If you’ve been in this business for any length of time, you understand that data centers are complex environments, and selling equipment for data centers becomes a complex sales process because so many people and functional areas are involved in the decision making. But there is one tool that can cut through that complexity and get all those people on the same page at the same time: an Experience Center.
“Yeah, sure,” you say. “That’s great and maybe I’ll bring my customer by.” If that is your approach, you are missing the point. A demo center is your most effective sales tool, period. That is not a qualified statement, so let’s support it with a couple key facts in our experience as LDP Associates Inc. working as a Schneider Electric Elite Partner covering 10 states with 15 outside Data Center Architects.
- Every project we have closed (not most projects—every project) has involved bringing the prospect to the demo center at some point in the sales cycle.
- When we do our homework and explain to the prospect’s people what they will see, they always agree and visit the demo center. LDP has three Experience centers, all located near major metro areas, to minimize travel for the prospect and the channel partner.
- After a visit to the Experience Center, our closure rate is in the high 90’s percent-wise.
There have been situations where projects were stopped or have taken a completely different direction for one reason or another, but if the project was carried to completion, we got the order.
It is difficult to be any clearer than that. The demo center is an indispensible part of our sales process for the simple reason that it works. Why is that? Because prospects have a chance to see all of the concepts come together in the form of a complete solution. At the beginning of the sales process, we visit the prospect’s site. We see what that company needs, and we create a mockup on paper of what that installation will look like and what equipment is involved. When we present that mockup, we extend the invitation to come see everything in action, and the more people they can bring representing all the departments and functional areas involved, the better. Bring your IT folks, the facilities people, your CIO—everyone that has an interest in the process. This approach shortens the selling cycle and prevents dragging out discussions waiting for every department to weigh in one after the other.
The process is effective because all of the stakeholders get personal attention to their issues and hot buttons in the form of a physical representation of their data center. We can show what all the buzzwords in the brochures mean in real life. “Yes, your servers will fit in the racks.” We can ramp cooling up and down along with your server loading. Key parts of the UPS can be swapped out without taking the critical load offline. “Here’s how we can add server capacity down the road.” Sometimes visitors bring specific pieces of equipment with them just to make sure everything fits like we promise. The bottom line: everybody gets to see exactly how everything works and we can answer all their questions all at one time. They talk together about specific needs in each area and all leave convinced that an integrated data center offering from Schneider Electric can indeed fulfill all those requirements.
With a little basic follow-up, getting the PO is a sure thing. As a Schneider Electric Elite Partner, we are here to offer this service on your behalf. We will work side-by-side with you to make sure that your customers see and hear precisely what they need to move forward with their buying process. We are compensated only if your customer buys from you so we are completely aligned in supporting your efforts. Contact your local APC rep or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to schedule a visit at an Experience Center. Your prospects will see precisely what they are looking for and you will see the order faster than you could imagine.