HaaS: Do or Do Not. There Is No Try.

posted by Lee Rozeboom on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 in Unified Communications and IT Blog

A very wise Jedi Grand Master once said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” While Yoda was speaking to young, inexperienced Luke Skywalker, it is also appropriate for sales reps and companies moving down the Hardware as a Service (HaaS) path.

While we may never know if Jar Jar Binks was really a Sith Lord (read the rumors here) we do have enough anecdotal evidence to pull back the curtain on the five myths of selling HaaS.

Myth #1: “We’ll sell this on a customer-by-customer basis because HaaS doesn't work for everyone.”

Really? Don’t most of your customers already consume at least some of their technology monthly? Managed Services, Microsoft365, Cloud, BDR, Hosted VoIP, Managed Print, and the list goes on. The market is ready for it. The question is: are you going to sell it?

Star Wars Myth Buster: “Many of the truths we cling to depend on our point of view.” Obi-Wan Kenobi

Myth #2: “My customers just want to own the equipment.”

Ah yes, the classic “I love to own something that I will for sure upgrade in 4-6 years and when I do upgrade I have ZERO resale value on my initial investment.” More likely they will have to pay you for a green disposal of that hunk of usesless hardware that they don’t know what to do with.

The best HaaS companies understand that there is no value in the ownership of the equipment, but rather in the use of the equipment.  They understand that a HaaS solution is like On-Prem Cloud - simply paying for the usage. The customer doesn’t need to own the Cloud , just as they don’t get additional value from owning gear on site. This concept may by a mind shift, but the market is already well ahead of helping you move this way. Don’t waste the momentum.

Star Wars Myth Buster: “You must unlearn what you have learned.” Yoda

Myth #3: “Selling HaaS is easy and I don’t need any training!”

While conceptually selling HaaS should be pretty easy based on the monthly consumption of IT, there is still a process to successfully transition. Experts will tell you selling HaaS more about the discovery and set-up than about the close. If you do everything right up front, HaaS falls right into place with your Managed Services concept. If done poorly, HaaS will unravel at the close and your reps will be gun-shy in the future.

Not ready to create a training curriculum? Don’t worry, we’ve hired the leading As-A-Service sales trainer to provide two day sales training sessions to make the transition. Check out upcoming sessions here. 

Star Wars Myth Buster: “If you end your training now-if you choose the quick and easy path, as Vader did-you will become an agent of evil.” Yoda

Myth #4: “If I say we are moving this direction, my sales team will quickly make the adjustment and sell HaaS.”

First – they don’t know what adjustments to make, so you better teach them (see Myth #3). Second – if their comp results look the same on a cash and a HaaS deal, the output won’t change. The best HaaS companies make it more lucrative for the reps to sell that way. Not only is it more profitable for the rep, it is also advantageous your company over the long term. PLUS, HaaS provides a smoother client experience. Why wouldn’t you compensate better in exchange for results?

Star Wars Myth Buster: “Your focus determines your reality.” Qui-Gon Jinn

Myth #5: “In-house HaaS is the best option for growing your business.”

This one always comes down to cash flow. I believe a company’s cash should be used to grow their business, and if you tie up too much cash in customer hardware, you’re going to see pressure on your balance sheet. If you are considering HaaS on your own, your runway is ending, or you’d rather not have your runway come to an end, let us help you form a long-term solution that works for you and your customers.

Star Wars Myth Buster: “Always pass on what you have learned.” Yoda

As you can see, Star Wars and HaaS go hand-in-hand. May the Fourth be with you on your HaaS journey. 

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About The Author

Lee Rozeboom, Vice President of Strategic Relationships, is responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships with those with influence in the Unified Communications, Low Voltage and IT markets. Lee will also serve as an outward facing voice for our organization and provide oversight and guidance to the Data team. In his previous role, Lee served as the Vice President of Sales for the MSP division. He has been involved in lease financing since 2006. Prior to joining GreatAmerica in 2006, Lee was a Financial Planner, holding his Series 6 and 65, for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Lee received his Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing from Babson College in Wellesley, MA.

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