Selling to large corporates is, in some ways, like trying to chat up the prettiest woman in the pub: you know that it’ll be tough, take a lot of work, and there is plenty of risk of rejection. But if you are successful, the outcome could be fruitful and well worth all of the effort.
The SME sector has been touted by every vendor north of the Antarctic as the most lucrative, cash-rich, growth-heavy sector – the sweet spot for the channel. But corporates are still the life-blood for most VARs. Despite the fact that corporates are hard to sell to, process-driven and swathed in red tape, the prize for actually winning a deal is worth the effort. To make the equivalent amount of cash in the SME sector, a dozen deals would have to be signed and, more than likely, a dozen more headaches would have been incurred.
While the reporting lines and sign-off procedures within corporates often do not make even a modicum of sense to most resellers, some technologies are easier to squeeze through the door than others. Security technology, for example, is still something that can make users, managers and board-level executives sit up and take notice.
And just like the woman in the pub, if the correct strategy is employed, the chances of success increase dramatically. The trick for selling into corporates is to get in at the right level and to adopt an educational stance, rather than one that tries to incite fear. A recent report from security vendor nCircle claimed that 38 per cent of senior managers believe they will be a victim of cyber-crime this year. However, the same report revealed that 33 per cent do not even know if their security defences were breached at all last year, and 58 per cent believe that the IT team do not communicate effectively.
It would seem that confusion reigns supreme between IT directors and their boards when it comes to security technology. This presents the perfect opp ortunity for VARs to untangle the fear-inducing hype and offer a calm-inducing sales pitch.
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