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Seventy percent of solution providers are already seeing the business value in Internet of Things (IoT) applications, according to APC by Schneider Electric research. But, one of the biggest challenges partners still face is explaining how edge computing is enabling these new technologies and ultimately providing a better customer experience.
“It’s really just getting the understanding and making sure that you’re talking the same language,” says Thomas Humphrey, segment director for Edge Compute at APC. Director of channel marketing Katie Boeh adds that customers don’t necessarily want to be thinking about their IT, they want to be thinking about their business and its success in general.
It’s important for solution providers to keep in mind technical talk can be daunting. You should instead listen to your customers about their specific needs and go from there. “You don’t want to lead with the technology. You want to lead with, ‘How can I help you with your business, what are your business needs, what are your business goals and how can my technology help you with that?’ That’s really what I would say to any person in sales and to any partner who is trying to solve a problem for their customer,” says Boeh.
Educating yourself before educating your customer should also be your top priority, because your ultimate goal is to become their trusted advisor—not just make this one sale. “The more reading and things you can understand about edge, you may actually be able to point them in directions they weren’t even thinking about and help them realize how they can leverage the technology,” says Humphrey.
APC offers ways for you to get educated. For example, it has a partner dedicated sales force to answer your questions. There’s also something called a local edge configurator tool to help you easily build a solution for your customers. It has most products cataloged, so you can drag and drop them into a rack that you can save as a template for a repeatable solution.