It’s difficult to sell cloud services. With so many people moving to the cloud, buyers and sellers are both not able to catch up, and seeing the big, valuable picture is harder to see. In particular, selling to SMBs.
However, cloud services are easy to use and sell. For a buyer, it’s easy to use it, and as they use it, the provider continues to gain money. Everything seems to be becoming more automated, from music streaming services allowing you to listen to anything, to food services giving you all the ingredients you need for dinner. The same laws seem to be working for cloud providers.
For people who grew up in the digital generations, their purchasing decisions are much different and are being showed in business. No longer do consumers have to think long about purchasing a cloud service because there’s no hardware involved. Because of this, many services tend to offer the same product.
In order to stand out, one must look at how they do business and what the customer experience is like. There are differences, like integration, scalability, and how reliable it is, but these differences are harder to notice and it’s more of a challenges for a buyer to make the decision.
Here are two situations talking about how a cloud provider succeeds. The first one involves indirect channel selling. A provider may have great service, but they need more to keep those sales going. Then, there’s direct selling, where a provider does everything on their own.
First Market Situation Indirect Channel Selling
Having channel success is less about tech and more about marketing. With the market’s competition ever increasing, the limits become more apparent. If you’re a cloud providers who knows what they are doing, your support channels can thrive to go past any weak points. A good company is all about creating the resources, tools, and programs needed to sell and customize your branding. This helps the company stand out from the competition. When sales grow, so does the marketing and training.
In the end, creating programs to generate leads and tools to help seal the deal is what it’s about. In addition, it’s about enabling channels to improve relationships involving end customers. No longer should you be passive and let other providers do the work.
It’s also about the path to a channel. You want customers to make the purchase and be smooth about it. The technology is essential as well, but for a cloud provider, you need to learn how to make revenue streams you can sustain.
The Second Situation: Selling Direct to End Customers
While not as frequent, this scenario does cover quite a few purchasing marketplaces the UCaaS business faces. For end buyers, this is great news with more choices, but for cloud providers, there’s no gatekeeping in the business. There are quite a lot of providers helping businesses go to the clouds, so expect competition. And with SMBs just needing the standard packages, you sometimes can’t win with a flashy package.
As a provider, it’s important to learn to experiment and to make your own leads. Educating buyers is a smart move, and you do need to spend money on Internet advertising, since that’s where most buyers will turn to first.
This seems like common sense, but if you want to succeed in marketing, it’s always a goalpost move. If you’re a small provider, your budget is limited and you have to stand out amongst companies that can spend a lot more. SEO marketing is where this comes into play, but this can be challenging as well, since Google is one fickle creature and so many companies want to be on top. It requires guesswork, and many companies may turn to other ways of marketing due to the lack of budget.
So, What Does This All Mean?
As the title says, selling UCaaS is both easier, but more challenging. The market is huge right now, with many channels supported. WISPs seem to be the most successful in regards to consumers who think terrestrial infrastructure doesn’t serve them. Also, 5G’s slow arrival is a factor as well.
There are many routes to take, and one of them may be dealers who specialize in office supply and fax. These dealers keep their position at the market’s bottom end because of all their long-term business relationship. This can also help customers make the transition from traditional equipment to the cloud.
It’s a tight space, but many cloud providers are thriving, growing in the double digits. As UCaaS services become even more mainstream, there will be more challenges, consolidations, and rollups. For now, it’s all about focusing on conveniences, ease of use, and other buying triggers.
Think of UCaaS selling as streaming music. You should focus on how easy it is to purchase and use. Don’t bog down someone with jargon, but instead talk about experiences, outcomes, and other tidbits of information.