Not all of your customers are ready to buy cloud services right now. But, some are, and it’s important that you recognize the tell-tale signs. Following are the two biggest ones you should pay attention to in order to capitalize on this low hanging fruit.
Sign #1: Aging Systems
Do you have customers that are still trying to get every last ounce out of their Windows XP and/or Windows Server 2003/R2 and SQL 2005 licenses? Rather than waiting for the perfect opportunity to discuss a $6,000 to $8,000 on-premises equipment and software investment, this is the perfect opportunity to talk about the cloud. Mario Guerendo, president and CEO of Ecotech Solutions Group (formerly LIBANGA), capitalizes on these opportunities: “It’s highly unlikely a customer is going to take an all-or-nothing approach to the cloud. What’s more likely to happen is that a customer will try one IT service now — such as migrating their email to the cloud — and if that proves to be a good experience and offers some tangible business benefits, then they’ll consider moving other IT solutions to the cloud as well.”
Ecotech is so convinced that this move to the cloud is right for its customers that Guerendo and his team developed a server buyback program, which entails paying customers the fair market resale value for their Exchange Servers and applying that value to the monthly cost of their hosted Exchange Server service in the form of a credit. Typically the credit caps at $100 per month and can run for three to six months, depending on the value of the server.
Sign #2: The Distributed Workforce
According to the latest research from the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the distributed workforce is now a reality for 30% to 45% of all employees. Having remote and virtual employees enables companies to get things done round the clock, plus it makes it easier to attract hard-to-find skill sets beyond one’s local community.
If your customer is expanding its virtual workforce, this is a great opportunity to talk about the cloud. After all, cloud solutions and services are designed from the ground up with remote access and mobility (another trend closely related to the distributed workforce) in mind. And, if a customer is progressive enough to recognize that it can work more effectively without micromanaging its employees, then it’s a logical next step to recognize that managing fewer blinking lights in the server room is a smart business move, too.
There are a several reasons end users forego on-premises IT for cloud alternatives beyond the two reasons mentioned above. Starting with these “big two” reasons, however, will train you and your sales team to recognize the most obvious signs. And, as you get a few sales under your belt you can further refine your sales processes and work up to opportunities that come from identifying subtler signs.