agents first. Or, flip the script and direct calls to those with the least experience for more hands-on training.

4. Encourage healthy team competition – Distribute sales calls simultaneously to incentivize your team and encourage fast response rates. Whoever answers first gets the sale! But give team members a chance to opt-out if they want.

5. Manage calls after business hours – Handle after-hours or holiday calls by forwarding them to alternate call groups.

What is the purpose of a call group?

How to Plan Out Effective Call Groups

Now that we’ve covered all the foundational information. Let’s get into how to successfully organize and configure ring groups as well as best practices for each. This way, you can gain the most benefits from this feature.

Step 1: Categorize your Staff

Think about how you’d like to organize your call groups. Do you want to divide groups by department, skill, location, or time zone? Agents can even belong to multiple ring groups. For example, Agent A is located in California and is a support team rep specializing in IT troubleshooting. So, you could include Agent A in 3 groups – the support team, West Coast time zone team, and IT troubleshooting team.

Best Practices
• Consider each agent’s level of expertise
• Opt for smaller, niche ring groups over one large unit

Step 2: Determine Your Distribution Method

Set up groups to receive calls from specific phone numbers or IVR menu inputs. Then, decide on your ringing strategy and the ringing order of each call group. For instance, if you decide on a sequential or cyclic approach, which agent will the system ring first? You can distribute calls based on availability, productivity, seniority, expertise, etc.

Best Practices
• Keep ring times between transfers short
• Pick a ringing strategy and order that speaks to your team’s strengths

Step 3: Establish Failover Strategies

If your business experiences high call volume influxes, your call groups may be flooded with calls. It’s essential to plan VoIP failover and overflow strategies if no one in a group is available. Some failover options include forwarding calls to a backup team or voicemail, providing callers with a callback option, or redirecting the call back to the IVR menu. This helps keep caller frustration low and reduces call abandonment caused by long wait times.

Best Practices
• Identify potential call flow problems, plan failover techniques accordingly
• List all available backup options (offshore call center, remote team, etc.), so you can utilize them fully

How to Set Up Call Groups with Global Call Forwarding

Once you sign up for our service, you can easily set up call groups in our online Control Panel. Here’s how to set up a call group within your Global Call Forwarding account:

  1. Log in to your Control Panel.
  2. Choose a phone service line and click on Settings.
  3. Select Call Forwarding from the horizontal menu and click Advanced Routing.
  4. Click on the orange Go to Rules button.
  5. Click the green Create a New Rule button. Add the description and select your desired days and times.
  6. Select Forward All Calls and add your preferred call group phone numbers.
  7. Then, choose your ring strategy under the Call Method section, either Sequential, Simultaneous, or Random.
  8. Click Save Rule.

Optimize your Incoming Call Flow with Call Groups

Choosing the right provider for your business’ communication needs makes all the difference when it comes to call management. Global Call Forwarding can help you optimize your incoming call flow through our online control panel.

Want to learn more about call groups from Global Call Forwarding? Speak with our representatives today or contact your account manager. Call us at +1 (561) 908-6171 or chat with us online!

18 Tips to Increase Call Center Sales

Do you manage a call center that specializes in selling products?

This blog was written for you! No matter what you’re selling and whether it’s inbound or outbound, this post has 18 actionable tips that are guaranteed to improve your sales call handling.

#1 Prepare for Your Call

Preparation is probably the most important aspect of call center sales.

First off, you must be prepared to answer questions about your product or service — like how it works — and have answers ready to address common objections.

You should also prepare for your call by researching the prospects that you’ll be calling. We recommend using a pre-call checklist.

But, if you’re placing a high volume of calls and can’t do your homework for each prospect, you should at least research the territories you’re calling.

#2 Nail Your Greeting

A good opener can delight prospects and set the table for a discussion.

For inbound, you might greet callers by stating your name and the company’s name and asking how you may help them.

For example, you could say “Global Call Forwarding, my name is Luke. How can I help you today?” Remember to smile and sound enthusiastic.

