Unfortunately, when you put your product in the hands of a reseller, you pretty much lose all of your control over the sales cycle. Do your VARs know what the “V” represents in “Value Added Reseller”? Too often, value added resellers have the technological expertise but lack the business knowledge necessary to close a sale or shorten the sales cycle. Often overlooked is the importance in ensuring that they stress the value of your technology solution.
The Value of Your Technology Solution’s Product
I mean “product” here as in “result.” What does your technology produce, and why is it valuable to the end-user. If your product is data backup and restoration, what differentiates your product? Your resellers should learn more than the technical aspects of data protection and recovery. Make sure they understand the costs of data loss.
The value to the end-user is not data protection. The value is the security of relationships with customers, operational stability, prevention of fraud, and a host of other benefits. We should not sell recovery points and recovery times without translating those into operational benefits.
Salespeople have understood this for years. Products are sold by convincing customers to buy, but consider what customers are actually buying. Consumers tend to buy what they believe a product will make them feel. It is not the soda; it’s the happy refreshing smile. It’s not the car; it’s the freedom of the open road. Your product’s features are not what your buyers want. They want the value represented by your product, and in this case, the value is operational in nature.
The Value of Your Technology Solution’s Process
This aspect is often dismissed with complex technology. While the “product” of your solution is what the solution produces, the “process” is how it accomplishes this. There is value to be sold in effective processes. For example:
Does your product have an implementation ease that will allow fewer resources to be expended with its use?
Does your process require less training than your competition? (Less training means more money.)
Returning to the data protection product, let’s assume two products both protect and restore data effectively. How does a customer choose one over the other? The “product” value is the same. Your channel needs to learn to push the process value. They need to understand how to point out the efficiencies of use in your product and how those efficiencies translate into savings of IT time and resources. When products are designed for low-tech end-users, this is a regular theme in sales. Somehow, when the products are sold to technology departments, we tend to overlook the issue altogether.
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.