When a client wants to protect their critical business data, they turn to you for advice on backup solutions. As their managed service provider, you are their trusted advisor, and they rely on your recommendations for all their technology needs. You’re like their coach, and you need to draw up a game plan for their backup strategy.
Now, a coach wouldn’t present his players with a list of every different play in the book and ask “Which one looks good to you?” The players have a different set of criteria in mind for which play would be the best. Maybe it’s the one that requires the least effort, but yields the least payoff. Maybe it’s the play that is ultra risky, but looks the flashiest. As their coach, your responsibility is to choose the play that is the right fit for the situation at hand, since you are the expert and your players are depending on you to guide them to a victory.
The same is true for you and your clients. You can’t offer a slew of backup options and allow your customers to choose the one that looks best to them. This often leads to business owners choosing based on price alone, not the level of backup coverage they need, or the solution that will allow them to meet their recovery time objective (RTO). As their MSP, your job is to build a backup strategy and be confident in presenting your recommendation to your clients.
Building the strategy is often easier said than done. With so many backup options available, it can be difficult to know where to start. We recommend beginning with a scouting report. Research different backup providers and choose the one that offers the solutions your clients need at a price that still allows you to make a profit. Then it’s time to lay out your game plan.
Tailoring a backup strategy to your client’s needs is critical. No two companies’ backup needs are alike! When onboarding a client, follow these three steps to make sure your recommendation is suited to your client’s unique situation. You can get your own Backup Assessment Toolkit on our website.
1. Qualitative Assessment: Interview your client on their networks and systems, data loss threats and risks, security needs, and other relevant information. You’ll learn a lot by conducting this assessment together with your client, and they’ll see that you’re performing a full investigation when preparing your backup recommendation.
2. Quantitative Analysis: Take a count of the different machines in the office (laptops, desktops, servers both physical and virtual) and decide what backup solution should be implemented to protect them. Account for total costs for you and total billable amounts for your client, as well as your potential profit.
3. Backup Proposal: Time to call the play. Once you’ve built your full recommended backup strategy, present it to your clients along with the justification for each recommendation gained in steps one and two. You are not presenting a menu of options, you’re presenting one solid recommendation, and the evidence as to how you came about that solution.
These three steps will help you and your clients focus on their backup needs instead of just price. By presenting your recommended strategy with confidence, you gain the respect and trust of your clients as their trusted advisor and IT coach.
EDIT: As of September 2016, Gillware Online Backup has been acquired by StorageCraft. Click here to learn more about their backup solutions. Click here to learn more about becoming a StorageCraft Partner.