How Your Future Data Centers’ Sales Process Reveals Whether They’re Your Best Fit
You’ve made the decision to outsource some part of your IT operation. Your IT team narrows it down to three contenders, and goes as far as to complete the design phase to see who will be able to best fit your needs. You’ve got a clear picture of the technical fit, but what about the overall partnership fit? It’s during the pre-sales and sales process that you get a glimpse into more than just the quality of the technical solutions your prospective candidates offer; you also get a glimpse into the quality of their people, their values and how they’ll operate going forward.
Many providers still foster a highly competitive, cutthroat sort of sales culture that doesn’t align well with the tenets of the modern customer experience. When technical sales reps are overly focused on meeting their numbers, or getting a signature by a certain date, it may be a sign of how provisioning, operations teams and the rest of the organization will operate. The pre-sales and sales customer experience sets the precedent for what can be expected throughout the rest of the company.
Here are some of the things businesses in search of a data center often struggle with in the sales process:
- Lack of flexibility
- Lack of responsiveness
- Offering solutions that benefit the vendor, but not the client
What You Should Expect from an Honest, Customer-Centric Data Center Partner
Fortunately, the stereotypical sales representative doesn’t embody the experience you’ll have with every prospective partner, but you should know what to expect in order to have confidence in your data center’s integrity and process.
First, look for an engaged and service-oriented culture. Responsiveness throughout the entire process is key. If you’ve initiated outreach, you shouldn’t be waiting two or three weeks for someone to connect with you. Whether you make contact through an email, form or phone call, follow up should be immediate. It should be clear that solving your problems is the priority.
From there, your prospective data center should be honest about how you fit together, and manage expectations. The truth is, not every data center will be a fit for every prospect, depending on their areas of specialization, geography, and numerous other considerations. Your sales representative should be well-versed in data center solutions, clear on what they can and can’t deliver, and conversation should be transparent regarding whether they can help in a way that will fit your needs.
Next, a data center partner who’s legitimately interested in solving your problem won’t create undue pressure depending on how close you are to the end of the month. It’s not wrong to use quotas, but it’s wrong to make quotas the potential customer’s problem. Communication and courtesy should be consistent across the board.
Flexibility in pricing models and the general method for doing business is important, too. Every data center vendor has to have policy, but putting customers through needless hoops and rigidity when it’s not a big problem to make an adjustment out of courtesy is a red flag.
How DataBank Delights Customers with a Problem-Solving Sales Approach
Knowing the pitfalls of the marketplace, DataBank has gone to great lengths to develop a modern, customer-focused approach to sales that’s designed to help customers realize solutions quickly.
It all starts with unparalleled responsiveness and knowledge. For every inquiry we field, the representative who is most educated on the prospective customer’s problems will reach out immediately. It is of the utmost importance to begin customer engagements with responsiveness from the beginning and provide the right expertise upfront.
“To start from the very beginning with responsiveness and doing what we say we will, when we say we will…that plants the seed for a client who will be with us a decade. That’s how we look at it. Our biggest client started with a single cabinet. Now they exceed 7 figures in spend after they installed their last order.”
-Eric Morgan, Regional Sales Director SLC, DataBank
Flexibility is part of DataBank DNA. Our hybrid product offering and diverse footprint mean our sales teams don’t need to shoehorn any client into one particular product or location. We provide revenue portability that allows any client to switch their configuration among offerings and locations mid–contract, without penalty.
Also, while we have to run a “sales force,” we pride ourselves on serving rather than selling. We engage every prospect the same way: responding to their request, getting to the heart of what they’re trying to accomplish, and understanding their business. We approach every meeting as an opportunity to co-create the future: working shoulder-to-shoulder in front of a whiteboard, outlining technology goals, and offering the recommendations, resources and execution plan that will meet your needs. Customer relationships start with consultation and trust. At DataBank, there is no high-pressure sales approach. It’s all about understanding your challenges and the future-state you seek to achieve. Then, knowing that one size doesn’t fit all, we creatively combine colocation, cloud and managed services to engineer the solution that makes sense for you.
That’s the DataBank way: the Data Center Evolved.
“We had a meeting with a client who’s been with us for five years recently. He told us how much he appreciates that we’re not that organization who comes and says, ‘Can we get you to sign by the end of the month?’ He appreciates that we let him grow at his pace. The funny thing is, they were talking about expanding to 10 cabinets, but after having the discussion, he said they wanted to do 30 instead. It’s that kind of partnership, creating that relationship, that shows we want to collaborate rather than sell.”
-Jeff Swain, VP Sales, DataBank