Since the advent of cloud tech, the demand for it has skyrocketed as more and more business owners see the various benefits to integrating it with their company infrastructure.
Having said that, there are still many business owners who aren’t exactly rushing towards this technology with open arms.
If you’re a B2B tech provider who offers cloud services, you’re obviously doing all you can to get across the massive advantages it can offer other companies.
When your customer base refuses to opt in for cloud computing, or chooses some other vendor, it can understandably be very frustrating.
Fortunately, there are certain changes to your sales pitch which can remedy this. Here’s a brief guide to fine-tuning your cloud selling tactics.
Explaining Your Cloud Services
The first thing you need to review and consider changing is the way you’re explaining your cloud services to your customers.
When your professional life is all wrapped up in the ins and outs of cloud technology, it can be easy to forget how minimal many other people’s understanding of the cloud is.
To make sure your sales tactics don’t come off as convoluted and confusing, you need to take a step back and adjust it for your audience.
If you want to get your foot in the door in the best possible way, you need to ensure that you can give a succinct and accessible definition of the services you offer and cloud computing in general.
This will save your prospective customers from trying to work through all the jargon, and keep them focused on weighing up the pros and cons of what you have to offer.
Keep it short and sweet; informative but not complex. A good example would be: “Cloud computing uses the internet to deliver your business software and hardware services, rather than requiring you to keep physical software and hardware at your office.
We provide the services online, and you’re able to access them online.” After you remove all the technical jargon like “scalability” and “CAPEX reductions”, you’ll be left with something like this.
As you know, this isn’t what you could call an “official definition”, and leaves out a lot of important details about what the cloud can mean for a business.
However, it’s the best possible way to get the ball rolling with your sales prospects. If they’re interested in hearing more, this plain-English introduction will give them a good frame of reference to lean on.
Next, try to relate cloud computing to your customer base through the use of analogies. Again, this is all about accommodating for your prospective clients’ more limited grasp on technology.
To help them get a good grasp as soon as possible, it’s best for you to go straight into the fundamentals of networking before anything else.
The most basic concepts of cloud computing aren’t new anymore, and are rooted in the fundamental makeup of the internet. Conveniently, this means that the way you explain certain concepts of the cloud isn’t going to change too dramatically in the future.
One effective way of using analogies to explain your cloud services is by comparing it to the central heating in a home. The client’s IT department can turn their cloud services up, down, on or off, depending on their needs at the time.
So, if the business runs into a peak period and needs a little more processing power, they can crank up their cloud tech and turn it down once they’re all done.
Another common analogy employed by some MSP IT firms is presenting cloud services as a national power grid which you can plug into, rather than going to the trouble of producing your own power.
Another effective way of doing it is comparing your services to Salesforce or other external database services. There’s a fair chance that the higher-ups at a business are already familiar with how these work and their various benefits, which will make your explanation a lot easier to digest.
There are many different ways you can outline cloud technology to the main decision makers at a company, and it often pays to do a little research into the company, and adjust your analogy for that specific niche or industry.
This will ensure that your prospective customers don’t get lost in the details, and are as receptive as possible to the idea of integrating your services at their firm.
The Organizational Advantages
Next, we get down to brass tax; the organizational advantages of using cloud computing.
The complete list of these is massive, as you probably know, and you may have been using them in your sales pitch for some time. The issue is the various nuances and little differences that exist from niche to niche.
What’s tempting to one business owner may not be a big deal to another. However, there are a few universal benefits which can be worth mentioning to pretty much every leader.
These include a business’s flexibility, and the opportunity to free up some of their time.
There are a lot of business owners who are feeling overwhelmed by all the commercial technology of 2016, and want more time to focus on things like their business strategy.
If this sounds like your prospects, then be sure to point out the benefits of letting you take care of the tech headaches while they focus on more pressing things. Reduced expenditure is something that no good business owner will overlook.
When companies switch over to the cloud, they’ll be able to shave a huge chunk off of their operational and capital expenditure, and invest that money in stimulating other areas of their business.
It may be worth comparing your small monthly payments to the larger, upfront expenditures that come with the more traditional alternatives.
Scalability is another universal benefit, which you should make sure you’re telling your client base about.
If they take on seasonal employees, or have certain times where the business really has to ramp up, then cloud computing will make it easier for them to meet their demands without having to fork out for software and hardware that won’t be used all that much during slower periods.
Finally, be sure to talk about the flexibility of being able to use cloud computing from remote devices. Provided that they have a reliable internet connection, your clients’ employees can access cloud services anywhere in the world.
While you’ll have a greater chance of success if you craft a pitch that’s tailored to the customer base you’re targeting, these kinds of universal benefits should certainly go into it.
Objections to Cloud Technology
Just like any young technology, there are going to be some leaders out there who have various objections to cloud computing.
After you’ve presented the benefits of cloud computing in a clear and understandable way to your prospect, you’ll probably be met with a few rebuttals and “what ifs”.
If you want the pitch to go off smoothly, then you have to ensure you’re prepared with answers to these objections. No one’s going to buy from a company that can’t address their concerns!
One of the most common concerns is about security, and whether or not your technology is regulated. Although it’s getting more and more secure all the time, cloud tech certainly isn’t as airtight as more traditional solutions in various areas.
Take the time to learn about your provider’s data center, the security measures they employ, and the regulations they follow.
Spin these into plain English to make sure your prospect is more receptive to your assurance. Another issue people have is the potential unreliability of the cloud.
After switching, many of the business’s most important processes are going to rely on the tech you’re providing. So, what happens if it goes down?
Most cloud providers will give their clients up time guarantees and technical support. Ensure that you’re well-versed in the details of these things, and bring them to the sales pitch.
Provided that the business leaders know they can get some kind of professional support wherever they need it, they’ll stop worrying about technical hiccups.
The last facet of selling your cloud services should be recommending the right deployment model.
In a lot of cases, cloud tech at a business is only as good as the deployment model that comes with it. You need to think about the main operations at the client’s business and their organizational structure to recommend the best deployment.
- The first major type is public clouds. This has economic advantages, metered usage, and allows the business to focus more on their pressing issues rather than fiddling around with in-house technology.
- The next category is private clouds. The main difference in these is that your client will have an extra layer of security and a little more control. It’s built specifically around the needs and limitations of the customer, and will offer way more flexibility.
- Finally, we have hybrid clouds. These are for organizations which don’t really fit into the former two, and try to fuse the scalability and economic benefits of a public cloud with the security and control of private models. Fail to settle on the right deployment method, and it can really come back to bite you!
So what are your thoughts about using a cloud service for your business. I know personally we’ve just migrated to this technology and it’s been a great decision.
I would love to hear what you think about this and how it might benefit your business. Feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments.