SIP trunking is a telephone and unified communications service that uses the internet rather than traditional phone lines. It is more cost-efficient, reliable, and flexible than traditional communications methods.
This is because SIP trunking allows businesses to only purchase the communication scale they need and change their number of channels as needed.
So, how do you know which SIP trunking service provider is the right one for your company or organization?
There are a few things to look for when shopping for a SIP trunking service provider. Follow this guide and you can rest assure that the SIP trunking provider you choose is the right one for you and your business.
1. User-Friendly Control Panel
A SIP trunking platform should have a powerful but easy-to-use control panel to manage your account. The control panel is where you can manage calls, contacts, services, billing, and obtain call data records.
You want the control panel to be user-friendly so that you can get the most out of your SIP trunking service provider. If the program is confusing or makes it difficult to manage your business, then it will waste time.
In addition, the control panel should allow you to easily make changes to your service. If you need to add channels or purchase numbers, then you should be able to do so easily and instantly.
To make sure the control panel is right for you, test it out. Request a trial before you make the purchase, and guarantee that it works for your business.
2. Outbound Dialer
Most SIP trunking providers don’t have the capability to handle automated outbound dialing and telemarketing traffic. However, these features can be important for growing your business.
That’s why you should look for a SIP trunking option that does allow telemarketing traffic.
Even if you’re unsure whether you need these options, purchasing a SIP trunk that has the option will save you money and time in the future. For example, with SIP.US, all you have to do is turn on telemarketing traffic in your settings. If you go with a SIP provider that doesn’t have these services, then you’ll have to start all over again.
3. Real-Time Call Data
Having access to call data has many benefits for businesses. Especially when it comes to business communication.
When shopping for a SIP trunking service provider, you must ensure they offer real-time call data records.
Real-time call data records help businesses understand their calls, traffic, leads, what is working, what isn’t working, and their communication needs. You will be able to track your businesses call activities and stay on top of your employees and/or contacts.
Look for a SIP service that provides call data records in real-time so you can have the most up-to-date records. Also, you should make sure the program allows you to export the data in a .CSV file so you can further analyze it or save it for your company records.
4. Database of Telephone Numbers
A great SIP service provider will offer direct inward dialing (DID), which is a database of thousands of telephone numbers from all over the country. If your business deals internationally, then look for a SIP trunking provider that offers international DIDs in many countries (not just a few).
Knowing your SIP has DIDs will ensure that when you need to order numbers, you can get them quickly and securely.
Another extra benefit to look for in your SIP trunking service provider is a back-order guarantee. This is a guarantee from the SIP company that they will back-order numbers if they are not available in a certain area. So, as soon as they are available, you’ll receive them and can make the connection.
5. Flexible Internet Service
Some SIP service providers require you use their internet services or data connectivity. This takes away the freedom and flexibility you have when it comes to an internet connection and could lead to poor connections or slow service.
Instead, find a SIP trunking provider that allows you to choose your own broadband internet connection. This will help ensure that you can choose an internet service that provides the large bandwidth you need to run your business.
6. Fraud Protection
Another important thing to look for when searching for the right SIP service provider is call fraud protection, especially international fraud protection.
Make sure the SIP trunking service provider offers real-time protection that can catch call frauds and stop them in their tracks. They should also alert you of the fraud and any other suspicious activity.
These systems will help protect your organization and assets. You’ll also gain peace of mind knowing that you’re taken care of rather than always worrying about fraud.
7. Simple Pricing
If a SIP service provider is giving you complex pricing quotes with various fees, then walk away.
Your pricing plan should be simple and transparent. Look for a low monthly rate that includes any service fees.
Also, we recommend a no-contract provider. This will protect you from any harsh cost consequences if something happens and you need to cancel your services.
Your simple pricing plan should also be easy to change. Look for a service that allows you to instantly add channels or purchase DIDs in the control panel.
8. Works with Graphical User Interfaces
If you use open source systems such as FreeSwitch, Asterisk, or Elastix then you’ll want a SIP trunking service that connects well with these interfaces.
Look for a trunking service that is designed to easily configure graphical user interfaces. Specifically, search for one that offers a “cut-and-paste” trunk configuration option.
Having a program that works with the graphical user interface you already use will save you time, money, and energy. You won’t have to figure out configuration, wait for everything to get connected, and you won’t have to change any systems (and no re-training staff).
9. Multiple PBX Routing
Whether you use multiple PBXs or not, having a SIP trunking service that has the option of routing calls to a secondary PBX will benefit your business.
Multiple PBX routing works like this. When an inbound DID comes in, it goes to the primary PBX. If the first PBX does not connect, then it is rerouting to a second PBX. It ensures that calls (and opportunities) are not missed.
Some SIP providers also provide call forwarding to a backup PTSN number in case a routing ever fails. This is another benefit that you don’t want to miss out on.
10. Free Trial with No Strings Attached
If you want to a reliable SIP trunking service provider (who doesn’t?), then look for one that offers a no-obligation free trial.
This will let you test out their services, control panel, calling, and configuration. You will be able to know for sure whether the SIP trunking service is right for you before you make the purchase.
Just be cautious and watch out for trials that have contracts with them or ask for a form of payment. They will likely start charging you as soon as the trial ends.
11. Service Level Agreements
Service level agreements (SLAs) are provided by the SIP trunking provider as a guarantee of quality uptime services.
Your SIP service provider should provide an SLA and promise 99.999% uptime guarantees. This will show that they have quality services and put their customers’ needs first.
SLAs can also be used for your advantage if you don’t receive the promised uptime.
12. Extra Features
Every organization has different needs. Be sure to find a SIP trunking service provider that includes add-on features that fit your needs.
Some add-on features may include caller ID or enhanced 911, which gives you the address of any caller that dialed 911. Others may be email-to-fax services, voicemail-to-email transcription, conference calling, texting, interactive voice recognition, video chat, or toll-free calling.
Whatever you need, be sure that it is included in your services to avoid paying extra.
13. Customer Support
When a problem arises, you want to be sure you have someone to take care of it right away. There is nothing worse than not being able to receive important calls.
This is why customer support is extremely important when it comes to choosing the right SIP provider.
The first thing to look for is 24/7/365 support availability. No one will be able to fix the issue if nobody is working.
Secondly, look for experience. Support staff should have the correct credentials and be experienced in what they do.
You should also ensure the trunking provider has multiple channels for support including email, phone, tickets, and a knowledge base center.
Find the Right SIP Trunking Service Provider Today
Shopping around for the right SIP trunking service provider will save you time, money, and headache in the long run. Now that you have these tips for what to look for in a SIP trunking provider, you’re ready to begin shopping.
At SIP.US., we offer all the above features and benefits. We will also work with you to understand your needs and ensure that your SIP trunking service is a perfect match.