IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Vox Channeli: BDR Blues

Data from our latest reader survey confirms that BDR solutions are a tough sell. Datto’s Eric Torres, however, has some proven suggestions for sealing the deal. By Rich Freeman

Ask almost any channel pro, and they’ll tell you BDR software is one of those products that every SMB should use but many refuse to buy.

Yes, we wondered, but how many? With Datto Inc., the Norwalk, Conn.-based BDR vendor, holding its annual DattoCon EMEA partner event in London today, we thought now would be an opportune time to find out via our latest reader survey.

First, we asked you what percentage of your customers use BDR software at present. The results, unfortunately, weren’t encouraging.

 Vox Channeli: BDR Blues

Approximately two-thirds of the participants in our survey said that no more than 40 percent of their clients currently use a BDR solution. In a closely related follow-up question, we then asked you how hard a time you have convincing customers to green light a BDR purchase. Not surprisingly, given your responses to the previous question, these numbers were pretty bleak too.

 Vox Channeli: BDR Blues

Nearly 64 percent of respondents to our poll called BDR software a moderately or extremely difficult sale.

That figure didn’t exactly come as a shock to Eric Torres, who is channel development manager at Datto and a former MSP. In the old days before the introduction of subscription services like Datto’s, backup was a one-time expense tied to the acquisition and installation of a tape drive.

“Now it’s a monthly investment you need to make,” Torres notes, and just as businesses used to paying for break-fix services often balk at making recurring payments for managed services, persuading owners to cut monthly checks for BDR isn’t easy.

You can improve your odds of success a little, though, with the aid of a few proven techniques, he continues. First, help the client understand just how little you’re asking them to pay. There are very approximately 44,000 minutes in a typical month. If you’re charging $200 a month—which is about right should you collect 100 percent margin on Datto’s entry-level BDR S3X1 device—then your customer is paying less than half a cent a minute. Even a more robust solution priced at $500 a month only costs about a penny per minute.

“Suddenly the cost of that solution isn’t a cost anymore,” Torres observes.

Another useful approach, he adds, is to stop talking about backup and start selling business continuity instead. Backup is just an insurance policy against data getting lost. Business continuity is about preventing a natural or man-made disaster from landing your company in the graveyard.

“Break down the sale into something that they understand,” Torres suggests. It’s key to turning a hard sell into a winnable opportunity.

About the Author

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Executive Editor

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