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New to Server Sales? Understand Your Customer

If you’re not an experienced salesperson in the server hardware industry, it can be an intimidating field to approach if your new job has a customer base that may be looking for servers or server parts. Your buyer is going to be a knowledgeable figure from a company’s IT team, and you have to be able to keep up with the conversation. One the one hand, they will probably know exactly what they want. On the other, you should be able to steer the dialogue in the direction of available inventory, without sounding completely off the mark.  

You should definitely take the time to invest in understanding the technology that your employer wants you to sell. But you’ll also want to do some research into your customer base so that you can get a better understanding of what it is he or she will be seeking and why.

Here’s a start – take a look at some of these points your customers will be interested in when buying servers, or server parts. Then take a look at what you can offer from your inventory, or procure if you don’t have it.

Buying or building?

Perhaps you have 2 customers – Jim and Sally. Jim wants to build a server, and Sally wants to buy a new or recently refurbished one. Since Jim wants to build a server, he has specific requirements that he thinks an out-of-the-box solution will not provide. He wants customization, and he may want the server built by you, or he may be looking to build it in-house at his organization.

Sally, on the other hand, wants the advantage of warranty and support of the OEM. She may even be looking for a deal on bundled software, if you are able to provide it as a reseller.

Depending on whether your customer is a Jim, or a Sally, you will want to provide them with a unique offering that addresses their needs.

What form factor?

Your customers may have a preference for a particular form factor depending on their space, their budget, and how they will be using the server.

Tower servers are your most basic form, usually ideal for small businesses in terms of power and price (with exceptions). These machines don’t require extra mounting hardware, saving on costs; however, they tend to take up more space so if your customer plans to buy more servers in the future, it is something they will need to consider.

Rackmount servers are the next level for your customers who already have a multi-server infrastructure, or plan to have one in the future. These servers are installed into a rack chassis which can hold several machines at the same time. Rackmount servers have all the computing components necessary for operations, meaning once it’s all plugged in to power and network, it’s ready to go.

Blade servers, which are stored similarly to rackmount servers but are even slimmer and more space-efficient, do not have computer components and thus must mounted in a blade enclosure which is connected to power and network. They also provide the cooling units which the blade servers themselves do not possess. These enclosures can then be stored in racks. Blade servers are commonly used in datacenters, and would be the biggest investment for your customer.

How will they be used?

Your customer may need a file server, email server, or perhaps has virtualization requirements. These are very different needs that will come from very different customers in terms of size, IT capability and budget allowance. A small business may be looking for a file server in order to leverage features such as VPN or automatic backup. Email servers are middle-of-the-road in terms of power needs, requiring server grade processing (at least 8 GB) as well as multiple storage drives.

If your customer is looking for a virtualization solution, they may be looking to replace multiple existing servers or are an SMB that is rapidly growing. Hardware that can run virtualization needs serious power, in addition to software licensing and a hypervisor with the proper operating system.

Understanding your customer

In order to get a successful start in server sales, you’ll need to do more research to understand your customer base and their needs. Doing so can make the difference in reaching your sales goals. If you need affordable server solutions for your customer, contact us to see how we can help.