I recently spoke with experts from Axcient, Intronis, Unitrends, and StorageCraft to get their input on the must-have features VARs and MSPs should be looking for when selecting a business-grade BDR solution. In addition to sharing their insights on this topic (check out “Business-Grade BDR: What Really Matters?” to get all the details), there was another topic I was equally excited to get their opinion about: price. It’s no secret that business-grade solutions are more expensive than their consumer-grade counterparts, which means that price objections will be a reality you’ll have to face from time to time — especially in the SMB market. And, if you’re not able to articulate the value of your more expensive offering, you’ll have difficulty selling BDR.
Some VARs and MSPs treat BDR like a loss leader and either let customers choose their own backup products, or they sell business-class BDR at cost, rationalizing that they’ll make up the loss selling other IT services. StorageCraft’s Director of Product Management and Chief Evangelist, Matt Urmston, disagrees with this approach.
“Every time you take on a new client who is using an unfamiliar backup product, there is a time investment as technicians come up to speed. There is also a great deal of risk to the MSP who, in most cases, is providing an SLA that includes recovery time objectives. MSPs are viewed as the experts; this is why they are hired. By taking the time to educate clients and help them understand how important BDR is to their business, they will be more willing to implement your services, and you’ll end up with fewer sleepless nights.”
Intronis’ VP of Sales, Rob Merklinger, concurs and offers an additional tip to protect your profit margins:
“Don’t allow customers to nickel and dime your IT services. The most successful MSPs bundle their solutions and support into a complete managed services offering that commands a higher perceived value and leads to greater profitability. Moreover, successful MSPs ensure that foundational and business-critical services, such as security and data protection, are always included as part of the deal. Make sure to also stress the unique qualities your business brings to customers — including your level of service, your response times, and your proactive monitoring, alerting, and reporting.”
VARs and MSPs who follow these principles should not have to give anything away for free. Every product and service you provide customers has a perceived value, and the higher you can raise that value, the better. In the end, the perceived value is equal to, if not more important than, the actual value of a service.