We all know that selling cloud solutions is different compared to other solutions because the pricing depends upon usage metrics such as bandwidth, storage etc. In other words, salespeople need to have an insight into the future behavior of their prospects. From a skill standpoint, the one selling cloud solution needs to have the ability to shift the customer organization’s IT budgets from CAPEX to OPEX. It is a challenge as well as a great opportunity for recurring revenue.
Salespeople need a different set of skills to sell cloud solutions, compared to other IT services because things get technical very quickly. So, in a typical enterprise scenario, once the requirements are understood, the customer conversations go technically deep almost instantly.
Unlike the old world, it is not a licensed game anymore. It is the game of consumption. In the world of cloud solutions, the price points are usually low and that means you don’t just sell cloud solutions but all also sell consumption.
You get a long-term customer for your cloud solutions, only if the customer as well as you identify each other for value and commitment. Here are few factors to weigh in:
Today with the evolution of AI, it is much easier for you identify the companies that are not only the right prospect for your cloud solutions but also are sales ready. Using AI platforms that have a growing library of cloud signals, you can easily identify prospects based on signals such as the ones using a trial version of AWS or other providers, tech signals that point to running an open source stack, or more.
Similarly, today’s customer can easily look through your marketing collaterals and identify if you are the right fit for them via client references and the open and ever-expanding ecosystem.
So, as people – do not sell Azure or AWS or any platform you sell. Understand the prospect’s tech ecosystem, their maturity in the cloud arena, where they are in the buying cycle and more. Check out how to identify the companies that are cloud solutions ready.
Let’s take an example of the security aspect. Your sales intelligence needs to identify signals that indicate a behavior, which in turn can sharpen your sales pitch. For instance, if a company has traces of adding an extra layer of security towards their portal or services, it is an indicator that security could be one of their primary concerns. This is where sales intelligence can suggest you come up with “integrated enterprise standard secure services” as an offering for their platform.
The current business ecosystem is such that no department can operate in silos. It means the prospects adopting the cloud are constantly looking for integration. Though there are lots of talks about consolidation and having one huge player, the reality is that each customer organization is different. So as salespeople, we need to know how we can integrate into the environment of the customer so that we are not asking them to boil the ocean for us. There are tools in AI, that help you spot and identify signals that give you an insight into the prospect’s tech environment and give you a score on how well you fit into their stack.
Though it is called “cloud solutions”, it comes someone’s server somewhere. And that means they have to be managed proactively. From the customer’s PoV, the right solution needs to be selected, workloads need to be migrated and at an internal level, usage needs to be tracked. Therefore, it is not just about selling but solutioning and being the right fit.
Do you agree?
Yaagneshwaran Ganesh (often called as "Yaag") is among the top 100 global martech influencers, and is responsible for the growth and product adoption for Freshchat, a customer engagement platform powering live chats and conversational marketing across industries. He is also a TEDx speaker, a member of Forbes Council and author of 5 books, with the latest one titled “Syncfluence”. He has been a speaker across business forums such as CII Young Indians, Chamber of Commerce Netherlands, Kerala Startup Mission (Initiative by Govt of Kerala), and academic institutions such as IITs, Saxion University of Applied Sciences and more. He is an active member of the startup ecosystem and is part of the Google for Entrepreneurs initiative "Startup Weekend", thus being a sounding board for startups in APAC and Europe. Yaag also writes columns for HuffingtonPost, Forbes, Martech Series, Martech Advisor, dtNEXT, Techstory, ManagementNext and has been a regular blogger on RonSela.com, the thought leader on marketing practices.