Partners are always looking to sell deeper and wider in each opportunity. The end goal is to be as sticky to their end customers and add as much value as possible. This mindset keeps the customer much more reluctant to want to build a relationship with anyone else and maintain a feeling of loyalty toward their partner. At Telarus, we help our partners understand this thought process and realize that while they may have historically focused on one or two things of a commodity nature and had success, it’s important to go higher up the product and technology stack. At the lower and wider end of it, there is much more competition, the marketplace is commoditized, and often, those products have lower margins. As we try to educate our partners and push them higher up the stack, suddenly the competition thins, product margins typically increase, and it’s far from commoditized. We want our partners to know they can lean on our engineering resources!
While we want to maintain the slogan for the complex deals of “Call us early and call us often,” there are some huge benefits for partners to go exploring up the stack on their own when they’re ready to take that next step with their customer. If a partner wants to be taught how to fish, listen in on a couple of complex discovery calls, then go out into the wild on their own, that’s fantastic, and we encourage it! On the flip side, if a partner wants to focus primarily on maintaining the relationship to enabled continued selling and wants to loop in our engineering resources when it’s tricky, then that’s ok too! We are here embrace all different skill sets and sales strategies. Don’t be afraid to call us and we’ll teach you few extra questions that can generate not just some extra money but will add some major value in the customer’s eyes.
Here are a couple of easy questions you can ask a customer and feel confident in your approach:
Question 1: What are your biggest security concerns and does the staff have the budget and expertise to address them?
With this question, you challenge your C-level contacts a bit to help them ask themselves that question. At that point, they question the skillset of their team members, and they’re likely to come back with an answer that opens up a door.
Question 2: Have you recently done any type of security review on your people, processes, or technology?
This question is a continuation and sometimes a deeper push on the first question. In most cases, the answer here is, “No” and that opens up the door to let you talk about either setting up a call with engineering, or just directly setting up a call with a company that can do a gap analysis and security audit.
Question 3: Have you adopted any cloud-based applications and if so, do you know what risks that has created?
This one lets them just talk about their entire roadmap to the cloud and how far they already may be in the process. Sometimes you can follow that one up and ask additional things like “How are you dealing with those, or do you feel there are any areas in dealing with that that you need assistance on?”
For these questions, the end goal we want is to ask the question, and then just LISTEN! It’s hard, but just let them talk about the issues they are faced with and take copious notes. At that point the answer should be something to the tune of “I feel we have a handful of options in the portfolio that might be able to help with this. Are you open to a conversation if I bring in one of my engineers that can dive a little deeper?” Once you have those details, just bring it back and we would be more than happy to setup that 30-minute call. Just ask questions and listen, you got this!
In other situations, it might make sense to bring an engineer in right away. If the customer asks any of the following questions:
- I’m looking to make a major migration to AWS, but I’m considering a hybrid cloud instead. Should I be worried about security?
- I’m trying to virtualize my equipment and get it into a public or private cloud, how do I secure it?
- How do I get better visibility into the performance and security of my environment?
No matter what the situation is, just know we are here to help. We are here to be an extension of your team, and we are here to help keep your competition out by adding as much value to your customers as possible. Call us early, call us often!