Thrive in a competitive storage market by putting SMB needs first. These simple tips will help ensure VARs deliver successful solutions.
By Michael Hughes
August 25, 2013
Selling storage solutions to SMBs takes a strategy—one that works for you, the VAR, as well as for your SMB clients. Here are eight simple tips that will go a long way toward your delivery of appropriate solutions.
1. Don’t Assume
Many small businesses have huge data requirements. So, don’t assume SMBs will have limited needs. Some of your largest storage customers could come from some smaller-size customers.
2. Know the Needs
The first step toward delivering a successful storage solution to an SMB client is understanding the requirements. Does your customer struggle with data protection? Obsolescence? Time constraints? Data security? Use the company’s shortcomings and needs to establish a list of requirements.
3. Cut the Tape
Tell your SMB customers about the shortcomings of tape-based backup. Tape can be lost, stolen, damaged, and it often fails. Moreover, it can be time-consuming to use and expensive.
4. Keep It Manageable
Offer SMBs solutions that are easy to manage and don’t require additional vendor services. After all, the customers with whom you’ll be working may not have backup management skills or know-how.
5. Make It Flexible
As virtualization and cloud expand their footprint, the customer environment is changing all the time. As such, the SMB storage solution should support those platforms, but should also provide for flexibility. Enable SMBs to choose between physical, virtual, or hybrid environments. For redundancy purposes, give SMB customers the option to duplicate files to public or private clouds.
6. Let It Grow
As SMBs grow and their data expands, their storage solutions need to grow with them. Make sure to choose a storage option that will scale.
7. Set the Price
Help your SMB customers by selecting a backup plan with straightforward pricing. Anticipate scalability requirements. Determine which features should be purchased and the number of server licenses to be acquired.
8. Show Support
Not all solutions come with 24-hour support. Provide customers with supplemental support. Help them onboard and update their use of a chosen solution.
MICHAEL HUGHES is Barracuda Networks’ senior vice president of worldwide sales.