The overwhelming choice in backup solutions and how to stand out

Apr 2014

The overwhelming choice in backup solutions and how to stand out


The following is a guest post by Nathan Golden of Managecast:

Maybe every industry has 20 major competitors and maybe another 50 secondary competitors, but the cloud backupManagecast Logo market is thick with competition. The choices in protecting data are overwhelming and customers have a huge array of choice. There are also huge differences between cloud backup capabilities between competing solutions.

Trying to market or sell a cloud backup solution is certainly challenging no matter what product. Trying to find the one salient feature that no one else has is mostly impossible. Ultimately it is the combination of benefits that best meets the specific requirements that make a solution stand out, and that makes selling in this environment so difficult. Someone implementing new backup technology will need to understand these multiple benefits, as it applies directly to their situation, to understand the full value of your solution and give you the best chances of winning. It’s your job to help the customer understand this, and it usually needs to be done in 30 minutes or less!

I think what adds to the challenge, to be honest, is that backup is not very sexy. It’s one of those things you will never need if everything runs well and there are no major failures or site disaster. It’s like going to the dentist. Something you know you need to do regularly, yet is easy to put off because there is no immediate sense of pain in most cases. However, most people understand the damage from data loss can be so bad they need to do “something”. But what is “something”?

If you google “Cloud Backup”, the top names you see on the 1st screen are: Druva, iBackup, Carbonite, Barracuda, Dropbox, Commvault, Amazon, Mozy. What a mix!

Unless you really understand the requirements for the situation, you cannot reasonably understand if a particular solution best addresses the client’s needs. Always start with listening closely and documenting the requirements of the client’s situation. Then use these requirements to understand how to leverage your product’s strengths to address the particular “must haves” in a given situation.

Be warned, however, many do not have their requirements documented or thought out. This is a great opportunity to advise the customer to help create the requirements. After all, we are cloud backup experts and probably already have a better sense of the requirements than the client. This is not a situation in which we are trying to manipulate the client to highlight only those things to favor our solution. Using Asigra we typically expect we can meet any backup requirement really well, but we need to highlight our solution in the areas that address the key needs of the client. Additionally, there are also situations in which you will find your solution will not adequately address the requirements. It’s better to learn that early in the process and not waste your time or theirs!

Also, seriously consider not investing a lot of time or politely walking from the opportunity if a customer does not have specific requirements to meet, nor interested in engaging you to help them develop the requirements. This will create a situation which may be really difficult for you to differentiate yourself from the crowded market and you are just a “me too” solution.

Once armed with specific requirements you should be well armed to focus your energy on promoting those capabilities your solution can provide. If you know what you are being compared against you can also ask questions which do not favor the competition and helps contrast your solution with others. For instance, if you know encryption is a high priority you can ask the question about who has access to the encryption key because with your solution only the customer holds the encryption key. Different questions may disqualify other solutions leaving yours as the remaining solution because you meet all of the requirements.

There is no silver bullet of course, but I sincerely believe the more you know about a customer’s needs the better the chances you have of winning.

Spice IT Email Post

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