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Clear2there Aims to Remove the Friction from the IoT Sales Process

By Paula Bernier August 19, 2015

People here at IoT Expo Evolution have been talking about the benefits of IoT to people, organizations and the world at large in terms of convenience, cost savings, efficiency and improved quality of life. They’ve also been discussing the challenges of IoT, including the fragmented IoT ecosystem, security concerns and complexity.

Clear2there is keenly focused on cutting through that complexity, explained CTO Tom Shafron. But its efforts are not so much focused on technology as they are in reducing the friction in the sales cycle.

It’s doing that on a number of fronts, Shafron said.

For starters, Clear2there is making things easier for itself by working with tier 2 and 3 service providers, which are its customers, to grab the low-hanging IoT fruit. These service providers, some of which are community owned or got their start as government initiatives, are an ideal way to bring IoT solutions to local businesses and government agencies because they have close ties with these entities, said Shafron.

In fact, Shafron recounted a call he was on in which a service provider was pitching the county hospital on an IoT solution and mentioned that the hospital would be its first customer for the solution. That’s the kind of comment that could give some prospects pause, Shafron indicated, but the hospital signed on with the service provider, which was probably seen as the safer bet because it has been in business for a century and was already providing the hospital’s data services.

Clear2there has 200 tier 2 and 3 service provider customers today, which are involved in providing smart business, smart farm and smart home applications. Specific solutions include providing access control to fire houses and the assets inside them so volunteer firefighters have the appropriate access but unauthorized parties do not. The company and its service provider partners are also delivering IoT solutions for businesses, court houses, hospitals, police departments and schools. Shafron added that several utilities and phone companies have merged, which also creates opportunities on the energy management and smart home front.

Image via Shutterstock

Shafron said Clear2there is also working to make it as easy as possible for sales people at systems integrators to sell its IoT solutions. It’s doing that by offering training to those individuals as well as leveraging wizards so it’s easy for salespeople and their prospects to see what components, processes and costs are involved in each IoT solution. These wizards make selling IoT solutions less intimidating for sales people, he said. That’s important because if it takes an hour for a sales person to explain your product and it’s easier to explain another company’s product, you lose.

Pointing to the value of wizards and also what’s happening with IoT in the consumer space, Shafron added that when the first digital thermostats came onto the market, the companies that offered them had to do a huge amount of market and customer education. But then NEST came along and made things incredibly easy for users by providing a wizard that didn’t just steer the customer through the initial process, but could actually automate everything. 




Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

Executive Editor, TMC

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