A Look at our Sales Process

April 16, 2019

 

With the nature of our value as a partner established, I think it would now be informative to demonstrate a couple examples of what it's like to work with us. You, our beloved audience, know from prior articles what we offer; now it's time to learn how you get it.

 

Suppose you're an IT manager for a medium business, and you're having trouble with cybersecurity. You've installed endpoint protection, secured your network with firewalls, and beaten the interns with sticks when they open phishing emails, but to no avail. Stuff keeps getting in. You can run cleanup and fix things to how they were before, sure, but you're getting tired of putting that same fire out every single week.

 

So, since you're already a client of ours in this hypothetical situation, you call up one of our staff and explain your woes. We already know things like the size of your environment or the hardware brands you're running on from previous engagements, so when we drill down into questions on that particular call, we're looking for specifics. What kinds of attacks are getting in? What vectors are they using? What's the scope and nature of the risk to you if they ever succeed?

 

Once those initial questions are answered, we'd set up a date to come by in-person for a meeting with you, and send you an email invite as soon as we hung up. Then we’d rope in our engineering staff for a discussion. By now we'll already have an idea of what solution would be best for you, but we want to confirm it. We'll research our product lines in specifics, talk to the engineers to get their feedback on the details, and contact allies from our distributors and manufacturers for any information we don't have ourselves. During this process, you'll probably get another couple of emails and calls from us. I'm one of those people that always thinks of the most important questions five minutes after the conversation's over, so that'd certainly happen if you contacted me.

 

When the time rolls around for our meeting, one, or maybe two, of us will show up at your office or other spot, as you prefer, with information and blank notebooks in hand. The first step in such meetings is for us to verify all the information from before, ask any remaining questions that have come up in the investigation, and provide you with details about the larger scope of the problem. Continuing the cybersecurity example, that means we'd confirm your issues and situation, and brief you on the current state of cybercrime, the overall types of solutions that have come out recently, and what steps have proven most effective at preventing attack. We'd also confirm the ballpark of your budget and timeline at this point. The goal is to get everything clear between us, so that both sides can contribute to the conversation going forward.

 

After that, we'd move on to your options. If we had found one solution that our research indicates is far better than others for you, we'd go into details about why we're boosting it and why we think you should consider it; if you then request to look at others, we'd give the information on them, as well. Meanwhile, if there are multiple competing technologies that could solve your problem, we'd introduce you to all of them, along with their pros and cons compared to each other. You're the one signing the check at the end of the day, so you're the one who should decide what to buy. We're just here to give you the information you need to make that decision.

 

To tie that into the cybersecurity example, if we've discovered that you don't have a network intelligence tool that can analyze atypical activity inside your environment, we'd almost certainly start on that front, since it's the new standard in preventing phishing and fraud attacks. Kaspersky, Carbon Black, and Barracuda all have excellent products for that role; which one, or combination, of those that we'd lead with is impossible to say without knowing more about your environment.

 

That initial meeting could take 5 minutes, or it could take 3 hours; however long it needs to be for you to be properly briefed and have no more questions. When that's done, we'll return to our office; uncover and send any more information that you requested or that we discovered we needed; and set up the next step. In most cases, in order to help guarantee you make an informed decision, this next step would be a product demo of the solution you're leaning towards. Once that demo is concluded, you'll hopefully have found the solution you'd prefer, and can start working with us on getting the sizing and implementation right before signing off on the order. If you end up wanting an even deeper dive or a second look, though, we can go through the meetings, information, and demos again for the same or other products, even bringing in manufacturer or distributor teammates for support.

 

Of course, this entire example is predicated on your need being a complex one that requires investigation and analysis to find the most ideal solution to. If we're dealing with something simpler, like an acquisition of 3 laptops and their peripherals to scale for new employees, for example, we're not going to need multiple in-depth meetings and demos. There will still be collaboration, however, because our position in the channel makes us privy to special deals and technical information that's not widely available. So if you come to us asking for a Dell laptop of a certain spec, we might recommend a Lenovo model that's equivalent, but much more highly-reviewed and currently under promo pricing for $150 less. Plenty of people have enough brand loyalty to go on and order the Dell version from us, anyway, but you see the point.

 

Now, the discussion so far is based around you coming to us. But sometimes we go to you. Why is that, and how does it work?

 

Suppose that you've never heard of us, and you're doing paperwork at your desk one day when a member of our team gives you a call out of the blue. With our world-class suave charm, he gets you to talking, and takes you in the direction of disaster recovery. Now, you already have a disaster recovery plan in place. You backup your machines, you keep a data copy offsite, and you restored a downed server just last week. You tell him all that, and he stays on the topic anyway. Classic example of corny telesales, right?

 

Nope. See, with the data we keep abreast of, we know that there's a huge preponderance of companies that see they can restore 1 server, and then hang their hats up on their DR plan without ever proving that they can recover from a real disaster. It's a danger for many, and since we don't know you, we'll have to check if that's true for you or not. And even if you're good on that front, there's a variety of similar questions to ask. Is your DR technology a hassle because it was programmed back in '95? Are you using backups for ransomware protection in a format that can itself be attacked by ransomware? Are you relying on a public cloud for recovery without verifying how quickly you can pull data back down from it? On a discovery call like what's being described, our goal is to run through questions like these for a variety of topics, in order to determine if there's a case for us to do business or not. You might not need a thing, in which case we'll thank you for helping our market research (which, in fact, you have) and hang up. But it might just turn out that you can use us. That's why we call.

 

Regardless of the situation, the long and short of it is that our goal is not to push you into acquiring our top products, it's to work alongside you in the process of identifying and deploying the solution best able to solve your specific challenge. This is made possible by the breadth of our ability. After all, if you go to a security company, or a Dell provider, or a Veeam shop, or so on, odds are that you already know the product they're going to recommend. But because our focus is on partnership and collaboration across the IT world, we have the flexibility necessary to solve your problems, not push ours. 

 

 

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