By making a few subtle changes to your sales approach, you can start selling hybrid backup solutions that are better for you and your customers.
For nearly all VARs and MSPs selling networking infrastructure solutions, data-backup solutions are a core part of their overall offering. The vast majority of solutions providers sell on-premise backup solutions, which often entails replacing traditional tape libraries with disk-based backup solutions. A small percentage of solutions providers forgo the on-site backup altogether and are moving their customers’ businesses, including data backups, to the cloud. While on-premise backups and cloud-based backups are superior to having no backup, they each have weaknesses that leave your customers vulnerable. The better option you should consider is a hybrid backup solution, which includes both on-site and off-site data backups.
Making The Case For Hybrid Backup
I spoke with three industry data backup experts from Datto, KineticD, and Unitrends to get their take on hybrid data backups, including their advice on how to sell it, objections you should anticipate, and how you can overcome those objections. The first thing that’s important is that you understand why hybrid is a better option for your customer. Here are two things to consider:
What You Need To Know To Sell Hybrid Backup Solutions
Convincing yourself that hybrid backup solutions are the right option for your customer is only half the battle. The next thing you need to consider is how you’re going to convince your customers. Since most VARs and MSPs will have customers who already have on-premise backup systems in place, here are some ways to engage those customers about upgrading to hybrid backups. “The VAR/MSP needs to understand the customer’s data size, makeup, and change rate as well as the customer’s overall sensitivity to downtime and cost before discussing the specifics of a hybrid solution,” says Charles Patsios, director of channel marketing at Unitrends. “The maximum amount of downtime must be taken into consideration when understanding how much data should be left on-site and how much can be retained in the cloud.”
One thing you can’t underestimate before selling hybrid backup solutions is the importance of your salespeople. “An educated salesperson is always a better salesperson,” says Jamie Brenzel, CEO of KineticD. “Talk to hybrid backup vendors for assistance before you go out to sell the product.” Hybrid storage vendor partners have a vested interest in helping you get up to speed with this technology and your sales approach.
The consultation process is an important step that you can’t overlook with selling this kind of solution. And you should never make assumptions about customers’ recovery time objective (RTO) based on their annual revenues or number of employees. “A small business’ lack of operating capital can require just as short of RTO as a larger customer that’s governed by industry regulations like HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley,” says Simon.
Anticipating, Overcoming Common Hybrid Backup Objections
While each customer is unique in some aspects, you’ll quickly find that the objections to selling hybrid backup solutions are not. In fact, just about every objection you’ll run into will focus on security to some extent. Customers want to know who has access to their data besides them. They may want to know what kind of encryption and other security measures are used by the cloud provider. Customers governed by strict industry guidelines may also worry that moving their data to the cloud could leave them open to fines. The following are a couple of suggestions for anticipating and overcoming these objections.
Most customers understand how valuable their data is to their organizations, but many take for granted that it will always be there. Getting those same customers to spend a little more for a hybrid backup solution is a similar process to selling insurance. “The cloud copy is insurance, and like most people, no one likes paying for insurance, but when you really need it, you’re happy you have it,” says Brenzel.