Selling SD-WAN, UCaaS, IT, etc. Even Faster

Exclusive Pre-Con Content at ITEXPO MSP Expo.

90-Second Read by Thomas B. Cross – CEO

Customers increasingly want to really understand what they are about to buy and taking even a lot more time to make the right decision with the far too many providers pitching them.  Customers will never-ever know everything about your solution(s) as you do, nor understand how to use all the features and their potential benefits.  In making customer presentations it is important to remember a confused mind will always say no.

And, if you pile on technobabble, they will get even confused even faster.  In many cases, salespeople want to talk first and listen last or not at all. Another key point for any salesperson is to listen to customer objections without responding to each one and remember it is not a debate or interrogation. 

I read a lot of literature, white papers, technical documentation and the more I read the more I know that most companies don’t have a clue about selling their solutions.  Rather, they think that by blathering at customers with techno-babble they will somehow convince them that they are so stupid they cannot want to buy their solution. 

Customer intimidation may, like fake news, occasionally work but if you really want to help them, write your solutions in terms all of them can really understand, not just what you think they should know.  One of my many examples comes from Nortel (easy to pick on them since they are gone) they wrote “MPLS uses CR-LDP to provide QoS.”

Obviously, marketing didn’t bother to ask engineering to explain the acronyms and assumed the customer would really understand them.  No, customers don’t understand and they want content written for everyone from the analysts, technician, CEO/CFO, consultants and others.  That is, the longer you take to explain to everyone involved in the decision-making process, the longer the sales cycle will be.  To keep this short I have re-written one techno-babble explanation for SD-WAN (you all know exactly what that is) for a business person. 

Vendor Techno-babble explanation – Just a few excerpts from an SD-WAN provider white paper, “As more enterprises use multiple clouds, SD-WAN will provide a uniform fabric between physical locations and across cloud instances. Automation will make adding new cloud instances easy and fast, despite the inherent complexities and idiosyncrasies of each underlying cloud environment.

By utilizing multiple paths between physical locations and each cloud instance, an advanced SD-WAN platform will deliver a more reliable and consistent user experience.”  What in the world is “uniform fabric”? What does this mean “idiosyncrasies of each underlying cloud?”  In this paper they never explained any of the acronyms they used including SD-WAN, WAN edge, WAN edge platform, DPI, advanced classification techniques, real-time SaaS, complex next-gen firewalls, MPLS, 4G versus 5G and others.

Business explanation – “As you grow your business and internet communications between your main office, branch offices and locations will increase.  For example, access to business inventory, saving travel and time for staff meetings and more are all vital to your business.  You can also appreciate that reliable business communications may require multiple internet connections to ensure you are never without service for customers. 

You may be familiar with your office called a LAN-local area network.  Connecting your local network to other locations including clouds uses a WAN-wide area network that connects buildings across cities and around the world. New technology has emerged called SD-WAN or software-defined wide area network. 

An SD-WAN makes your home office and all other locations essentially one large office network.  If you prefer, you can think of a wide area network as your own cloud which can also connect to other clouds.  For example, if you are using SalesForce CRM-customer relationship management for customer sales tracking this is considered a cloud service.

To connect to SalesForce or other cloud networks that you might use such as for email marketing and other special applications that are not on your local area network, you would use an SD-WAN to provide these internet cloud connections.  

This kind of software-defined wide area network can also connect your colleagues working at home or other locations.  In addition, when you want to add services, you can use a software-defined wide area network that can be easily changed using software.  This kind of network can also change as you to grow or scale, merge/diverse, adapt to new suppliers, add more employees without adding office space and much more without having to “rip and replace” all the equipment you have today.”

This is not the only way to explain an SD-WAN but may give you insights on writing you own content whether about SD-WAN, UCaaS or any other technology.  You may have other ways to keep it simple for the office manager, accountant, CEO and others who are involved in the decision.  Remember, you will never know all of them but you have to sell all of them.

In other to help you understand what you need to do, I can put together two slides that will be explained in detailed in my class at  ITEXPO / MSP Expo

Summary – Translating technical terminology into business language that everyone from the grandmother to the propeller head takes work, often a lot of work.  However, the longer you wait to do that the longer the sales cycle will be. 

How long do you want the sale to take?  This concept is presented exclusively in TMCnet Selling UP Market UP Margin Technology to SMB & Enterprise Certification class at ITEXPO / MSP Expo part of the #TECHSUPERSHOW. Register for this pre-conference now.


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