Resellers are missing out on sales leads because SMEs prefer to trust their telecoms suppliers when choosing IP telephony and voice over IP packages.
A survey of 320 SMEs conducted by telephony equipment vendor Aastra Telecom suggested that only half would even consider approaching an IT supplier for a telecoms solution.
Instead, 84 per cent said they would go to the company responsible for installing and maintaining their telephone system.
But Aastra said this shows there are "significant opportunities" for IT resellers to approach customers and re-educate the SME market.
Tim Wells, marketing manager at Aastra Telecom, said IT resellers need to provide better guidance and advice to firms with little in-house knowledge of converged offerings.
"Telecoms resellers have not been good at looking after their customers, but where they have done well at maintaining relationships, most customers have been happy to go back to them," he said.
The survey said 86 per cent of customers would like to hear more frequently from their supplier about upgrades and new technologies. This is a significant number that are simply waiting to be contacted, Aastra claimed.
Phil Beesley, sales director at 3Com reseller Genisys, refuted the suggestion that firms are more likely to trust telecoms rather than data resellers.
"I would have thought it was the other way round, although it depends how forward-thinking the customer is," he said.
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