5 Reasons Your IT Service Provider’s Sales Quota is Hurting Your Business
I have been in IT for almost 20 years now. One theme I see repeatedly from many IT service providers is over-selling products.
I have walked into businesses that have 3 employees total to find that they have Cisco switches and monster servers with tons of storage.
I once quoted a business on their initial set up and came in $2500 less on devices than the next closest quote, because they were trying to make money on commission.
There’s a dirty little secret in the IT world. I am sure that it’s not exclusive to IT but because most people don’t understand technology at the same level as an IT service provider it rarely gets questioned by businesses.
There’s also the fear factor in IT. Is my network going to be hacked? Are my computers and tablets safe and secure? When I was providing on-site tech support, I talked to people all the time who doubled up on firewall and anti-virus software (bad idea) because they feared their computers were not secure enough.
Why Do Business Owners & Operators Feel They Need More IT?
For decades now, IT Vendors have profited on selling services and products that are not necessary. They did this by telling the business that they need it to protect them from insert random computer/server/network issue here. IT Vendors supported this with inflated statistics. They often backed up their claim with what it might cost a business who did suffer from insert random computer/server/network issue here.
The quickest way to get a business’ attention is to mention the loss of revenue or profits.
To make matters worse, many IT vendors earn a commission from the company they’re purchasing the service or product from. They then mark up the service or product. This is a common practice in the IT world.
Why Your IT Service Provider Sales Quota is Hurting Your Business
ONE: You Have Hardware/Software That is Not Being Used
IT Procurement is not an easy job.
Let me rephrase. Procurement used to be a difficult job.
You would have to figure out what you need, ensure that what you are purchasing is going to be enough to handle the workload and get the best price possible. It’s not easy to do when you must work with hardware purchases. Very often the hardware is too much for what the business needs. This might be because the IT service provider doesn’t want to come up short, or they just want to make a few extra dollars.
But what if you used the cloud? IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is far more cost effective, easier to set up and easier to maintain & adjust as needed.
TWO: Your IT Service Provider Does Not Listen to You
IT Salespeople usually have their own agenda. They usually know what they want to sell you before they ever speak to you. This means they’re not going to listen to what your business needs are.
It’s obvious that a sales person’s goal is to make as much money as possible. They make more by upselling you on things your business does not need. The problem with that logic is it does not support a long-term relationship.
The best salespeople build relationships, not fill pockets. The best salespeople listen and make more long-term than on the initial sale.
THREE: Your IT Salesperson is Not Educated
Many people in IT sales do not understand IT. It’s scary sometimes.
A salesperson can do more harm than good by selling you the wrong thing. Having the wrong IT solutions for your business can literally bring your business to a halt…or worse.
If an IT salesperson does not understand IT how can they suggest the best solutions for your business?
The short answer? They can’t.FOUR: Your IT Salesperson is a Know It All
Sometimes the answer is not easy to come up within the IT world. Sometimes the answer needs to be researched before being provided.
An IT salesperson who provides every answer (right or wrong) is doing more harm than good.
Business owners appreciate honesty over knowing everything. A response of “I don’t want to provide you with misinformation, let me research that and get back to you” will go a lot further with a business then a quick response that turns out to be wrong.
I always operate under the assumption the business representative that I am speaking with has more knowledge than they let on (because I do this too).
FIVE: Your IT Salesperson is Not Thinking Long Term
I said it earlier. I will say it again.
IT is a long game. Selling your business IT solutions that fit their immediate needs is great but what about long-term?
It’s best to discuss both immediate and long-term IT needs with your IT Service Provider. The IT solutions provided should have the ability to grow with your business (must easier to accomplish with cloud-based solutions).
Sit down with your IT Service Provider and detail what your business’ long-term goals and growth projections are. If they are truly a partner in your business growth, they should be all about providing the best IT solutions for your present and future needs.
Nwaj Tech does not mark up software or hardware. There are some solutions that we earn a commission on. These are solutions we would recommend even without a commission, and in many cases solutions that we use.
We prefer a long-term partnership over a short-term commission. Once we start providing IT services and solutions to your business, we become partners.
If you want to review your current IT Infrastructure to see what opportunities exist, click here. It’s absolutely free and there’s no obligation to your business.
You were correct saying this happens in all businesses! I remember trying on a dress once which did not look good on me–the sales lady kept telling me how good it looked on me–I knew better. I did finally find something else that did look good–but it happened to be on discount that day! As for IT–or software providers for that matter–they definitely try to upsell. How many times I would tell a bookeeping client not to upgrade or get a certain software because it was either too much or too little for them!
A sales quota is a target sales reps are set for a specific period (month, quarter, year). Sales quotas can be set in dollar figures or in the number of goods or services sold. … This is why sales managers spend a lot of time setting realistic goals for their reps.
You just really need to be very careful in choosing your IT specialist. Most of them charge so high, which gives you the right to expect high-quality standard too.
Agreed IT vendors charge a lot. I hear that we charge too much at times but when I break it down it suddenly makes sense to a business owner. There are a lot hidden costs.
It’s always great to see the big picture when it comes to working with service providers.
You have given me much food for thought and I will definitely think twice and research thrice before purchasing any IT products or services. I never realized how much of a problem this is for businesses.
Think Twice, Research Thrice…I LIKE IT!
Good to know!
This is why we have our IT in house and we don’t hire an external company. We have dealt with people before who wanted to sell things that we didn’t need, but once we found the right people to work together with us, on a salary, in house, we have never spent more than we should.
Awesome! It’s too bad that the vendors ruined it for the rest of us but glad you have the resources you need!
Interesting yet realistic point you focused on here. I think you need to make sure you understand what they are doing before just selecting the expensive IT provider
Thanks for this post. Great to know one’s perspective from another angle.
Wow, this is a very insightful post to read and I can say that it is so important to know the IT provider first before making a business. If the IT provide doesn’t meet your required needs then don’t make business with them.
I am not a techie person but i work with a company that outsourced its IT and it is a nightmare. Every single thing you just enumerated above is happening and the IT guy is clearly not educated but have all the wrong answers for everything. Why the contract hasn’t been stopped, we don’t fully understand but we know the gimmicks he is using to fool executive management. I have learnt from this and when my business grows, i should be able to find a company that would be “partners” in every sense of the word! Thanks for sharing this Scott!
I have seen a lot of one-sided contracts in the IT world. This is why we do not require a long-term contract. Not happy? Just give us 30 days notice.
I never tought on that on that perspective. Great information you give here, i have to made some changes in my business.
Very informative post and I agree that this is something that businesses should need to consider. Businesses need to make sure that their IT provider meet their needs and will also care for their business.
Don’t really have any experience with this, but definitely an interesting read !
We never really thought about IT providers before. As bloggers we should research and look into it though. What an insightful piece.
Interesting, I hadn’t looked at these things from this perspective. Definitely something businesses need to re-evaluate.
We need it specially now adays that everything are in the computer a great innovation of modern technology.
It’s so difficult to navigate this sometimes. I need an IT person because I don’t know anything about IT. Building a relationship based on trust and mutual goals is the best way to go.
Really interesting to read. We never really thought about IT providers before. Thanks for sharing.