5 triggers for closing cloud computing deals
One of the most frequent questions we get on cloud computing is “When should a company move to the cloud?” While there are numerous reasons to make the move, there are also certain events that minimize obstacles and objections. These are ” triggers” which greatly reduce the sales cycle for prospects considering cloud offerings. In no particular order:
1. Change in business size
As an elastic, utility-based service, cloud computing is ideal not just for growing companies, but ones that may be downsizing as well. The on-demand nature of cloud services ensures that one can scale quickly and without additional investment.
Companies in uncertain economic times are reluctant to make capital purchases or commit to large projects or financial obligations. Through cloud computing, you can help these prospects leverage every advantage of newer technology without the downside of purchasing hardware and software that may sit idle in a business downturn.
As the business sees growth, it can plan for a predictable operational expense on a per-user basis. It is a win-win no matter which way the economic pendulum swings.
2. The dreaded hardware refresh
This is always a mixed bag for solution providers. There is nothing better than closing a large project or other opportunity that brings instant dollars to the bottom line, however we have never encountered a company that “liked” to spend money on network upgrades. Infact, we found this to be the very point at which a company would seek to get “competitive bids” or look for alternative solutions to their aging hardware.
Facing the routine capital expense of the hardware lifecycle is at odds with simply paying for needed services on a monthly basis, and operational costs are better for budgeting, planning, and keeping the focus on business growth and profits. Imagine leading your sales efforts with “What if I told you that you never had to buy a server again?”
3. Business continuity
In recent years, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and other disasters have taken businesses offline for days, if not weeks or months. Many never recover from such an outage, and simply having data stored offsite is not enough to encompass a true business continuity plan.
With the frequency of such outages and the pain still fresh enough to want to minimise a recurrence, many businesses are more readily turning to cloud computing. For example, Generac, one of the largest generator companies in the US, nearly doubled sales over the past two years. Cloud computing has seen adoption rates skyrocket as well during this time.
4. Move to SaaS applications
Every day more and more applications are moving to a web-based delivery model, minimising the need for on-premise hardware and support. Those still charging their clients based on equipment (i.e. the “per server” model) are seeing a drastic decline not only in support fees, but also in ancillary project work and services such as backup and business continuity.
By leveraging the appropriate cloud solutions for your client, you can embrace these changes by consolidating both on and off-premise solutions in a unified model. You will simplify your support structure AND simplify how your client accesses the multiple technologies, disperse data and workflow, driving efficiency and profitability.
5. Business financial objectives
Businesses have varied financial goals and objectives, and understanding these will help you close cloud deals more quickly. The discussion relating to Capital versus Operational expense has been a driving factor in Managed Services as well as HaaS deals, but unless the client is cash and credit poor, very lucrative HaaS deals are the exception rather than the rule.
Unlike a lease, which is tied to a tangible asset, cloud computing is entirely an operational expense. How a business categorises this expense can reflect on credit decisions, company valuation, and leverage in a merger or acquisition. Additionally, cloud solutions extend the lifecycle of existing hardware and free up capital for important business needs.
By learning what drives the financial decisions of your prospect, you can best learn the keys to driving the decision to move to cloud computing.
Brett Jaffe has spent over 20 years as an IT Solution Provider and MSP in Boston, MA. He is currently Director of Channel Development at OS33, a leading unified cloud platform for MSPs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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