Cloud technology offers significant benefits for both your business and your customers. But while it seems that everyone’s undergoing a digital transformation journey, our research indicates that only 9 per cent of channel partners are cloud ready . This means there’s a huge opportunity to get ahead of the pack by building cloud services into your offering.
To develop a plan that generates sustainable and consistent results, you need to steer clear of common pitfalls that trip resellers up as they adapt to the new dynamics of cloud. Here are four mistakes to look out for – and tips to help you avoid them.
1. Not Changing Your Sales Model
Many resellers still see cloud as an add-on, but this isn’t the case. Cloud is the alternative now, and will likely become the default option in the longer term. There is a clear balancing act (and a little bit of pain) involved in building a sales model that meets the current requirements of your company, with a commitment to building recurring revenues to sustain the business in the future. Consider the following questions:
- What will your commission structure look like with cloud as your primary revenue source?
- What is your historical success in adopting software-as-a-service?
- Has your business been successful in converting renewals?
This will help you decide how far to tweak your current model and dial up your incentives to gain traction.
2. Selling Products, Not Solutions
Cloud gets you from zero to a proof of concept across a broad range of technology in an incredibly short period of time. Your customers have access to an incredible range of software, apps, virtual appliances and storage - with or without your direct involvement. More of your competitors can easily offer the same building blocks of a solution at a price point that is hard to differentiate from.
The impact of making a poor product decision has diminished as well. “Lock in” still exists but the ultimate impact of making a poor product decision drastically shifts when you are charged per hour or per transaction. Emphasis on your solutions and services provide a clear path, demonstrate value and offer you a point of difference from the rest of the pack.
3. A One-Size-Fits-All Model
IDC research shows technology generalists are likely to flounder in the cloud as customers increasingly turn to partners with specific technology, industry or business process skills. Vendors agree, and with a shortage of skills across the market, end users are seeking partners with defined expertise.
4. Maintaining Your Team Structure
Cloud-based products involve a whole new way of selling, so it’s likely you’ll need to reorganise your team for better results. Consider hiring or upskilling people to provide dedicated cloud capability, while others use their expertise to continue managing the legacy business. The way you educate, incentivise and manage these teams is likely to be completely different, so be open to opportunities to expand and diversify your team as needed.
Cloud technologies have opened new doors for your business to develop innovative solutions and build long-term relationships with customers. But cloud isn’t something that can simply be added to your existing business without a strategy backed with a realistic commitment to success.
About Rhys Shannon: As the Director of Cloud and Service Solutions for ANZ Rhys goal is to provide our customers with the solutions they want and need to better their business in a fast paced environment.