Outbound might be a bit different. Some sales gurus preach about cold call openers and say that you should trick prospects into staying on the line or get them to say ‘yes’ as soon as possible.

That’s old-school thinking.

You should tell prospects who you are up-front and clearly state the reason for your call. People don’t like being deceived, and it’s better to let them decide whether they want to hear your pitch.

#3 Do a Proper Discovery to Understand Their Needs

Sales discovery is your first chance to elevate the buyer experience and build rapport. During discovery, you want to explore the challenges faced by your prospective buyer.

The best sellers start by sharing relevant insights and then ask provocative questions to dig deeply into buyers’ issues. This will demonstrate a thoughtful focus on the customer while setting the stage for you to build a strong case for the value of your solution.

Understand the buyer’s challenges to set up a value-driven sales cycle.

#4 Listen Actively

Active listening allows salespeople to build rapport, discover prospects’ challenges and goals, and overcome objections. It’s one of the most important skills for a salesperson to have.

It starts with truly listening to what prospects have to say. 

After listening to your prospect, you should repeat what you just heard back to the prospect.

You can either repeat exactly what you hear, paraphrase what you heard, or rephrase what they said to you. This will demonstrate to your prospect that they’ve been heard.

When a prospect feels that you’re listening to them, they’ll openly volunteer more information, making sales call handling much easier.

#5 Mirror the Other Person’s Communication Style

Is the other person relaxed? Or do they seem rushed?

Are they speaking in a casual tone of voice, or is their communication style more formal?

When selling in a call center, you should mirror the other person’s communication style to make them feel understood and build rapport.

Whatever their communication style might be, you must slow down and breathe. This will signal confidence, build trust, and make you someone that prospects want to talk to.

#6 Know Your Product

When you’re doing call center sales, you have to know your product inside and out.

This includes knowledge about common use cases, strong points, weaknesses, competitors, and more.

You should be able to reference this information and sound confident when doing so.

#7 Sell the Benefits, Not the Features

Most people don’t care much about your product and all of its features. In reality, they care most about what your product can do for them.

So in a call center, you should always be selling the features in terms of how they benefit your prospect.

Instead of saying that you have “XYZ feature” and just leaving it at that, you’ll want to connect how that feature will help them accomplish their goals, which you should have uncovered already through active listening.

#8 Cross-sell and Upsell

The best salespeople know the concept of “land and expand.”

Once a lead signs up and turns into an account, you can then reference your prior discovery notes to uncover cross-selling and upsell opportunities.

What other needs of theirs can you help them solve? Would their services be a good fit for other departments in their company?

#9 Practice Proper Etiquette

Practicing good etiquette is so crucial for making a good impression, but it’s almost like a lost art these days. Here are a few etiquette tips to keep in mind when you’re handling a sales call.

  • Don’t interrupt the other person.
  • Be polite; say please and thank you.
  • Build rapport.
  • Be mindful of proper cultural phone etiquette.
  • Have a positive attitude and keep your tone of voice pleasant.

If you remember these pointers, you’ll have a better chance of achieving positive results.

#10 Agree on Next Steps

Before hanging up the call, you should discuss the next steps with the caller.

First, you should ask about a timeline and when would be a good time to follow up.

Second, tell the person what you’re going to do after the call. For example, you could say “after this call, I’m going to send you an email with what we just discussed.”

Finally, ask whether there’s anyone else that should be included in the correspondence.

#11 Check-in with Prospects and Customers

To be a good salesperson and increase call center sales velocity, you’ll need to follow up with prospects. You can ask them “when would be a good time to check back in?” and then follow up with them on that agreed-upon date.

Follow-ups should be personalized and add value if you want to break through the noise.

Plenty of sales automation and sales engagement tools exist in the market, but you want to go the extra mile and add your own human touch.

Remember — people will appreciate your follow-up efforts, as long as you’re genuine and respectful of their time.

#12 Don’t Rush the Sale

Buyers can smell commission breath from a mile away. If they get the sense that you’re always trying to sell them something, they’ll label you as a pushy salesperson.

It starts with earning the prospect’s trust. You should recommend things that make the best sense for them, not for you. This means giving up revenue in the short term to land a good long-term customer.

