License to Sell—Moving from Cloud Acquisition to Consumption

Today’s Cloud and SaaS delivery options have entirely transformed how organizations purchase and maintain technology solutions. The lower priced, pay-as-you-go models introduce less barriers to competitive entries so an initial sale is no longer the end game for vendors—it’s the beginning.

Adoption is Critical

To drive success in the Cloud, sales organizations must shift from land grab acquisition to land growth consumption. Look at the initial sale as your true starting point. Now, adoption has become critical to the success of platforms that can be replaced so easily. The best Cloud providers don’t just provide software but rather, they work to become trusted partners—delivering value and driving user adoption.

Here are some strategic shifts to consider:

Look to SMB

There may be more gold in those small and medium-sized companies than you realize. Now sales organizations must rethink how they measure a prospect’s value. Cloud solution providers measure customers by their long term value instead of an initial sale. That changes the playing field and the enterprise may not be your best target over the long run. Consider implementing a strategy to move as fast as you can to SMB (small medium businesses) to sell licenses. 

Move Fast within License Base

Now that full platforms can be implemented within weeks rather than months, when you execute rollouts rapidly, you can use this momentum to your advantage – driving adoption and gaining satisfied advocates.

Build Workflow Integration

As you increase the overall integration of Cloud services in the organization into the organization’s workflow, you greatly reduce the risk of competitive switch.

6 Keys to Drive Adoption, Consumption

  1. Build Strong Vendor/Client Partnerships – The most successful providers of Cloud services know how to get users onboard and keep them engaged. This role has traditionally been managed internally, but if the vendor takes the reigns to drive usage, they will boost consumption.
  2. Offer Training to Gain Max Value – We found in a recent survey that 70% of Cloud services users do not use their tools properly or completely. If your customers are frustrated or not understanding how to get the most value from a solution, they will walk away. You must provide ongoing training and checkpoints to keep usage from eroding. And when you apply the 1-2 punch—customized traininginstead of canned lessons combined with an open door to any follow-up questions—you will drive long—term usage.
  3. Produce Advocates – When your customers “get it” then you have valuable internal advocates who drive consumption by recommending, encouraging, and training others internally—boosting ongoing usage.
  4. Provide Proactive Customer Support – Don’t wait for customers to come to you with issues or questions. Vendors can look at metrics such as when users watch training videos to discover who may need help and then reach out to them proactively. If you provide a technical support team to your customers, you will solve issues faster, boost usage, relieve internal IT, and most importantly, gain satisfied advocates.
  5. Understand Multiple Touches are the Norm – 80% of Cloud solution users require at least two touches before they begin utilizing a new service. 50% require four or more touches.
  6. Get Personal – As you work to boost usage in the organization, it’s always effective to combine several touchpoint approaches—email reminders for tutorials, as well as email and online support chats. But more than anything else, encourage your sales organization to just pick up the phone and talk. It is by far the proven way to get users engaged, build personal relationships, and encourage active conversations that draw out problems and suggestions.

 

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About the Author

Tim Killenberg

As global leader of N3’s Commercial Delivery organization, Tim focuses on driving revenue results and sales excellence for leading technology, software, and manufacturing companies. Tim has over 20 years of sales, marketing and strategy experience with high-growth companies. Connect on LinkedIn

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