Sales 101: When Less is More and Simple is Better

If you start pitching massive horsepower capabilities to a family-minded, budget-conscious Cruze prospect, you will quickly lose that customer's interest, trust, and ultimately the business. Same thing is true for BDR (backup & disaster recovery). Sometimes “more is not more” and “less is actually more” when dealing with partners and customers.

September 11, 2013

4 Min Read
Don39t try to sell a Corvette39s horsepower to a Cruze buyer
Don't try to sell a Corvette's horsepower to a Cruze buyer.

By CA Technologies Guest Blog 1

Let’s take a well needed break from another BDR vendor blog about bits, bytes, features, speeds, feeds…(you get the point), and let’s talk about sound sales strategy, and how  the age old concept of “less is more” plays an important role.

My first tip is around correctly calibrating your client discussions to fit their requirements, not yours.  This may seem painfully obvious, but time and time again you will run into folks that just don’t get it.  While there is typically a niche market for higher-end goods or services in any business, there is undoubtedly a more ubiquitous, lower cost offering that serves the needs of a much broader customer base. It’s important to know when to offer more, and when to offer less.  Let’s use a simple automotive industry analogy – Chevrolet Cruze vs. Corvette model vehicles.  If you start pitching massive horsepower capabilities to a family-minded, budget conscious Cruze prospect, you will quickly lose that customer’s interest, trust, and ultimately the business.  I have witnessed way too many of these discussions throughout my twenty two year career in sales and business development, well intentioned business people  trying to offer more, when less is what the doctor ordered.  

BDR Services

Let’s move our automotive discussion to one that is more relevant for this blog- BDR (backup & disaster recovery). Customers are looking for a complete and unified portfolio of BDR technologies that includes file folder backup, image-based “snapshot” technology, as well as application high availability and replication. In the data protection space there are competitors who offer just one of these solution areas- limiting their ability to address today’s ultra-demanding customer requirements. But I also know more that sometimes “more is not more” and “less is actually more” when dealing with partners and customers.

Let’s look at a real world example. Take application high availability (HA), for example (the ability to “failover” to a datacenter that is typically measured in minutes as opposed to hours or days). That functionality may not be part of the budget for a typical small company, or it’s simply just not needed. Can you imagine that? A local, independent insurance broker with a single server and three employees does not require a sub 5 minute failover capability and associated infrastructure, costs, etc.! (yes, we will get to that point eventually but not today). Many MSPs serve this very customer profile. It is critical to understand that it does not make sense to over-sell that customer on HA capabilities- again, less is more comes into play.

Keep It Simple

If an MSP can offer that customer a budget-conscious service that includes features like quick local restores, bare metal recovery to dissimilar hardware, and the ability to send files and folders to a public or private cloud of your choosing, then the work is done! All too often, I hear folks over-complicating and trying to position more (aka not required) technology to customers. You’ll see this in every industry, but it is an alarming epidemic in IT. If you get a constant “miss-fire” from your BDR vendor, it may be time to seek out a different option.

This brings me to my final less is more discussion point. The CA ARCserve team believes less is more when it comes to dealing directly with your end users. In this case, less actually becomes zero! We have zero direct initiatives to sell around our partners (in other words, we are 100% channel focused). This strategy has long been woven into the ARCserve fabric, and impacts how we sell, package, and ultimately deliver ARCserve solutions to the market. Lastly, we do not offer our ARCserve products through our large corporate direct sales teams who are focused on our mainframe and IT management solutions. Here is something to ponder after you finished reading this blog- Are you really all that comfortable dealing with a BDR vendor who offers a direct cloud/SaaS offering?

So I hope I have articulated the value of less is more and its rightful place in a successful sales strategy! If you have your own “less is more” stories, feedback, questions or comments to share- please write back to me at [email protected]

John LaCorte is Sr. Director, Business Development at CA Technologies. The business development organization is focused on establishing strategic partnerships and innovative programs to capture new market opportunities and drive incremental opportunity for the Data Management division at CA Technologies. These efforts include developing innovative partnerships, digital commerce, and new programs to drive growth and opportunities outside of CA’s traditional routes to market.


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