Expedient: Do Your Homework to Make the Grade
If knowing is half the battle, then preparation is three-quarters of it. It’s a truism deeply entrenched in fabric of Expedient, an industry leader in infrastructure as a service (IaaS), cloud computing and MSP platforms — and No. 7 in the Channel Futures 2018 MSP 501 rankings.
Jonathan Rosenson, senior vice president, says Expedient’s prep work begins long before it holds the first client meeting. The extent of homework they complete is tailored depending upon the level of familiarity with the company whose business it’s trying to sway. But no matter the scope, the MSP always does its research.
“There is typically some level of awareness,” Rosenson explains, that Expedient has of the company’s culture prior to the arrangement of such a formal meeting. To build upon that, it preps by collecting as much data as possible about the potential client’s IT environment, such as its size, scope of reach, and business impact. The ideal scenario is when his team is able to get all the right players in the room. That’s when the real conversation starts.
“Our team does a lot of listening,” he says.
Of course, it’s not all couch therapy, because the company’s team also conducts exhaustive research to discern as much as possible about the ins and outs of what’s going on within the organization.
“We have a lot of inherent information based upon our work with organizations just like them,” he explains.
Rarely is it ever IT love at first sight. Not everyone is swayed, at least in the beginning. Hectic schedules tend to hinder the likelihood of getting all the key players under the same roof at once. So Expedient provides documentation (via TCO analysis, presentations, and demonstrations) to help would-be clients make a further case for partnering with Expedient to the higher-ups.
Historically, Expedient’s sales cycle centers around looping in clients by digital means.
“Our typical sales cycle can range anywhere from three to 18 months depending upon the complexity of the solution,” Rosenson says.
That means the process can take up to a dozen interactions with a potential buyer. Luckily, the sale is usually made within the space of just a few brick-and-mortar meetings.
“The first one sets the stage. The second clarifies the scope for us to provide a quote, and the third finalizes the specifics for the formal proposal,” Rosenson says.
All those talks do more than hammer out the customer’s IT needs. Expedient has to expand its proposals to encompass the goals and challenges of the business itself.
“We align our solutions to outcomes,” he says. “Our collateral is similarly aligned with these outcomes.”
And of course there’s the pesky collecting-payment thing. In terms of fees, the company doesn’t charge for these consultations; instead, they use it as a mechanism of bolstering the client’s confidence that a partnership with Expedient is synonymous with getting optimal results. Services are billed based upon capacity and quantity, and dependent on the level of labor output needed to get the job done. In the end, after all, its pricing model is a means to an end.