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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreement (SLA)

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5 Ways to Improve Your MSP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

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3 Common Backup and Disaster Recovery Objections - and How to Handle Them!

Posted June 14, 2016by Brandon Garcin

Buying backup and disaster recovery software is a little like buying health insurance; sure, it feels like an unnecessary purchase right now, and nobody’s ever happy about paying monthly premiums. But, just like insurance, everybody neglects backup and disaster recovery or considers it to be a superfluous luxury...until they really need it.

And, let’s face it: if your clients think “This will NEVER happen to me!” the odds are stacked against them. Consider these eye-popping statistics about disaster recovery and business continuity:

  • Approximately half of all businesses in the US have experienced some type of disaster bad enough to halt operations

  • Some outages lasted for only a few hours, but over 80 percent lasted longer than a day!

  • Even having downtime for just an hour can be costly: for a small company, the cost of an hour of downtime is $8,000. For large enterprises? A whopping $700,000….per hour!

Your clients can’t afford to NOT have reliable backup and disaster recovery solutions ready to deploy. Yet, many companies, at least small businesses, willfully object to and refuse to have these solutions on hand. As a managed IT services provider, having your clients suffer such business disaster will not reflect well on you either.

Here are the three most common objections to having backup and disaster recovery, and how you can handle them.

Price

Here’s the thing: truly robust backup and disaster recovery software is not cheap. Clients’ reluctance to pay up for this high-end software, coupled with their feelings of invincibility (“This could never happen to me!”), lead BDR software to the bottom of the priority pile. The way to handle this objection isn’t to focus on the sticker price: it’s to convey the immense value of BDR solutions, and the even higher costs that can hit their business if and when disaster strikes.

Citing statistics about the heavy costs of recovering from a disaster and the loss of business during downtime should wake your clients up, and is a good start. But the biggest obstacle you have to overcome here is really to remove the air of invincibility around your clients and to let them know that this could very easily happen to them. Sharing stories of similar, familiar companies that have suffered through such disaster is a good way to relate the problem to them.

Another obstacle to overcome regarding price is that your clients might bring several lost-cost or even free BDR options to the table. And it’s true; there are file-and-folder backup solutions that don’t go above $9.99 a month. Compared to the truly robust BDR solutions that cost $600 or more per month, it’s easy to see why many end-users opt for that cheap option. It’s your job to educate them on the vast difference between less expensive options and full-blown BDR. These lower cost options don’t provide image-based backup, don’t backup mail servers and aren’t nearly as quick in their restoration. Considering that the vast majority of data loss is caused by hardware failure (and not natural disasters, as is commonly misperceived), these cheap options do a fine enough job plugging one hole in the dam...but won’t be much help when there are multiple holes to plug. 

See a Fully-Managed BDR Solution in Action for Yourself!

 

Time-Consuming Management

Many of the traditional BDR solutions on the market are time-consuming to manage. They require a technician on your end to check backups and set up both virtualization and backup-and-recovery testing. The truth is that for many BDR solutions, there will be a lot of remedial tasks - dry, boring administrative tasks - that are required for both setup and maintenance.

Fortunately, a fully-managed backup and disaster recovery platform, one backed by a full team of certified network operations center (NOC) technicians, eliminates the need for all that painstaking day-to-day management. For many end users, this objection can be handled simply with a little bit of education; they probably don’t know that such hands-free solutions exist, and their perception of BDR software is that it’s a cumbersome piece of software, a myth that can be easily dispelled by you.

A Perceived Lack of Need

Finally, most companies simply don’t think they need BDR solutions. In their minds, BDR is nothing more than a “better mousetrap,” an unnecessary luxury item. To handle this objection, you can use both positive and negative anecdotes.

Negative stories work as a scare tactic. Regale your client with a story of how another company you had worked with opted not to adopt BDR solutions and best practices and, when disaster inevitably struck, the downtime and data loss was so significant that the company eventually went out of business. You don’t have to exaggerate or embellish any details to strengthen your scare-them-straight case: the simple facts should be more than enough.

But be sure to “kill them with kindness” too! A fine pairing to such a scary story or statistic would be the flipside of the argument; a company that was able to avert significant disaster because of their strong BDR software and their documented plan in place, allowing them to quickly bounce back. This works even better if the client in question is a competitor or another company within the industry that your client admires.

 

Backup and disaster recovery software isn’t on the shortlist of must-own solutions for most clients yet...but it should be. If you hear that price, day-to-day management or a perceived lack of need are among their key objections to buying BDR software, dust off these objection-handling tactics, pull up some key statistics and relevant anecdotes and show your clients why BDR is more than just a luxury; it should be the bedrock of any company’s technology.

Business-Continuity-the-MSPs-guide-to-backup-and-disaster-recovery

Brandon Garcin is Continuum's Senior Content Strategist, and is responsible for the creation and execution of a variety of resources designed to win new business and support existing customer accounts. He has authored more than a dozen eBooks which have generated thousands of downloads, and has consulted with hundreds of Continuum partners to help improve their marketing and lead generation efforts through website optimization and content development. Brandon is also the host of The Weekly Byte, a video and audio series produced by Continuum that provides quick, digestible tips and best practices that MSPs can use to help their business succeed.

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