Get the Right Sales Coverage in the Cloud Market
During the past ten years working in sales, marketing, and consulting in the technology solutions space, I have enjoyed the challenges and opportunities of building N3’s Cloud practice. As you can imagine, selling Cloud solutions requires sales organizations to adjust every aspect of their being in order to create customers for long-term revenue stream – including re-focusing your strategy, the composition of your sales team, the structure, marketing, and the comp plans just to name a few.
Cloud Changes the Playing Field
With more pay-as-you-go solutions offering lower cost models and no long-term contracts, the playing field is drastically different. The lower price points may speed the sales cycle but competitors can easily chip away at your accounts with the latest and greatest options since the contractual barriers are gone. So what can you do? You can start by rethinking the concept of traditional hunter/farmer sales models.
Here are three points to consider:
Implement Team-based Selling
- Add Tech to your Team – Integrate technical expertise throughout the entire sales cycle – not just post sale. The Cloud has changed how companies buy technology, but many customers need help embracing those changes and understanding the benefits throughout the sales cycle. By embedding tech talent when needed, you can push through blockages, clear confusion, and speed adoption/consumption. This includes after the sale to support utilization and consumption.
- Include LOB (line of business) Sales Acumen along with the IT sales fluency – Technology decisions are no longer made by just the IT team. Your sales team must understand the needs and decision-making criteria of business teams, like Marketing, Finance, and HR. These customers think differently.
- Layer in Industry and Domain Expertise – Remove blockers to the sale by showing your customers that you understand their specific objectives and can solve issues in the context of their industry.
Land and Expand
- Extend your Account Relationship Touchpoints – Go beyond initial acquisition to further incorporate cross-selling, upselling, and retention. Reach out to leaders in the lines of business and ensure their needs are being met and issues are being resolved.
- Restructure your Team – To facilitate the Land and Expand strategy, encourage adoption, consumption, retention, more consumption, all while expanding to new sales targets within the organization – and repeat.
Customer Lifetime Value
- Recalibrate Customer Value – Customer success is defined by product or service adoption and ongoing use – not necessarily by revenue, headcount, or locations.
- Rethink Targeting – Focusing on customer lifetime value likely changes your targeting process to focus on a mix of SMB and enterprise prospects because many times a SMB may represent higher potential based on the customer lifetime value.
Over the coming months, I’ll share more insights into how to produce positive results in a Cloud environment. I would love to hear from you so please drop me a note and let’s keep the conversation going.