We were on the road again last week. This time on the West Coast in sunny California. Los Angeles to be exact. We were invited by our partner CompTIA to help present a five-module cloud training course for attendees to earn their Executive Certificate in Cloud.
Marketopia CEO Terry Hedden (@thedden03) led the sales module. It was entitled “Selling Your Cloud Solutions.” He spoke directly to those who are new to selling cloud solutions or simply want to improve their results.
In case you weren’t able to make it out to LA last week, we’ve broken down and truncated Terry’s presentation here so you can also rake in the benefits of making a successful transition to selling cloud solutions.
Evolve Your Sales Team & Process
When you make the move to selling cloud solutions and cloud management services, you will quickly realize that to be successful, you need to make a few changes to how you sell.
However, if you take in and execute each of the following steps, you’ll be well on your way to joining the best-in-class solution providers who have already successfully embraced the cloud business transformation.
New Sales Model: There are two different sales paths you can take.
- An integrated approach is when an existing sales team represents cloud solutions.
- A separate approach establishes a separate cloud-focused sales group.
Sales Team Makeup & Skills: In order to develop an effective cloud sales team, there are three different types of roles you need to put in place.
- Consultative Sales Executives – Focus on finding what’s right for the client. In the integrated model, they will understand when an on-premise solution is a better fit.
- Inside Sales Team – This team is well-versed in selecting cloud solution opportunities based on their understanding of their clients.
- Account Managers – They help nurture the recurring revenue stream associated with cloud solutions being sold.
Updated Sales Messages: After you make the move to cloud, your sales team will be engaging in new conversations with prospective clients. There are four primary messages they must convey:
- Access to New Solutions
- Lower Total Costs
- Operating Expenses (OPEX) vs. Capital Expenditure (CAPEX)
- Business Growth
Stronger Sales Process: You will also need to adjust your sales process. Specifically:
- Demand Generation – Identify well-qualified leads.
- Sales Close – Have a sales team that sticks to the script and doesn’t negotiate.
- Account Management – Renewals are critical for the recurring sales model.
Sales Compensation: Opposed to the traditional IT sale, selling cloud delivers its revenue on a steady subscription instead of a one-time payment. This leads to new ways to pay your sales team. Whether it’s annuity payments, up-front disbursements or incentives, you have to discover which one will work best for your team and business.
It’s no secret that nowadays the cloud is affecting all businesses. Current and potential cloud clients can be identified across the entire spectrum from small business to mid-size business to the enterprise. No matter which client segment your managed service provider business serves, there’s plenty of opportunity through offering public, private or hybrid cloud solutions.
Of course, these companies are looking to grow. Access to previously unavailable technologies is allowing them to improve their business efficiency. Because cloud service adaptation is increasing faster than many expected a few years ago, now’s the time for your MSP business to embrace the transformation to selling cloud.