Larger enterprise customers do not like being rushed. Instead, you should keep engagement high with lots of touchpoints and then let them make decisions according to their own timelines.

#13 Consider Call Tracking

As a call center sales manager, you should have an understanding of what’s sourcing your leads. This will help you train salespeople better in relevant topics and also prepare them to deal with people from different regions.

We recommend that managers in a call center reference call tracking to understand the types of callers that are coming in and what those callers might be looking for.

#14 Ensure the Call Quality is Good

Sales prospects in a call center will likely hang up or form a negative impression of your business if they can’t hear you clearly. This might happen if you’re using a low-quality phone service provider.

Your business VoIP provider should be able to give you basic call quality stats.

#15 Listen Back to Your Sales Conversations

The best way to get better at sales call handling is through repetition. It’s like riding a bike – there’s only so much you can learn by reading. You have to learn some things by doing.

 But, there needs to be some kind of feedback loop to maximize those practice reps.

Top salespeople and teams are constantly learning from past experiences. This means listening back to sales conversations that went well, along with sales calls that didn’t go so well.

Then, you can improve your performance.

#16 Make Sure it’s Easy for Callers to Get Where They Want to Go

How many times have you abandoned a call because you didn’t want to deal with an annoying voice menu? Especially these days, a lot of people just want to speak with a real human.

So, call center sales managers should make it easy to navigate their business phone system and get to the right place.

If you have an IVR, keep it to under three levels.

#17 Minimize Wait Times

On the same topic, callers don’t want to wait on hold for a long time for their sales call to be handled.

You should do regular forecasting and ensure that you have enough call center agents on hand.

Make sure that you have the right tools and staff in place to manage high call volumes.

#18 No Scripting, But Talk Tracks

For more complex sales, talk tracks are better than call center scripts.

For example, you want to make sure that your reps ask certain questions to uncover specific things and mention certain things in each call.

Call center scripting is still effective for smaller, transactional sales. Just make sure that you’re following best practices.

Three 9s and Beyond: Guide to High-Availability Infrastructure

When purchasing cloud services online, you might come across numbers like 99.999% uptime or 99.9% uptime. And as far as uptime goes, “99 point anything” should seem reliable enough. After all, it’s so close to 100%, so how much can it really be lacking? And what do those extra nines mean?

It’s a lot more than we think. To put it in perspective, 99.9% adds up to more than 8 hours of downtime a year, while 99.99999% adds up to only 3.15 seconds a year. Let that sink in for a minute.

Depending on your business, you may need a high-availability setup with little to no downtime. To determine what that looks like, we put together a guide to high-availability infrastructure to help you understand the specific differences between three 9s, four 9s, and five 9s.

Let’s dive in!

Understanding the 9s: Three 9s vs Four 9s vs Five 9s

Most service providers — including telecom providers — guarantee a certain percentage of uptime. This is also known as a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Uptime refers to the time a machine or system is in operation and actively working. Downtime, then, is when the machine or system is inactive or unavailable for use.

Downtimes can occur for a few different reasons:

  • Electricity or internet outages
  • Moving devices and equipment around
  • Devices or equipment break down
  • Natural disasters
  • Updates and maintenance
  • Hacking or cyberattacks, and so on.

And if you don’t have a valid disaster recovery plan in place, downtime can lead to significant service interruptions. This means your teams cannot complete tasks or communicate with each other. When your business is not accessible, you will lose out on providing reliable customer service.

To combat this issue and reduce potential downtime, it is recommended that businesses build voice redundancy (failover and backups) into their systems. One way to do this is by incorporating high-availability infrastructure and services.

What is a High-Availability Infrastructure?

High-availability infrastructure is designed to provide a level of operational performance and uptime that is higher than normal within a set time period. In simpler terms, high availability (HA) creates reliable systems that continue to operate with little to no downtime.

What does this look like?

A high-availability infrastructure is created by using clusters of servers — with failover options in place — to monitor each other. This way, if one server fails, the backup server will activate. It restarts applications that were active on the failed server and gets everything up and running again.

A chart that high availability infrastructure and design.

Basics of High-Availability Infrastructure

One of the foundations of creating high availability is eliminating single points of failure — an element of the system that, if it fails, causes everything in the system to fail.

To eliminate various single points of failure, most high-availability architecture look something like this at the base level:

  • Traffic load is balanced between multiple servers with a load balancer. This way, when one server is offline, traffic is sent through the other server.
  • Two load balancers provide additional support. This way, if one load balancer fails, traffic can failover to the other one.
  • Since failover to a load balancer involves a Domain Name System (DNS) change, you may experience downtime. Solve this by adding a tool for rapid IP remapping. An Elastic IP can easily balance traffic between load balancers.

basics-of high availability infrastructure

Understanding the 9s: Three 9s vs Four 9s vs Five 9s Uptime

So, what do the 9s have to do with anything? The 9s determine the amount of availability. In other words, three 9s availability or five 9s availability is the percentage of time a network or service is accessible to a user in a given period, usually a year.

During that period, your service will experience high uptime, while the remaining 0.0001% is the downtime you may experience.

Here’s a table comparing the different uptime percentages and how much downtime you might experience:

A chart that compares four 9s versus five 9s availability.

99.9% vs 99.99% vs 99.999% Uptime: What Does Your Business Need?

Now, 100% uptime is rare with complex systems. So, most services — cloud services in particular — will offer between 99% and 100% uptime.

Shouldn’t 99.9% uptime be enough?

In theory, yes, 99.9% uptime should be reliable enough. But as you can see above, it will still lead to about 3 days of downtime a year and almost a full day (21 hrs) per quarter.

But the uptime your business requires depends on your systems and service demands. So, the real question is…

How much downtime can you afford?

And can you add additional failover options in place to make up for that downtime? When deciding what high-availability infrastructure should look like for your business, consider these questions:

  • How will my customers react if my service is down for 5 – 10 minutes? 1 – 3 hours? 12 hours to a full day?
  • What percent of revenue will my business lose at those same intervals?
  • Can I afford the costs of complex infrastructure?
  • How does the value compare to the risks that come with additional complexity?
  • Do I have the right people working to manage and scale the project?
  • Do we have an updated incident management process and a disaster plan for when systems are down?

What 99.999% uptime means for your business?

The industry recognizes 99.9% and above as good and reliable uptime. But when you compare 99.9% vs 99.999% — it is safe to say that anything above the five 9s (99.999%) is excellent uptime and availability. This is because the most downtime you will experience in a year is a meager 5 mins.

How Do You Achieve a High-Availability Business Phone System?

There are 2 ways to create a high-availability infrastructure for your business phone system with high uptime:

1. Choose the right providers

Find a provider that has high availability or multiple layers of redundancy built into their systems.

When choosing a cloud telephony provider, ask about:

2. Set up redundancy in-house

Build geo-redundancy into your VoIP system and set up failover capabilities. Some ways to do this include:

  • Add mission-critical applications and services within your network.
  • Ask your in-house IT and operation teams to manage backup solutions, such as using additional hardware and equipment to mirror main systems.
  • Buy equipment that is easy to use, repair, and update.
  • Organize teams, agents, and call groups to function as backups.
  • Automate wherever possible and monitor quality and performance.
  • Consider hosting systems and teams in multiple geographic locations.
  • Use advanced call routing strategies to forward calls to secondary destinations if the primary destination is unavailable. Failover forwarding, sequential ring, and simultaneous ringing will help you achieve this.
  • Test backup and disaster recovery plans.

How Can Global Call Forwarding Help?

Global Call Forwarding offers 99.999% uptime through our high-availability and highly-redundant global network. We can maintain this level of availability and reliability because of a few different reasons:

  • Multiple geo-redundant data centers spread globally
  • Decades of industry expertise
  • Long-term relationships built with local and global Tier-1 carriers, and more.

Find out if we are a good fit for your business by speaking with our telecom experts. Call us +1 (561) 908-6171 at or chat with us online today!