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Over the past year, as I have met with hundreds of MSPs, something that strikes me is the varying approaches on how they sell disaster recovery products and services. At one end of the spectrum are those who are selling backup and at the opposite end are those who are delivering disaster recovery. The backup end of the scale is not a good place to be.
On the backup end, you’re competing with a myriad of cheap or even free products that all resemble each other. Customers will quibble on price and then get outraged when you can’t recover data or recover it at speed – as far too often happens.
At the other end of the scale is disaster recovery as a service (DraaS), which is where the revenue opportunities lie. How much revenue are we talking about? Industry reports estimate that the current market for DRaaS is $1.4 billion and projected to grow to $11.92 billion by 2020. As a provider, you must ask yourself how much of this $1.4 billion are you taking home, and is that enough?
Express the Cost of Downtime
In selling DRaaS, the first step is to get your customer to appreciate and understand that the cost of the service is small relative to the cost of downtime.
There are lots of ways to calculate downtime. However, in general it is best to keep it simple, and not focus on calculating to the penny, the exact cost. Try to get your customers asking themselves, “How much will downtime cost me?”
In many cases, lost revenue is not even the biggest issue. What can be more significant and worrying is the knock-on effects of an outage, including the impact on your reputation, which can be hard to recover; your customers impose penalties for missed deliveries and deadlines; legal implications of not having business continuity.
Talk to the Right People
The key to effectively selling DRaaS is making sure you are having the conversation with the right people. You may start your discussions with the IT director but you will need to also bring in finance and operations. This is a crucial step, as they may have to sign off on the spend. However, these are also the ones within the organisation who will fully understand lost revenue and the impact of downtime.
DRaaS can be a long sales cycle. Be prepared for this. But once you sign them up, get customers to commit for a fixed period – obviously the longer the better.
Then, underpin your solution with products – both hardware and software – that you trust and can count on. Remember that the difference between selling backup and DRaaS is that you are committing to restoring your customer’s systems within an agreed period in the event of a failure. You need to be 100 percent certain that you can deliver on these promises. For more information about getting your business in shape, download the CompTIA 2016 Guide Managed Services Buying Guide.
Janet O’Sullivan is channel marketing manager for Technology Vendor StorageCraft.