In the past, we've covered three common mistakes managed services providers (MSPs) make when selling data backup and disaster recovery (BDR) offerings, but wouldn't it be better if we showed you how to avoid those mistakes in the first place? We think so.

We spoke with CCNS Consulting owner Karl Bickmore on how he avoids the following common mistakes when selling:

  • Sizing the BDR improperly
  • Failing to operate effectively in a disaster
  • Selling a confusing offering

Sizing the BDR improperly

To size BDR properly, Bickmore said MSPs should always purchase devices that "support at least 2 to 2.5 times the data" customers are in need of.

"This allows for retention period to last longer and makes sure their investment last longer for their needs. Explain this process to the customer and why it is needed," he said. "This helps your engineers feel good and better prepares the customer for their needs."

Failing to operate effectively in a disaster

"When engaging your BDR vendor, be sure your engineering team gets their hands on the device and has practice in provisioning, deployment, and especially disaster virtualization," Bickmore said. "Then put regularly specific client testing into your offering."

Every customer has different needs, which is why your "engineers should never be virtualizing a client for the first time on the BDR when the actual disaster occurs," he noted. "You are bound to have unexpected results at pressure time."

He said MSPs should resolve issues and understand the process beforehand. This will avoid confusion and engineers will have "greater confidence in their abilities."

Selling a confusing BDR offering

As with anything, confusion is, well, confusing. To keep his staff on his toes, Bickmore likes to challenges his sales staff to "quote effectively and quickly."

"With quoting templates and good design of offering you should be able to quote simple BDR offerings in seconds," he said. "If your offering requires pages to explain, or customers have to ask a ton of clarifying questions, you are losing them."

Bickmore said offerings should be simple. Customers should only have two or three options to choose from, along with add-ons of your choice.

"Just emphasize that you are providing the best solution for them and that you know it fits their needs," he said. "Of course, this should also be true. Never give an option that isn’t good for the customer. It’s just bad business."