Top Tips To Accelerate Your Cloud Solutions Sales
While there has been a gradual shift and uptake to cloud, recent periods have shown that demand and opportunities for cloud solutions sales are increasing.
Prior to the pandemic, 90% of enterprises surveyed had “adopted cloud technology in some form”, with an average of 20-40% of workloads in the cloud. (Source)
Before the impact of the pandemic was understood, an analysis predicted that the cloud migration services market would grow by US$24 billion globally, representing a an annual compound growth rate of 24%. (Source)
Now heading toward a post-pandemic world, the impact of COVID-19 and the transformation of the workplace has resulted in 87% of “global IT decision-makers” surveyed stating that their business is rapidly accelerating a cloud migration. (Source)
However, it can be a challenge for cloud solutions providers to engage prospective customers for a cloud migration journey.
The fact is change can represent risk for business leaders and when it comes to technology, risk aversion often means sticking with what is working now. The problem with this mindset is that they may soon find themselves losing market share in a cloud-first world. Or worse, running an obsolete or unsupported IT platform as vendors move their products and services to cloud-based subscription model.
A methodical, strategic approach is needed to get customers to the cloud. Business prudence dictates that when implementing organisational change, you take it one step at a time.
As you generate demand in targeted lead acquisition channels, identify Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), nurture Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) and engage with your prospective customers, it is therefore critical to choose the correct cloud services which will allow them to take that crucial steps toward a cloud migration or cloud-first strategy.
Start With High-Value, Low-Impact Services
While organisations may be resistant to change, they do have regulatory and compliance obligations. Meanwhile, online threats such as ransomware attacks are increasing. (Source)
If we look at the scope of cloud services available today, there are a few which organisations can start using which will not impact their day-to-day operations.
Services such as data protection, backup, disaster recovery, and to some extent, cybersecurity represent an opportunity to fulfil immediate needs customers have without large-scale impact to their operations.
In a sales strategy, these services can represent entry points or “feeder services” to enable structured upsell or cross-sell tactics over time.
Convincing a customer to move their backup or DR to the cloud takes much less effort than trying to persuade them to start with something that is critical to their IT operations.
You can easily argue that moving these services can help them test the waters, e.g. when failing over and failing back during DR testing, without impacting their business. This would also illustrate the benefits the customer can gain, which could include reduced costs, increased efficiencies, and superior features.
You’re enabling your customer to “see” the opportunity cloud represents, while also experiencing the value of your offer and customer service excellence.
Don’t forget that data protection services which protect existing cloud data are also beneficial services to commence with, such backup of Microsoft 365 or Google Workplace data. This is often referred to as cloud-to-cloud backup.
Cybersecurity covers a sizeable functional area with solutions which range from anti-malware to penetration testing. Like backup and DR, some cybersecurity services live on the periphery, or migrating specific edge services to the cloud can occur without impacting business operations.
Again, you can use this to your advantage as you guide your customer on their cloud journey, as they can test the functionality and see the benefits without disrupting their operations.
Entrench yourself as the customer’s strategic cloud adviser
Using these strategies which start your customer on their cloud journey without impacting their operations, gives you the opportunity to begin the cloud conversation without facing the usual objections to change.
Furthermore, as these opportunities help you entrench yourself as the customer’s strategic cloud adviser, you can start working more closely with them and formulate a strategy to migrate all their services to the cloud. For example, you can help them sort out their DR planning, then Business Continuity, move on to networking, manage their licenses, administer their Microsoft 365 and then all of a sudden, they’re significantly advancing their cloud migration journey with you.