By Tom Fedro
When working with the channel, Value Added Resellers (VARs) in particular, do you provide the tools and training necessary to ensure VARs know what the “V” is in your product? Too often, software publishers only recognize the VAR’s technological expertise and don’t provide enough detail on the solution’s return on investment, impact on profitability of the end user company or cost avoidance afforded with its installation. A lack of the business knowledge necessary to close a sale or shorten the sales cycle is often overlooked in the VAR education process.
What does your technology produce, and why is it valuable to the end-user? What is the result / outcome they require? If your product is data backup and restoration, what differentiates your product from the competition? Not just a feature matrix, what about the intangibles – customer support picking up the phone as opposed to the voice tree found at most companies or custom scripts written for end users that have unique requirements. Your resellers should learn more than the technical aspects of data protection and recovery. It is up to the software publisher to provide the details here to empower the VAR to be successful.
The value to the end-user is not necessarily data protection. The value is the security of relationships with customers, operational stability, prevention of fraud, and a host of other benefits that a disaster recovery solution can provide. Beyond these, and perhaps most importantly, the end user values someone being there when things go wrong and they need help. We should not sell recovery points and recovery times without translating those into operational benefits.
Make sure your channel is working at its best for you. Focus them on the value of your solution rather than the features. Sell based on the operational impact on the companies who use your solutions and your sales are sure to stick.