Am I in the right business of selling cloud
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Am I in the right business of selling cloud?

5 Mins read

‘Am I in the right business of selling cloud?’

If you are asking this and in an uncertainty phase right now, believe us, time is now and only you can make it happen – opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor. You, being a service provider selling cloud, are already prepared – better than anyone else, to leverage the exploding cloud opportunity.

The only things that you need are the right tools and guidance to make it happen, and that’s the purpose of this blog. Let’s discuss why the time is just right for selling the cloud solutions.

Why it’s the right time to be in the cloud business?

Cloud services are witnessing exponential growth due to their simplicity, low-cost and flexibility. Organizations are choosing different cloud models, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) to support their business operations.

The worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.3 percent in 2019 to total $206.2 billion, up from $175.8 billion in 2018, according to Gartner, Inc.*

“The increasing dominance of the hyperscale IaaS providers creates both enormous opportunities and challenges for end users and other market participants.” 

Sid Nag, Research Director, Gartner.

global public cloud services revenue

The above statistics are great, but what they mean for you – a cloud services seller. Let’s ponder over the value of selling and managing cloud services.

The cloud demand is being greatly driven by small and medium businesses and consumers who are now becoming familiar with the cloud services and their benefits.

Here are some benefits that you can obtain:

1. Unlike traditional hosting services, cloud services can be deployed remotely. This saves a lot of your travel time and business expenses.

2. Cloud solutions are still in the evolutionary phase. With new and disruptive technologies like IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence) and blockchain being worked upon fervently, you get multiple options to club them with your solutions to formulate new and innovative solutions, more customized as per your customers’ needs.
Moreover, cloud services can be easily bundled with a number of other services to create cost-effective services. For example, Office 365 can be bundled with domain and hosting services to create a comprehensive online business presence package.

3. When you sell cloud solutions, you get a recurring revenue stream. Unlike one-time sell services, cloud services work on a subscription basis, where customers renew services, creating recurring revenue, opportunities for ongoing monitoring and management, and long-term customer relationships.

4. Such long-term relationships help establish your brand name in the market, making it easier for you to launch new and innovative products and upsell/cross-sell them to your existing customer base to value add to your offerings.

5. Most of the service providers who sell cloud services today were in the traditional business of selling IT hardware and software. This gives you the head start as compared to the new entrants in the market. You have the knowledge of the niche markets, the customers and the services they are already using. You now just need to mint your relationships, migrate them over to the cloud, and manage them.

These were the benefits, now let’s discuss what you need to be successful in selling cloud solutions.

  • Differentiate your offerings

If you have an IP (Intellectual Property) that can help your customers, integrate it with your solutions to value-add and create unique offerings. If not, work towards developing one; it can be your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) in the future. Add some distinctive features that’re your strength like technical support, marketing etc. to increase your product’s market value and usability.

“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”

Seth Godin

Evaluate your current offerings and think of ways you can make your product/service valuable to different customer needs.  For example, many cloud providers find cloud storage and online backups as strong products to bundle with their cloud solutions and increase their importance, as all businesses need cybersecurity solutions today. What better way than to get security services bundled with the cloud!

  • Leverage automation for increased productivity

Since the cloud demand is increasing at an unparalleled rate, you will need to automate as many of your business processes as possible, so as to easily manage more and more applications and data of your customers in the cloud. Else, it will become a real time-consuming and redundant job for your system administrators.

Automation is indispensable for enterprises dealing in and using the cloud as it eliminates manual processes like provisioning, sizing and backups, thereby reducing errors, saving time and costs, while simplifying the jobs of cloud administrators. Enterprises of all sizes will be seeking trusted partners to manage their cloud architecture with tools for automating different processes.

  • Keep your customer at the business core

Long-term relationships based on trust and credibility, form the essence of a successful business.

  • Always do homework – gather information about the industry and vertical challenges. Also, gather information directly from the prospects.
  • Invest time to understand their challenges and pain-points.
  • Ask yourself – How can I help my customer to make their business more profitable?
  • Leverage this information for formulating a unique pitch, demonstrate to the customer that you understand their business needs and can help them overcome challenges.
  • Keep their needs at the center of any and all solutions you create, and you’ll convert your prospect.

“Stop selling. Start helping.”

– Zig Ziglar

  • Do keep one thing in mind – customers who opt for a cloud service for the first time, would want to test the waters, before getting ‘all in’. So, don’t overwhelm them in the first attempt. Exceed their expectations and once you have done that, you will have multiple opportunities to upsell and cross-sell.
  • Modernize your sales and marketing strategies

modernizing marketing and sales strategiesThe buyer persona has completely changed in today’s digital era. They are now more aware, well-read, and they research a lot before buying anything.

This necessitates that sellers become more aware and engage with customers online wisely via a well-designed and easy to navigate cloud marketplace and social media.

You should be engaged with the customers from beginning to the completion of the buying process till implementation and management of the cloud services. For that, synchronize your sales and marketing teams. Streamline your efforts from campaign creation to lead generation to taking follow-ups, to meeting and finally, making a customer.

Your sales and marketing teams should have visibility into which stage your prospect is, so that they can be on the same page and follow him accordingly to provide him with his needed services timely.

Here is a quick checklist for you to do modern marketing:

modern marketing

Image source: Microsoft

  • Use a cloud business automation tool

By simplifying your cloud billing and automating cloud service delivery, RackNap, helps you – the cloud service providers, to focus more on your customers, reduce operational costs, increase sales and build a recurring revenue base.

RackNap automates all facets of business operations – subscription-based billing management, sales and marketing, inventory management, support, marketplace, multi-tier partner management, customer lifecycle management, and business intelligence.

RackNap supports end-to-end automation of service delivery for cloud services like Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Dynamics 365, IBM Cloud, Acronis cloud backup, AWS etc. Also, it supports delivery of traditional web services like domains, web hosting, virtual private servers, dedicated servers, SSL certificates, etc.

RackNap functional overview

Wrapping up

This ever-growing demand for cloud services will create more opportunities for cloud service providers like you. Managed cloud services and personalized offerings will help you strengthen your customer relationships, acquire new customers and strategically manage your business.

If you want to accelerate your cloud business growth and stand apart from the competition, write to us on [email protected] or book a demo today to know about the right tools to be a successful cloud service provider.

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About author
Sabarinathan, SVP of RackNap heads product and technical delivery functions. He has over 18 years of experience in the IT industry with specialization in cloud services delivery. He believes that to be successful, cloud service providers need – right business strategy, right automation platform along with skilled manpower.
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