Although consultative engagements might take longer and be more cumbersome, they ultimately win over customers and enable solution providers to get stickier with customers compared with a transactional approach, according to fast-growing solution provider Sanity Solutions.
Chris Gross, vice president of Denver-based Sanity Solutions, named one of CRN's 2018 Tech Elite 250, said its unique consultative approach "immediately turns us into a part of their team rather than somebody from the outside trying to push an agenda."
Sanity Solutions has grown upward of 50 percent annually over the past few years, in part thanks to its assessment and consultative engagement service, dubbed Sanity Check.
"During the consultative process, 90 percent of the time there's not a single product mention or a single technological concept mentioned most of the time. It's really just about them and what they're trying to accomplish. … It flips the script a little bit on the customer," said Gross. "We're not a transactional company. We don’t do well at just taking in orders from customers and spitting them out. We can do it, but we can't do it in high volumes, nor do we really want to."
Sanity Check takes a deep dive into the health and functionality of a customer's infrastructure complete with evaluation summaries, detailed diagnostics and end-user reports. The assessments and audits enable clients to understand the state of their environment, potential risks and liabilities, and the steps to proactively protect against vulnerabilities or failure, while also optimizing efficiencies across infrastructures.
Sanity Solutions created a purpose-built team of industry experts and engineers for the Sanity Check service, which is comprised of former customers. "Every single one of them has been one of our customers. So every one of them has sat in the person's chair on the other side of the table," said Gross.
The team first builds a customer profile to test how serious it is regarding its requirements and the need to build a relationship where Sanity Solutions can be valuable. The company collects all the necessary data and makes suggested recommendations on areas of improvement -- what's working well and what's not.
"It helps us not only build a profile around the customer from a technology standpoint, but also profile what they need for a partner. There are no dollar figures that go against it, but it can take multiple meetings – three to six hours depending on the size of the customer. That's a lengthy investment on both sides to make, but it also gives a clear indicator of how successful we're going to be inside that customer," said Gross.
Through the consultative and assessment work, Sanity Solutions is able to deliver custom-tailored solutions unique to each client. Sanity Check deployments are growing in the double digits and the service is resonating heavily in the midmarket, according to Gross.
Sanity Solutions, ranked No. 388 on CRN's 2017 Solution Provider 500 list, is a Dell EMC Titanium partner that also works with Cisco Systems, Citrix Systems, Commvault, IBM, Microsoft, Nutanix, Silver Peak and Veeam, among others.